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STILL AS DEATH Hardcover – 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
Book 4 of 4 in the Sweeney St. George Series

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Hardcover, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Unknown (2006)
  • ASIN: B0028QCLQA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Still as Death," by Sarah Stewart Taylor, features Sweeney St. George, a Cambridge-based art history professor and expert in funerary art. She is about to mount her exhibit "Still as Death: The Art of the End of Life" for the Hapner Museum and she is working frantically to get everything ready before the opening. Sweeney is currently living with elegant and sexy Ian Ball, who has been staying in America to open a Boston office of his London auction house. Ian's work is done and he is ready to return to London. He asks Sweeney to go back with him, but she keeps asking for more time to make up her mind. Irritating Ian further is the fact that Sweeney has been drinking too much lately, and she is annoyed when he expresses his concern about her behavior.

When Sweeney seeks a particular beaded collar from the museum's Egyptian collection to round off her exhibit, she cannot locate the piece. The last person to handle the collar, back in 1979, was Karen Philips, a troubled young woman who later committed suicide. When Sweeney questions the museum's director, Egyptologist Willem Keane, and his assistant, Tad Moran, they insist that the item is still in the collection but must have been misplaced.

Sweeney's life becomes infinitely more complicated in short order. Several murders in the museum lead to an investigation by Detective Tim Quinn, a man whom Sweeney has known for years and secretly admires. Will her affection for Quinn keep Sweeney from moving to London with Ian? Tim's investigation and Sweeney's amateur sleuthing lead to a resolution of the case, which turns out to be an intricate tale of cruelty, greed, and betrayal.

"Still as Death" has its strengths; Taylor's portrayal of Sweeney St.
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Format: Hardcover
Sweeney St. George has been working on an exhibit for almost three years. Now, she's just putting the finishing touches on "Still as Death," an exhibit on the art of mourning over the centuries. The exhibit is being held at the Hapner on the Cambridge campus where she teaches.

While trying to put the perfect finishing touches on it, she learns of an Egyptian funerary collar in the museum's collection that would be perfect. But no one seems to be able to find it. The last person to have it was a student who was around when the museum was robbed 25 years ago. Not too long after, she committed suicide. Are these events connected?

Meanwhile, Sweeney's exhibit opening is going fine, until the museum's housekeeper is found murdered down in the basement. It looks like a botched robbery attempt. Is history repeating itself or is this a new attempt?

This book continues to inform while it entertains with the fascinating look at the art of mourning over the years. The focus this time is on Egyptian mourning rituals, and the information presented is interesting.

Of course, the main focus is still entertainment. The mystery here is the strongest of the series, with several twists I should have seen coming but didn't. Meanwhile, Sweeney's personal life takes some interested turns. The main characters are here and as strong as ever. Even police office Tim Quinn didn't bother me this time around. The secondary characters seemed a bit weak this time, but that is a minor complaint.

This book left me hungry for more. Fans of the series will be glad to see Sweeney's return and the book should win her and her author new fans.
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By A Customer on September 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Professor Sweeney St. George is putting together an exhibit at the university's Hapner Museum of Art, "Still as Death: The Art of the End of Life". However, the Harvard University art history professor realizes as she catalogues the display that a priceless Egyptian funerary jewelry collar is missing. Making inquiries she learns that the last person known to have had the artifact was back in 1979, student intern Karen Philips who apparently committed suicide soon afterward.

Sweeney continues preparation for the show, but also digs deeper into the Philips affair. She finds out that Karen was working at the Hapner the night it was robbed in 1979 and other tidbits that fail to add up. However, her fascination with a mystery over twenty-five years old changes to a modern murder mystery when someone kills Olga, working on the exhibit. Cambridge Police Department Detective Tim Quinn looks at the Art Department for a suspect while Sweeney begins to tie the current homicide back to the 1979 tragedy.

STILL AS DEATH is an enjoyable entry to a fine series in which the heroine in between getting the exhibit ready investigates the 1979 events for about half the story line before the plot takes a left turn into a modern day murder in which Tim joins Sweeney on center stage. Sweeny is as always irreverent when it comes to death while her colleagues are a bit more stunned especially when Tim looks at them for the culprit. Fans of the series and newcomers (see JUDGMENT OF THE GRAVE, MANSIONS OF THE DEAD and O'ARTFUL DEATH) will enjoy everyone's favorite gravestone expert as she adapts to solving a modern day art of death homicide.

Harriet Klausner
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