"Post-Civil War mystery"
After their mother died from cholera and their father ran
off with another woman, the three Sweeney children are sent
to the Barnstable County Poor House where the youngest died
from diphtheria. Nell fell in love with her brother's
thieving friend Duncan, but he turned out to be an abusive
person who hurt her so badly that she needed extensive
medical care proved by Dr. Greaves. In time, she became
his mistress and apprentice until the day they delivered
the baby of a Hewitt servant.
Viola Hewitt adopts the child and hires Nell to be the
baby's governess. Viola sweeps Nell into the world of the
Boston Brahmin. After working there for four years, word
arrives that the eldest son, thought to have died in a
confederate prison camp, awaits trial for cold-blooded
murder. Viola asks Nell to find evidence that will set her
oldest son free since his father doesn't care if he hangs.
Nell risks everything to clear Will because she believes he
is innocent despite all the evidence to the contrary.
Post-Civil War Boston is an interesting place to be as the
scars from the fighting though distant from the city still
linger in unexpected places. Nell is a woman of mystery
who hides secrets that she hasn't revealed which should be
disclosed in future books. The heroine is a spunky woman
who climbed out of a poverty-stricken and crime infested
area to make something of herself. Readers will admire her
and won't be able to resist her many charms. STILL LIFE
WITH MURDER is a well-constructed and fascinating mystery
in what looks to be a great series.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 21, 2003