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Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – March 6, 2012
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I enjoy Sheila Connolly's works - reading is like a visit with old friends. Her characters are realistic, intelligent, and likeable. This book was thoroughly enjoyable, although parts were a bit slow and overly detailed. Still, a good read and I look forward to reading more in this series.
In "Fire Engine Dead" the Firemen's Museum in Philadelphia has stored its museum pieces in a warehouse that isn't the safest choice among warehouses. A rash of warehouse fires has broken out and the one that houses the Firemen's Museum pieces isn't spared and neither is the life of the guard on duty. Most of what was in storage is lost, and it isn't until Nell Pratt sees a picture of the antique fire engine from 1825 that is the pride of the museum and compares it to another picture that she realizes that the two engines don't match. Someone did a switch, and either no one noticed or no one is talking about it.
Nell's almost-boyfriend, FBI agent, James Morrison, is also investigating this fire and asks Nell and her staff to help catalog what was salvaged, and also for Nell to keep her eyes and ears open for any information she might learn about the fire.
As with most cozy mystery novels, there is a lot of information on the subject of the story and I learned a lot about the history of the fire department in Philadelphia going back to the 1700's. The 1825 horse-drawn engine is a far cry from modern day fire fighting equipment.Read more ›
Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, is asked by Peter Ingersoll the head of the Fireman's Museum any information her museum may have on his. The Fireman's Museum is undergoing renovation and all of their displays and papers are in a storage warehouse that has just had a fire. About the only thing that wasn't completely destroyed in the fire was an old hand-pump fire engine. When Nell starts to put together the information for Peter, she notices that pumper that is in a picture taken at the fire scene is different than the one the museum had on display.
She contacts her good friend, James Morrison, who works at the FBI. Soon there are other fires that are of a suspicious nature and Morrison starts to think, like Nell, that maybe the fire at warehouse with the Fire Museum's items might be insurance fraud or theft. James asks for Nell's help in talking to museum employees to learn anything that might help in the investigation. They are getting close to knowing just what happened when the person responsible enters Nell's museum while she is talking to one of the possible suspects. Her museum is very nearly lost to fire, but the antiquated fire suppression system does it's job. James with Nell's help is able to put all the pieces together and solve the mystery.
Another exciting story from Sheila Connolly. I am looking forward to the next adventure in the City of Brotherly Love.
This installment, though, fell flat. First of all, it failed what I call the CCC (Critical Cozy Challenge) of logically explaining why a layperson gets involved in the investigation of a crime. Our protagonist, Nell, is recruited by an FBI agent because she's in a position to winkle out motive by talking to others in the museum community about their personal and institutional problems? Really? It's a little more complicated than that, but for me, it missed the CCC by a mile.
And then, the thematic hook of this particular cozy series, the protagonist's life in the world of museums and fundraising, was hardly addressed at all. Yes, I know it's real dozer of a theme for most people, but cozies need to be true to their hook, whether it is museums in Philadelphia or little old ladies in English villages or needlework shops in Minnesota (to name just few).
Lastly, although well-written (hence the second star), this book was boring. I'm going to read the next in the series but only because of how much I liked the earlier books.
There is a possible Arsonist at work in Philadelphia, PA. When a warehouse filled with memorabilia and a rare fire engine from a Fireman's Museum is attacked and the watchman killed. Nell Pratt, the President of the Pennsylvanian Antiquarian Society is asked to talk with her peers for any inkling of what is going on by the FBI, in the person of Nell's prospective boyfriend, James.
I love that this series teaches me so much about the inside workings of museum's and in this case, Arson.
This particular novel is filled with action and I found myself catching my breath, along with Nell. There are new employees, an unexpected in-flux of historic documents, and Nell's romance suddenly heats up as well.
I'm able to empathize with Nell in this book. It really is the best of the series yet!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fire Engine Dead by Sheila Connolly was released in 2012. Nell and James investigate the mystery revealed, and make this third volume in the series interesting. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
I like this series, but I just couldn't warm up to this one.Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I've read all but one in this series and this is my least favorite. It just never picks up any momentum. Read morePublished 10 months ago by D. Hughes
Another good mystery with twists and turns right up until the end.Published 14 months ago by C. Atwell
The third book in this series and one I thoroughly enjoyed by now Nell, Marty and others friends. Nell is very sorry to learn Fire Engine Museum has lost a lot of htheir records... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bettylouise
I really enjoyed this book. A grammar stickler, I would like to edit for the proper use of "me"; however I love reading this series.Published 16 months ago by M.