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Defending the Dead by Sheila Connolly
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Defending the Dead

by Sheila Connolly

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I just finished reading Defending the Dead by Sheila Connolly. It is the third book in the Relatively Dead series. Abby Kimball is currently out of a job, but is using the time to fix up the house where she lives with her boyfriend Ned Newhall. He purchased a lovely old Victorian that needs a lot of work. Abby and Ned share a gift. They can see the dead. Well, only deceased people who are ancestors. It seems that they have to be a lineal ancestor. Abby only discovered her gift when she moved into the area and took a tour of an older home. Abby can see them, sometimes even talk to them, or see scenes from the past play out front her ancestor’s point of view. Ned has had the gift since he was young, but he suppressed it (actually, outright ignoring it). Ned’s mother, Sarah, has the gift, but she did not embrace it either. Now, though, they have someone else to consider. Ellie has the gift. Ellie is Ned’s biological daughter. Ned’s ex-finance, married a nice man, George, who cannot have children. Ned was the donor for both of their children (they have a young son named Peter).

Leslie has not taken the news of Ellie’s gift very well. Leslie was also Abby’s boss at the museum, but she fired Abby (I personally do not think that it is fair or legal). Abby has too much time on her hands to think. Abby is working on the house, but it leaves her mind keeps whirling. Abby wants to find out more about her gift and decides that Salem and the witch trials would be a place to start. Wants Abby gets started, she gets drawn into the history and she wants to know why witch trials happened.

One day Abby gets a call and it is Ellie. She took a bus to get to Abby. Ellie misses Abby because she is the only person who understands what she sees and hears. This makes Leslie realize that she has to let Ellie see Abby. Ellie and Abby get together one day a week during the summer. The other days Abby is researching the witch trails and her family lineage. Will Leslie understand Ellie’s gift? What will be the outcome of Abby’s research into her Salem ancestors and the witch trials? Will Ned actually do any work on the house?

Defending the Dead is a good book, but I did not enjoy it as much as the previous two books. I do not understand why the characters never embraced their wonderful gift nor Leslie’s attitude toward Abby. This book is also very heavy on the history (I do not mind, but some people might feel bogged down by it). I give Defending the Dead 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoy reading Sheila Connolly’s books. I read all her series (Orchard Mystery Series, Museum Mystery series, the County Cork Mystery series, and the Relatively Dead Mystery series).

I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | May 3, 2015 |
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Abby Kimball has slowly accepted her recently discovered ability to see the dead, but none of the harmless sightings she's experienced could have prepared her for the startling apparition of a centuries-old courtroom scene-where she locks eyes with a wicked and gleeful accuser. Thrown back more than three hundred years, Abby realizes she's been plunged into a mystery that has fascinated people throughout American history: the Salem witch trials. With her boyfriend Ned at her side, Abby digs into the history of the events, researching the people and possible causes of that terrible time and her own connection to them-all the while going more deeply into her connection to Ned, both extraordinary and romantic. As Abby witnesses more fragments from the events in Salem and struggles with the question of how such a nightmare could have come about, she's suddenly confronted with a pressing personal question: Were one or more of her ancestors among the accused? Unraveling the puzzling clues behind that question just might give Abby and Ned the answer to a very modern mystery of their own.… (more)

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