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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hot Time in Philly
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...
Published on March 7, 2012 by T Reader

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of museum lore, not much suspense
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...
Published on May 22, 2012 by Violetta


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Hot Time in Philly, March 7, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) by Sheila Connolly, June 19, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
"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.

Nell and several people from the Firemen's Museum and the Antiquarian Society, piece by piece, put the puzzle together to solve the mystery of the fires, the death of the guard and the mystery of the switch of the engines, but not before Nell and another person are placed in grave and life-threatening danger.

I'm looking forward to the next installment in this series that has kept me interested.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hot Addition To A Great Series, March 6, 2012
This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (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
3.0 out of 5 stars lots of museum lore, not much suspense, May 22, 2012
This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the rest of the series, May 18, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Maybe she's trying to write them too fast, but this one wasn't as good as the previous ones in the series. It was too easy to figure out who the murder was early in the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great author with storyline drawbacks, May 15, 2012
This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is my 3rd in the Museum mystery series. I loved the first 2 and can truly get into the situation due to this creative and original author.
In this latest entry Nell Pratt, the new President of the Pennsylvania Antiquarium Society, has been asked to assist in finding the arsonist that has set fire to a fireman's museum. James Morrison, Nell's confident and possibly a significant other, is the one doing the asking.

The relationship between Nell and James evolves at slow but steady rate and is mostly centered on the arson. The Fireman's Museum is the focal point and I'm sorry to say I found that part of this book quite boring. It was only due to the wonderful writing of this author that kept my interest in Nell, James and the goings on at the P.A.S.
The hiring on of two new people, one of which comes directly through Marty, perked my interest. It was a relief to find they could work together well under stress when the overload regarding the Fireman's Museum files were dumped on Nell and the P.A.S. This was a growing period for Nell and everyone involved. Another learning experience for Nell continues to be with LaToya. LaToya is a necesary part of the hierarchy at the Society and not one Nell can deal with comfortably. The hiring of these 2 new employees has given both of them an opportunity to show what team work can accomplish.

Marty is another, in my opinion, thorn in Nell's side. On one hand she has donated a good portion of historical material to the Society regarding her family and their place in the building of their town. On the other hand, Marty believes herself to be an entitled part of the goings on inside the P.A.S. so much so that she interrupts Nell in her office without offering any explanation. This time Nell takes somewhat of a stand and lets Marty know that she is still the president and not beholdent to Marty's every whim. I felt this was a necessary move on Nell's part.

The continuing realtionship between James Morrison and Nell developed so smoothly and at the appropriate times...I found it a welcomed doorway to future books in this series.
All in all I enjoy this author and this series and although I found the Fireman's Museum aspect of it dull...the author's development of the characters and their growing communication with each other realistic and interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Suspense, and Romance!, March 19, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Oh, I did like this novel. We had action, suspense, romance, and learned a great deal about fire and suppression of fire.

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!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting, Entertaining & Fun, March 6, 2012
This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
Nell Pratt, the new president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, is busy trying to hire staff and keep The Society running in these hard economic times, but when The Fireman's Museum loses most of it's collections to a fire she realizes things could be much worse. She tries to help by gathering all the information The Society has about local fire history to help them tally their losses and file an insurance claim. It is a picture that makes Nell understand there is much more to the story that meets the eye. When the smoke clears she knows she has to help find the truth. Hopefully she will not go down in a blaze all her own.

Dollycas's Thoughts
Being a daughter of a firefighter this story really touched by heart. The fire department where I grew up has many treasures from the past including an antique engine that travels around to nearby parades and events throughout the summer. My father was the chief for many years before he passed away. The department was an integral part of my life. There is even a Fire Training Facility dedicated to my dad at a nearby college. So growing up you could say fire fighting and all that goes with it was the family business.

Because of that I know Sheila Connolly has created a very accurate picture of the dedication of the men and women in this dangerous profession. Arson is a horrible crime and the reactions of all the characters are realistic and true. She also takes the saying of "a picture is worth a thousand words" to a very practical level, the key to the mystery.

I enjoy this series because Nell takes us into a museum full of paper and books that unless you are doing research could be quite boring but all the interplay with the characters and where their lives take us is anything but boring. It's exciting, entertaining, and fun. It's amazing what can happen in rooms full of ledgers, letters and legal documents. Connolly has created a complex and complicated mystery that will keep your feet to the fire as you follow the clues that will slam the door shut on those who ignited the flames. Sit back and enjoy this one, just stay back from the fire, we don't want any readers to get injured during the reading of this book
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars engaging amateur sleuth, March 6, 2012
This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
In Philadelphia, Nell Pratt is the president of the Pennsylvanian Antiquarian Society, a depository for documents and manuscripts of various people and groups. The fundraising climate sucks so the library like most not for profits lacks money. The city government plans to cut funding for the Fireman's Museum and donations are at their lowest; on the bright side, firefighters voluntarily are renovating the place.

An arsonist torched several warehouses with police and fire investigators clueless as to why and who. One of the fires killed a security guard and destroyed the storage facility where the Fireman's Museum documents and other items weres located while the renovation was occurring. Among the priceless objects ruined is an old fire truck picture. Nell recognizes something not right with the remains of the picture and shows it to her maybe boyfriend FBI Agent James Morrison explaining she believes a switch occurred and was covered up by the fire. He does not have the cooperation of the museum directors or the fundraising groups so he suggests she chat with them. Nell does that and more, which places her in the crosshairs of a killer.

The third Museum mystery (see Let's Play Dead and Fundraising The Dead) is an engaging amateur sleuth filled with fascinating characters, interesting museum information, plenty of action including a nice twist and a bit of romance. Readers learn what occurs behind the curtain at a library, but it is Nell's interrogation of the antiquities circle that makes the storyline fun as she grills people, but none of the responders realize she sliced and diced them with one lethal exception. Though by the sub-genre book with a civilian in a near death experience by risking her life to investigate, Sheila Connolly provides an entertaining whodunit.

Harriet Klaussner
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, March 11, 2012
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This review is from: Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) (Mass Market Paperback)
The first book in this series was very interesting. I had a hard time finishing the last installment in this series, and I am sorry to say that I could not finish this one. Honestly, there is no other way to describe the story but to say it is boring.
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Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery)
Fire Engine Dead (A Museum Mystery) by Sheila Connolly (Mass Market Paperback - March 6, 2012)
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