Ivonne Rovira's Reviews > Still Life With Murder

Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan
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's review
Jul 23, 2012

it was amazing

Still Life With Murder, the first book in a mystery series featuring 19th century Irish-American governess Nell Sweeney, starts off the series with a bang.

Nell, a onetime workhouse denizen on Cape Cod, has plenty of pluck and intelligence. She serves in the Boston home of Viola Hewitt, an unconventional British-born matron who elevated Nell from physician's assistant to governess for an adopted daughter. For three years, Nell had delighted in caring for Grace Lindleigh Hewitt. With two grown sons killed at Andersonville, the pestilential Confederate prison camp, Mrs. Hewitt sees the toddler Gracie as the light of her life, and Nell loves both of them with all her heart.

Suddenly, Mrs. Hewitt and Nell discover that one of the Hewitt sons thought dead is actually alive -- when he is arrested for the murder of a sailor in the courtyard of an opium and gambling den. Mr. Hewitt is determined to avoid a scandal at any cost -- even if the prodigal son, William Hewitt, now a hopeless opium addict, hangs. Mrs. Hewitt, crippled by polio, knows there's only one person she can trust to investigate and save her son from the gallows: Nell Sweeney.

Still Life With Murder is a real page turner with lots of plot twists, and author P.B. Ryan will keep you guessing until the last few pages. Ryan also laces the novel with a plethora of researched historical details on medicine and the class social strata of the late 1860s -- although, as Ryan so ably builds the suspense, you might not notice how much you're learning.

Within minutes of finishing Still Life With Murder, I was downloading the Kindle edition of the sequel, Murder in a Mill Town. What an auspicious beginning to a sequel! And, just to sweeten the already sweet reading experience, Kindle readers can download Still Life With Murder for free.
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Reading Progress

July 23, 2012 – Started Reading
July 23, 2012 – Shelved
July 23, 2012 –
page 123
August 2, 2012 –
page 127
August 2, 2012 –
page 127
August 3, 2012 –
page 138
August 4, 2012 –
page 178
August 5, 2012 –
page 241
August 18, 2012 – Finished Reading

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