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Razing the Dead
A Museum Mystery #5
Sheila Connolly

Berkley Prime Crime
June 3, 2014 / ISBN 0425257134
Mystery - Cozy

Reviewed by Cheryl Green


Nell Pratt has spent the last month living with James Morrison at his apartment so that she could take care of him. The FBI agent was recovering from injuries that nearly killed him. Now James is thinking they should find a bigger place for the two of them. Well, the answer would have to wait since Nell had to get to work. She is the President of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society located in Philadelphia. Eric, her assistant, has set up an appointment with Mitchell Wakeman, a local land developer. Wakeman is planning a huge multipurpose development in Chester County. He wants The Society to make sure he knows where any bodies might be buried, plus make sure he can handle any problems that might arise. Board member, Marty Terwilliger has found the perfect candidate for the research position. Lissa Penrose looks like a fit for Mitchell Wakeman's project. In fact, Nell has Lissa go with her to check out the location with Mitchell Wakeman. He drives them to the site and they walk around the area soaking up his vision. All goes well until Wakeman thinks he has found something dumped by a pond. Up close they can see it is really a dead man face down in the pond. This investigation is more than the local police can handle so the FBI is called in. The agent sent is James Morrison. This case should help ease the returning agent back into his job. Nell had better be careful solving this murder, or she could end up bulldozed.

Things to ponder: What was the dead man doing on Wakeman's property? Will Nell move in with James? Why does Wakeman want to keep his project quiet?

This series just gets better with each book. Our protagonist will not only solve a murder, but has to decide whether to make big changes in her personal life. The story is well-plotted and it very quickly became a page-turner for me. I do enjoy the bits of history that Ms. Connolly seamlessly adds to the story. The story pulled me right in and I found myself glued to the pages. I had to find out whodunit. So, if you like your mystery with a slice of history, then you should be reading Razing the Dead.

Reviewed 2014