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"With its rich sense of place and time and a crisp, intelligent plot, readers will speed through this tale and be clamoring for more." Bestselling author Earlene Fowler
"Utterly absorbing. Vividly alive characters in a setting so clearly portrayed that one could step right into it." Bestselling author Roberta Gellis
"This debut mystery is a winner, with a feisty heroine, a colorful historical backdrop and a strong mystery rife with complexities." Romantic Times BookReviews
About the Author
Patricia Ryan has written more than two dozen novels, which have garnered rave reviews and been published in over twenty countries. A RITA® winner (for Silken Threads) and four-time nominee, she is also the recipient of two Romantic Times Awards and a Mary Higgins Clark Award nomination for the second book of her bestselling historical mystery series featuring Boston governess Nell Sweeney, written under the name P.B. Ryan.
For updates about Pat's new releases and other news, subscribe to her newsletter at pb-ryan.com & patricia-ryan.com.
This was my first time with a Nell Sweeney mystery. I held my own to the end of the book but I found the writing most of the time very tedious. I like a little more sparkle and movement in the writing style. I also found the author's efforts to make the characters "real" rather labored and tiresome. I did realize when I bought the book that it was one of a series, but I didn't know that it was a kind of serial. Some of the story came to a conclusion in this volume and some did not. I don't like this kind of thing. I like the whole book to wind up in a satisfying way without the feeling that I am forced to buy another book to see how the rest of it ends. I felt a little cheated to be led in a certain direction and then left hanging. I guess the book was OK but just not really for me. I am not panting for another go at Nell Sweeney.
This is the first in a set of books by this author that will capture your attention and keep you glued to the very end! I recommend this book and the rest of them because you'll like the characters, the story will keep you glued, and the ending will surprise you!! It has a good story line, it has suspense and some action, and no sexual content which I appreciate coming from a historical mystery!! My compliments to the author!! It's about Nell Sweeney(Governess to an adopted child), and helping an old lady( her boss) , to solve a murder that her boss's son is being accused of, very exciting and suspenseful, I gave it a five star!!
If you like murder mysteries with the feel of a jigsaw puzzle, then you might like this. I was not drawn to the characters or the events. Part of the time I was angry at the accused guy for not defending himself or saying anything to anyone that could help him. It’s like he wanted to hang for murder. There is a surprise at the end which should appeal to some.
Viola is in a wheelchair. Her son is accused of murder. She asks Nell to take messages to her son and investigate the murder. I enjoyed the first part of the story where Nell meets Viola and becomes her employee. But after that, it turned into typical mystery conversations and eventual discovery of the truth. I was impatient and trying to read fast.
Some of the subject matter was depressing. Two men were prisoners in Andersonville, Georgia, one of the worst prisons in history - no food, no water, guards killed prisoners for fun. The story takes place shortly after the civil war, but there are descriptions of things from Andersonville.
This is the first book in the Nell Sweeney Mystery series. I preferred two other books by this author. “Pure and Simple” is mystery with romance. “Hale’s Point” is romance.
DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Kindle count length: 5,403 (324 pages). Swearing language: moderate, including religious swear words. Sexual content: none, other than mentioning prostitutes with men. Setting: 1864 and 1868 Massachusetts. Copyright: 2003. Genre: mystery.
This story takes places in the mid 1800's. A time when the rich were well known and everyone else was underfoot. The old cliche to be seen and not heard; when there were maids, butler's and governess for the children. It's a time when troubles in the family rose money could wash away everything including murder. But, the father of this family was using money to convict his son, with no facts. It's a great story about this same family who lost two sons to war only to find one was still alive but had remained hidden for a few years. You'll read a story about a marriage, family and the cover-up, drugs and murder. What evidence doesn't show and how one is trying to change the mind of a police detective whose been bought off and what really happened; and just maybe a little more. I hope you will invest a couple of days with a glass of ice tea and a good book.
I am clearly in the minority, here. This book got rave reviews, apparently not only from Amazon readers, but from the literary world alike. The book is a great period piece and, for those wanting that and some history added to their murder mystery, this might be the perfect book. I agree with one reviewer that Nell seems to have acquired a great deal of knowledge, unbelievably so, in the four years since she was taken in by the doctor, from the low life she was living, to the point of knowing languages, philosophy, psychology, medicine, what have you. Hard to believe. But that didn't bother me. I just couldn't get into the pace of the book and the constant painting of the period and the people. Ms. Ryan has clearly done a lot of research and for history buffs who also like a murder mystery, this might be a five star book. I was somewhat annoyed that Nell never even asked the accused if he was actually guilty until the end of the book. Anyway, three stars is the best that I could do for this book. Read all of the other reviews and make up your own mind.
I was immediately drawn toward the characters. I really enjoyed this book because of the character development and detail. They became real. Be careful reading the reviews! Many reviewers are telling things about Nell. Part of what draws you and keeps the book suspenseful is having her past revealed over time. I read Christian fiction normally and this had a few cuss words. It also had descriptions of prostitutes servicing their clients without going into detail. A bit more graphic than a hallmark movie but no more graphic than a pg 13, for those who find that information important.
Three years ago, Nell Sweeney was plucked from Cape Cod to serve as nurse/governess in one of Boston’s elite families. She adores the child but wonders at the motivation of the lady of the house in adopting the infant. Word of a murder and arrest at a local house of ill repute releases a chain of events which will change the family forever. Did one of their sons, reported dead, actually survive the Civil War? Why does he thwart attempts to investigate and defend him? Ms. Ryan builds a fascinating world at the intersection of rich and poor, addict and gambler, plus immigrant and native. A well-crafted historical mystery which keeps the reader engaged.