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Mansions of the Dead (A Sweeney St. George Mystery #2)
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Mansions of the Dead (Sweeney St. George #2)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  278 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews

When college student Brad Putnam turns up dead in his bedroom in his Boston apartment, Homicide Detective Timothy Quinn is baffled by the crime scene and decides to seek the help of art history professor Sweeney St. George to make sense of the evidence. An expert on "the art of death," Sweeney immediately identifies the objects found on the body as mourning jewelry-and dis
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 13th 2005 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published July 1st 2004)
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May 18, 2008 Leigh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Art lovers, New England history buffs
Shelves: read-mysteries
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie Golding Page
When I first started this book, I was a bit wary of the main character and "detective," Sweeney St. George - I liked her quirky character, complete with fiery red hair and vintage clothing, but I wasn't as sure about her academic and personal fascination with gravestones, mourning jewelry and other equally macabre subjects. However, I stuck with her and came to appreciate her by the end. I also enjoyed the setting of Boston and the Cape Cod area, and I will be reading the others in the series to ...more
Mark Baker
Mar 15, 2014 Mark Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 2004
One of Sweeney's students is found murdered with burial jewelry on his body. Because of his connection to a wealthy and powerful family, it becomes a huge case. But can Sweeney figure out what that jewelry means? Another good mystery, but I didn't care for the new character of Timothy Quinn and his sub-plot.

Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.
Jenn Estepp
a decent mystery, although not particularly remarkable. sweeney is a likable enough amateur sleuth - stronger here than in the first book, although maybe i'm just getting used to her. but, as other have noted, the writing is sometimes a bit laborious and goes on a bit/repeats itself. i think that my major quibble is that stewart obviously did a lot of research and as such seems intent on sharing all that she learned in the course of it with the reader. and sometimes that's just not necessary.
Oct 06, 2007 Blaire rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I probably would have given this book a better rating if the depiction of the police had been a little more believable.
The relationship Detective Timothy Quinn and his partner was confusing and unfocused. The author begins by suggesting that the older of the two, Marino, resents his partner the rookie and then makes nothing of it in their interactions. Their tolerance for the amateur sleuth's meddling is impossible to believe, particularly at the end when they step aside to allow her to deliver
Art history Professor Sweeney St. George investigates the murder of one of her students.

Sweeney is asked by police to consult about the death of one of her students, one who perhaps enjoyed her class a bit too much: Brad Putnam is found suffocated in his dorm room, his dead body adorned with nineteenth-century mourning jewelry. The situation is even stickier because he's one of "the" Putnams, a famous and prestigious family — one of the earliest colonial families — and a family whose history is
Jan 03, 2015 chagaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story maybe a bit weak, but I didn't mind at all as I found the book very nicely written and the characters, particularly that of Sweeney st George, very likable in their flaws and humanity.
Nov 22, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Not a cozy mystery. This is a more complex and intricate story than a cozy. The heroine is also not as stupid as some, as well.

While the lead character, a professor who specializes in gravestones and funerary art, does start investigating the death in the book, she really is drawn in because of her interest in the mourning jewelry found on the body, a student of hers. She also doesn't try to show up the cops in the book and keep information back that she has learned so she can be the one that s
Dawn Ashenbrenner
Oct 01, 2014 Dawn Ashenbrenner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent mystery with interesting characters and enough subplots to keep you guessing. I'm looking forward to reading the others in the series!
Jun 07, 2011 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As several others mentioned, I was a little leary about a novel featuring a main character with an outlandish name like Sweeney St. George and I'll admit I considered putting it down several times. I'm not a huge fan of Bostonian culture. However, the subject matter was interesting enough to keep my attention and at some point something clicked and I wanted to find out how it ended. Perhaps a good indication that something is working, right? Aside a few typographical and several chapters that si ...more
Sep 30, 2008 Suzanna rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was okay. It was fairly interesting, an easy read, fairly predictable, but entertaining. It didn't make me want to read more by the author, but it did make me mildly curious about mourning customs of past generations, particularly mourning jewelry. I might visit the subject in a non-fiction format down the road.
Feb 15, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Again, a quiet yet engaging mystery. Taylor doesn't focus on big sweeping scenes of increasing horror; her mysteries are somewhat mundane yet realistic. I'm already quite fond of the main character; Taylor's depiction of the inquisitive professor isn't overblown or too far out of focus.
May 08, 2009 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
I enjoyed this book a lot but I have a morbid fascination with tombstones and graveyards. Did I figure out who did it? No, but I did figure out early on why someone did it. Still I didn't want to put the book down and read it almost in one sitting.
Oct 02, 2010 Robyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the first book in this mystery series. She's an art historian, so you get some interesting history stuff thrown in. I will eventually grow tired if she seems to fall in love/lust with someone in every book.
Aug 23, 2007 Ruth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book would get four stars if not for the occasionally very clunky writing. I loved the setting (Boston), the topic (graves/gravestones/graveyards/mourning jewelry), and the protagonist (crazy female academic).
Jul 31, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club

It was good though I couldn't figure some things out at first. Then realized this was book 2 of a three part series. Well have to go back and read first one to fill in missing pieces
Aug 10, 2011 Jannine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Art history professor Sweeney St George investigates murder involving 'mourning jewellery'. A good mystery with some interesting historical information.
Oct 08, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it
Excellent for a quick mystery. Has a bit of history and a bit of intrigue. I enjoy the main character Sweeney.
Sarah "Kat"
Dec 22, 2008 Sarah "Kat" rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this book. great mystery and very well written. Will read all the rest of Ms. Stewart Taylor's books.
Annette Meier
Aug 12, 2011 Annette Meier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I caught on to the meat of the story about 40 pages in - it was very good. I like this writer.
Stephanie Lincecum
Actually liked the book until the end. The revealing of the truth seemed rather weak.
Feb 28, 2009 Janice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably the best book I've read so far in 2009. I couldn't put it down!
Sue johnson
Feb 03, 2008 Sue johnson rated it liked it
Good read, will probably look for more in this series.
Oct 19, 2012 Margaret rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Love the Sweeney series! Great characters and story.
Sep 24, 2015 Roxie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
enjoyed thoroughly from first page to the last
Jan Schindler
second in a series, a good read
Nov 04, 2013 Lucy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
good read.
Leah rated it really liked it
Oct 06, 2016
Josephine marked it as to-read
Sep 15, 2016
Ren marked it as to-read
Sep 08, 2016
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Sarah Stewart Taylor was born in 1971 on Long Island, New York and was educated at Middlebury College and Trinity College, Dublin. Her first novel, O' Artful Death (2003) was nominated for an Agatha Award. In addition to writing mystery novels, she teaches at the Center for Cartoon Studies. She lives with her husband and young son on a farm in Vermont.
More about Sarah Stewart Taylor...

Other Books in the Series

Sweeney St. George (4 books)
  • O' Artful Death
  • Judgment of the Grave
  • Still as Death

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