A Museum Mystery, No 3
Berkley Prime Crime
March 2012/ ISBN: 978-4-425-24670-2
by Laura Hinds
This is the third entry in the Museum Mystery series, and this
time Nell Pratt, who is the president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian
Society, gets involved with the Fireman's Museum. When an arsonist
strikes warehouses in the area, many artifacts stored for the Fireman's
Museum are destroyed.
Yet a picture remains. A photograph of an 1825 hand-pump engine
- but the photo does not appear to be the same as Nell's records
of the actual engine that burned up in the fire. Obviously there
is mischief afoot beyond simple arson. When the FBI becomes involved
with the arson case because a guard died and because of the unusual
nature of the crime (arson against fire department storage), Nell's
FBI sort-of-boyfriend turns to her for help. Help, that is, in the
way of sharing her knowledge of artifacts and museum pieces. He
clearly wants her to stay out of investigating the crimes of arson,
murder, and perhaps fraud.
If you've been following this series, you know Nell won't just
leave it at that. She uses her analytical mind to sort things out
and help the FBI. I do enjoy this series because I learn a lot about
the inner workings of museums. It can sometimes get a little tedious
however, and I can't honestly say I enjoyed this book as much as
I did "Let's Play Dead."
I read Connolly's other series, the Orchard Mysteries and enjoyed
the first books in that series, only to find myself let down with
later books. I wonder if Connolly gets a bit tired of her characters
and stories by the third or fourth book and ends up using too much
filler material, perhaps too much detail.
I certainly don't mean to pan the book. The series is based on
a unique premise and setting. There are new characters to breathe
life into the Museum Mysteries, and the book is not repetitive and
can be enjoyed as a stand-alone read. In my opinion you are either
going to enjoy the book because you love Connolly's writing style,
or you may find yourself bogged down with the details. In the end,
it's a matter of the reader's personal preference, so use your own
judgment for this one.
Other reviews in this series
Play Dead, No 2