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Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – March 6, 2012

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Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) + Let's Play Dead (A Museum Mystery) + Monument to the Dead (A Museum Mystery)
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Product Details

  • Series: A Museum Mystery (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425246701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425246702
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

They are well written and have a good plot and a good mystery.
This was an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book in this wonderful and well-written series.
D. Love
It was too easy to figure out who the murder was early in the book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By T Reader on March 7, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
In this book, Nell Pratt, president of the Philadelphia Antiquarian Society, becomes involved with the Philadelphia Firefighter's Museum.

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.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By S. Warfield on June 19, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
"Fire Engine Dead" by Sheila Connolly is the third book in the Museum Mystery Series. I've enjoyed each of the books and I certainly enjoyed this one. I especially like the character of Nell Pratt, who I think is a very down-to-earth person, and if I visited the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, I think I would feel very comfortable speaking to Nell even though she is the president of the Society. She likes her home and takes pride in it and she likes her job and also takes pride in her position. However, as is the case with female sleuths, there is always a body and a crime nearby.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. Yoder on March 6, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The third book in A Museum Mystery series. I really enjoy this series and the behind the scenes work at a museum.

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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Violetta on May 22, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of the two previous books in this series, I enjoyed Fundraising the Dead the most. Nell Pratt is an interesting character who becomes the reluctant President of a museum in Philadelphia. When arson and a murder destroy an antiquarian fireman's museum, she tries to help identify the arsonist through her knowledge of the inner workings of museums. Further interest revolves around her developing relationship with James, an FBI agent.

The framework seems to be there for a good mystery, but it just doesn't quite measure up. I think this book might appeal to someone who is a specialist in museum management, in the same way that a teacher can find an academic setting familiar and interesting. For me, Nell seems too preoccupied with wishing that she didn't have the responsibility of being President of the museum, and she also worries endlessly about whether she is really fit for the position. Neither of those characteristics seems to add much to the story. I also found the relationship with James stalled while he declares his primary focus to be "work," that is solving the arson case, rather than spending time with Nell, for whom he claims to care.

There is very little suspense here, and not a lot of character development either. Nell has some co-workers who could be interesting, but not much is made of their individual personalities or points of view. Perhaps if we had been able to know the victim before he died, the plot might have gained something, but as it is, we are left with a story that seems to drag and lacks suspense.
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More About the Author

After collecting too many degrees and exploring careers ranging from art historian to investment banker to professional genealogist, Sheila Connolly began writing in 2001, and has now published eight traditional mysteries. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her previous occupations.

She wrote her first mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime under the name Sarah Atwell, and the first book, Through a Glass, Deadly (March 2008), was nominated for an Agatha Award for Best First Novel; Pane of Death followed in November 2008, and Snake in the Glass in September 2009.

Under her own name, Connolly writes the Orchard Mystery Series (Berkley Prime Crime), set in western Massachusetts, where she had generations of ancestors. In fact,the series is set in a house built by one of her 7th great-grandfathers. The series debuted in 2008 with One Bad Apple, followed by Rotten to the Core (2009), Red Delicious Death (2010), A Killer Crop (2010), and Bitter Harvest (2011). Sour Apples appeared in August 2012 and was a New York Times bestseller.

Connolly's second series, the Museum Mysteries (Berkley Prime Crime), takes place among the many museums of Philadelphia. Fundraising the Dead came out in October 2010, Let's Play Dead in 2011, and the third, Fire Engine Dead, in March 2012. The fourth book, Monument to the Dead, came out in June 2013. Since she worked for several years at a major historical institution in Philadelphia, she can present a lot of behind-the-scenes details of the cultural scene there.

Connolly's third series, the County Cork Mysteries, opened with Buried in a Bog in February 2013 and it went to #14 on the New York Times Mass Market Bestseller list. This new series features a Boston-reared American woman who finds herself running a pub in a tiny village in West Cork. Connolly's grandfather was born in that region, and there used to be a wonderful pub called Connolly's in Leap.

Connolly's first full-length, standalone ebook, Once She Knew, was published by Beyond the Page in October 2012. Her second, Relatively Dead, came out in May 2013.

Connolly has also published short stories: "Size Matters" appeared in the 2010 Level Best Anthology, Thin Ice; "Called Home," a short prequel to the Orchard series, was published by Beyond the Page in 2011; and "Dead Letters," an e-story featuring the main characters from the Museum series, will be published by Berkley Prime Crime in February 2012. Beyond the Page also published "The Rising of the Moon," and another Level Best anthology includes "Kept in the Dark," which was nominated for both an Agatha award and an Anthony award for 2013.

She lives in a too-big Victorian in southeastern Massachusetts with her husband and two cats. Find out more about her at her website,

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