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Razing the Dead by Sheila Connolly
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Razing the Dead (2014)

by Sheila Connolly

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Razing The Dead is the fifth book I the A Museum Mystery series.

Connolly does another wonderful job of story telling in this book. Once again Connolly skillfully blends current events and a little of the local areas history, to give the reader a very interesting mystery.

Nell Pratt has been approached by Michael Wakeman, a real estate developer, to look into the history of a tract of land that he has purchased and wants to develop. The land is near the site where Duffy's Cut had taken place. This is a site where over thirty Iriah immigrants had been found buried to cover up their death by the company they were working for. Wakeman doesn't want something similar to come up with his tract of land. Nell hires an intern, Lissa Penrose, to pour threw the archives to learn the background of the land. But first on the agenda, is a trip with Wakefield and Lissa to visually get a feel for the land and surrounding area. As they are about to leave, the body of George Bowen is found floating in a pond. Bowen, a township employee, had suffered a blow to the head. Wakefield, not feeling confident that the local police can solve the murder quick enough, he makes some calls and get the FBI involved. Of course, James, Nell's boyfriend is assigned to case. Soon the bones of two humans are found buried near where Bowen was found. Who were they and how long have they been buried only adds to.

Most all of the characters from the previous books are back. Eric continues to show his value to Nell, efficiently handling the administrative duties. Marty is back to provide Nell with some additional history of the area. In addition to Lissa, another new character is added, that being Ben Hartley. Hartley, a military veteran, is recovering from an automobile accident that has left him paralyzed. He is learning to cope with his disability and should be an interesting character in future books.

As always, I am looking forward to the next book in the series.


Razing The Dead is the fifth book I the A Museum Mystery series.

Connolly does another wonderful job of story telling in this book. Once again Connolly skillfully blends current events and a little of the local areas history, to give the reader a very interesting mystery.

Nell Pratt has been approached by Michael Wakeman, a real estate developer, to look into the history of a tract of land that he has purchased and wants to develop. The land is near the site where Duffy's Cut had taken place. This is a site where over thirty Iriah immigrants had been found buried to cover up their death by the company they were working for. Wakeman doesn't want something similar to come up with his tract of land. Nell hires an intern, Lissa Penrose, to pour threw the archives to learn the background of the land. But first on the agenda, is a trip with Wakefield and Lissa to visually get a feel for the land and surrounding area. As they are about to leave, the body of George Bowen is found floating in a pond. Bowen, a township employee, had suffered a blow to the head. Wakefield, not feeling confident that the local police can solve the murder quick enough, he makes some calls and get the FBI involved. Of course, James, Nell's boyfriend is assigned to case. Soon the bones of two humans are found buried near where Bowen was found. Who were they and how long have they been buried only adds to.

Most all of the characters from the previous books are back. Eric continues to show his value to Nell, efficiently handling the administrative duties. Marty is back to provide Nell with some additional history of the area. In addition to Lissa, another new character is added, that being Ben Hartley. Hartley, a military veteran, is recovering from an automobile accident that has left him paralyzed. He is learning to cope with his disability and should be an interesting character in future books.

As always, I am looking forward to the next book in the series. ( )
  FredYoder | May 8, 2015 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12438509
  JosieRivers | Dec 28, 2014 |
Very heavy on some Pennsylvania/Revolutionary War history, mostly because the main story involved a developer named Mitchell Wakeman who taps Nell's museum to basically vet a site for historical info before he builds. During the initial tour with Wakeman, they discover a body on the land and before long, Nell is involved in yet another crime, with her FBI agent boyfriend James called into assist the locals. ( )
  ethel55 | Jul 21, 2014 |
In Connolly’s mystery novel, Nell Pratt is the president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia. She’s also juggling a relationship with FBI agent James Morrison. When Nell is approached by a prominent local developer with a request to research a piece of land he plans to build on, Nell jumps right in and promptly secures a special project researcher to fit the bill. While touring the site, Nell, her staff, and the developer stumble upon the body of a local resident floating face down in a small pond. Once again, Nell finds herself involved in a murder investigation and she won’t stop until she gets to the bottom of it all.

A witty, engaging blend of murder and history and a female sleuth that is smart and resourceful. A great addition to the A Museum Mystery series. ( )
  debbieaheaton | Jul 9, 2014 |
RAZING THE DEAD is a smart and entertaining cozy mystery blending Pennsylvania history with a modern-day murder investigation. This is book five in Sheila Connolly's Museum Mystery series, and though I haven't read the previous books, I was able to jump in with no problem.

Nell Pratt is president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, and her passion for documenting local history has come in handy in more than one murder mystery. Nell is a down-to-earth, resourceful person, a bit on the serious side, with a knack for sleuthing. Nell gets pulled into another murder investigation when a big shot developer comes to her for help on his latest project.

I have to say that I really loved the history and the mystery in this book! The developer comes to Nell because he's concerned about the land he's purchased from a local farmer. The farm is not far from Duffy's Cut, an infamous stretch of railroad where the bodies of Irish immigrant workers were unearthed. It's the job of Nell and her team to research the history of the farm so another Duffy's Cut situation won't pop up in the middle of development. So when a murder victim is found on the property, followed by two other bodies, the developer gets antsy. Luckily Nell and her FBI agent boyfriend James are on the case.

RAZING THE DEAD was a well-crafted mystery with centuries old secrets and intriguing ties to actual historical events. I liked Nell, James, and the entire cast of characters. They were a practical group of folks who got things done. A secondary story in this book was the growing relationship between Nell and James. They appear to be at a crossroads, forge ahead together, or...what? Nell still has some heavy issues to work through, and I was rooting for them.

This is the first book by Sheila Connolly I've read, and I really enjoyed it. Now I need to read the first four books in this series and see how it all began.

Source: Review copy from the publisher ( )
  bookofsecrets | May 30, 2014 |
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Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. --Benjamin Franklin
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I was standing at the sink making a stab at clearing up the breakfast dishes when Special Agent James Morrison of the Philadelphia FBI came up behind me, wrapped his arms, around my waist, and kissed my neck.
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Book description
When a powerful developer approaches Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, to research the history of the old dairy farm he's purchased for his next big project. The land has been in the same family's ownership since the Revolutionary War; he wants to be sure there aren't any archeological or historical surprises that could derail his project. Nell will be able to hire a project researcher; and they accompany the developer to the proposed site, and are shocked to find a body floating in a pond. The dead man is an amateur history enthusiast. Soon after bringing dogs to help locate the site of the murder, they find two ancient skeletons buried on the property that the dead man must have discovered as well. Why does the discovery lead to murder?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425257134, Mass Market Paperback)

More information to be announced soon on this forthcoming title from Penguin USA.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:28 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Once again Nell Pratt has to dig into the past to solve a murder in the present... Between the challenges of her position as president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia and of taking her relationship with FBI agent James Morrison to the next level, Nell Pratt has got her hands full. Nevertheless, when a powerful developer approaches the Society to make sure the old dairy farm he wants to level is not hiding any archeological or historical surprises that could derail the project he's planning, Nell decides to make time to personally accompany him to the proposed site. But when they get to the property, they stumble upon a startling discovery--a body floating facedown in a pond. The dead man turns out to be an amateur history enthusiast, who may have uncovered secrets about the farm that got him killed. Now it's up to Nell and James to get to the bottom of things before there are more deadly developments" --… (more)

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