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Privy to the Dead by Sheila Connolly

Privy to the Dead (2015)

by Sheila Connolly

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An excavation in the basement of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society may or may not have anything to do with a recent death outside the building. Nell Pratt, president, has an unfortunate prior relationship with local police, so is unsurprised by their visit to the society. The victim is a worker that helped clear out an ancient privy that was unearthed in the basement and the question is, what did they really find in there? The history of privies is outlined and quite interesting, just another one of those archeological sites for those in the history business. I really liked the way Nell had the staff, and good friend Marty Terwilliger, pull together to unearth historical documents about the early days of the society to see how they may help solve the mystery of today. ( )
  ethel55 | Jun 19, 2015 |
Privy To The Dead is the sixth book in the A Museum Mystery series.

I love all of Connolly's series, as not only does she give the reader a darn good mystery, but also provides the reader with an insight to what goes on behind the scenes in the protagonists' field of endeavor. In this series that would be the managing of a museum.

Much needed renovation are starting on the Society's building, when what is to be an old privy hole that has been covered since the building was built around an existing building back around 1907. Nell Pratt has the construction foreman to have a worker go down and see if there might be any artifacts in the hole. That evening the worker that entered the hole is hit by a car and killed in front of the museum. After investigating the scene, police feel that it might not have been an accident but murder. They learn that the victim had visited a neighborhood bar and had been showing off an escutcheon that could very well date back to the 1700's. At this point Marty Terwilliger, a member of the Society's board and a good friend of Nell, feels that it possibly might be from some furniture of the Terwilliger family, but can't imagine how it ended up in the privy hole. Never one to pass up a chance to learn historical facts of old items, Nell and Marty set off to find out where the piece came from and how it found it's way to where it was found.

This series has a wonderful cast of characters who are all dedicated to the Society and researching the rich history of Philadelphia. With the help of Shelby, director of development, and Lissa, an intern whose expertise old documents, prove a big help to Nell. Of course, Eric, Nell's personal assistant is their with a much needed cup of coffee for Nell.

Nell and James Morrison have purchased a lovely Victorian home in the suburbs of Philadelphia, but things have been so hectic that they haven't even put too much thought into furnishing it.

Will definitely be watching for the next book in this series. ( )
  FredYoder | Jun 1, 2015 |
I’m a big fan of author Sheila Connolly’s Orchard Mystery series. I’ve been wanting to start the Museum Mystery series for some time. The only thing holding me back was the setting. The Museum series in set in Philadelphia, rather than a small town. Even being less than two hours from Philly and having been there many, many times, I wasn’t ready for a cozy in a big city. I can admit I was wrong. The size of the city did not take away from so many of the things I enjoy about cozies mysteries. And an added bonus for me was actually knowing the names of some of the streets and places mentioned!

Ms. Connolly’s writing is fantastic. Like the Orchard series, PRIVY TO THE DEAD was very hard to put down. She knows how to pen a story that keeps the reader enthralled. I know I was. It really interesting to learn more about the ins and outs of a historical society and I can see why those involved are so passionate about what they do.

It was just about three chapters in before the main mystery components of the mystery got started, but I for one am okay with that. It’s a good way to get a feeling for the characters and settings before being thrown into the mystery and going into amateur sleuth mode. And what a mystery it was! I really got wrapped up in the story and was so surprised when the truth came out and everything became clear.

If you’re a fan of the series already, you are going to love this installment. If you haven’t read it and are looking for a new series to begin, you’ll be doing yourself a favor to give the Museum Mystery series a try. I will for sure be adding the first five books in this series to my TBR (To be read pile/stack)! ( )
  LisaKsBookReviews | Jun 1, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425273466, Mass Market Paperback)

In the latest Museum Mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of Razing the Dead, a suspicious death has Nell Pratt down in the dumps…
Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, has something to smile about thanks to a generous donation from a major Philadelphia developer who’s willing to help update their museum. But renovations have barely begun when a man is struck by a car in front of the building and killed.
The victim is a construction worker who found a curious metal object while excavating an old privy in the museum’s basement. Nell thinks the death is somehow connected to the Society, and her suspicions are confirmed when an antiques expert reveals a link between the objects from the cellar and a fellow staff member’s family.
Now Nell must unearth a mystery with ties to the past and the present. Because when someone is willing to kill over scrap metal, there’s no telling what they’ll do next…

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 14 Apr 2015 01:16:04 -0400)

When a construction worker who found a curious metal object while excavating an old privy in the museum's basement is murdered, Nell Pratt, president of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society, must unearth a mystery with ties to the past and the present to stop a killer.… (more)

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