Customer Reviews for

Still Life with Murder (Nell Sweeney Mystery Series, #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

124 out of 140 people found this review helpful.

An Amazing Book that's part of an Amazing series!

Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan is the first book in a series about an irish catholic governess and her life with the family that employs her and their son that was thought to be dead. It is a mystery series with Nell( the governess) acting as an amateur detective a...
Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan is the first book in a series about an irish catholic governess and her life with the family that employs her and their son that was thought to be dead. It is a mystery series with Nell( the governess) acting as an amateur detective alongside Will ( the son that pretended to be dead). Nell is harboring a dark secret when Viola, her employer, gets news that her son is alive and in jail for murder. She sends Nell to go investigate and thus starts the beautiful but complicated relationship between Will and Nell. As Nell tries to figure out what really happened the night that Will alledgedly killed someone, she uncovers secrets about the town and Will's past. She and Will also have a chemistry that isn't easily ignored but they do their best.This book is for anyone who loves mystery.Set in Boston right after the Civil war, this is a fast-paced mystery thriller that involves crime, love, secrets, and death.

posted by CMACND on April 5, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

9 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

OK skimmed most of it

Poor editing - fonts change, spacing too. Very annoying. Story drawn out, if tightened would hold readers interest.

posted by 19203833 on January 31, 2012

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    An Amazing Book that's part of an Amazing series!

    Still Life With Murder by P.B. Ryan is the first book in a series about an irish catholic governess and her life with the family that employs her and their son that was thought to be dead. It is a mystery series with Nell( the governess) acting as an amateur detective alongside Will ( the son that pretended to be dead). Nell is harboring a dark secret when Viola, her employer, gets news that her son is alive and in jail for murder. She sends Nell to go investigate and thus starts the beautiful but complicated relationship between Will and Nell. As Nell tries to figure out what really happened the night that Will alledgedly killed someone, she uncovers secrets about the town and Will's past. She and Will also have a chemistry that isn't easily ignored but they do their best.This book is for anyone who loves mystery.Set in Boston right after the Civil war, this is a fast-paced mystery thriller that involves crime, love, secrets, and death.

    124 out of 140 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Thoroughly Loved Nell!

    This was a very quick read with great characters. Purchased the 2nd in the series as soon as I finised the first.

    59 out of 63 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2011

    Dark Mystery in Victorian Boston

    I really loved this book. As someone fully enthralled with the Victorian era, I really was not disappointed. Ms. Ryan has certainly done her research. Nell may have some modern sensibilities, but I didn't think they were out of place here. Considering her background, her unique situation, she might very well have been one of the women (a few decades later) to bring about reforms for women. The dark horse, a flawed hero if ever there was one (or is he a hero at all?) is an accomplishment in characterisation. Complicated, dark, brooding, an addict, and yet we root for him as if he were one of our nearest and dearest. I found the solution to the mystery completely unexpected, the twists and turns breathtaking. I'm looking forward to reading all the books in this series. I haven't been able to put them down since I started just a few days ago. It's been a long time since I was hooked like this. Well done, Ms. Ryan! You have a fan in me.

    49 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2011

    Recommended Highly

    This book was totally different from my normal read. I found this book to be well written and captivating. All mystery readers try to figure "Who Dun it", not until the end did I expect and even then there was a twist.

    I have already ordered the next book in the series.

    ENJOY!

    26 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great historical mystery.

    This is an excellent historical mystery set in Boston, MA after the civil war. It is the first in a series. The main character is Nell Sweeney who is a governess for a wealthy family in Boston. Her story is interesting and the murder mystery takes many twists and turns. I was surprised at the ending, though it did feel slightly rushed. Excellent story, great writing, and interesting characters. We are introduced to Will Hewitt, the black sheep son of her employer who is accused of murder. He is former surgeon and current opium addict. Highly recommend this to anyone who likes mysteries or historical fiction. I am looking forward to reading more in this series.

    19 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent Historical Mystery Series

    Nell Sweeney is a girl with a past that must remain hidden. Her strong sense of values and willingness to risk herself to help others make her a likeable heroine. These six novels are a wonderful window into Victorian Boston, and how the people of that era faced problems similar to today's issues - like high unemployment, discrimination, crime and drug abuse. Very enjoyable and unexpected. Highly recommended!

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Ryan makes excellent debut with this exciting mystery

    After their mother died from cholera and their father ran off with another woman, the three Sweeney children are sent to the Barnstable County Poor House where the youngest died from diphtheria. Nell fell in love with her brother¿s thieving friend Duncan, but he turned out to be an abusive person who hurt her so badly that she needed extensive medical care proved by Dr. Greaves. In time, she became his mistress and apprentice until the day they delivered the baby of a Hewitt servant.<P> Viola Hewitt adopts the child and hires Nell to be the baby¿s governess. Viola sweeps Nell into the world of the Boston Brahmin. After working there for four years, word arrives that the eldest son, thought to have died in a confederate prison camp, awaits trial for cold-blooded murder. Viola asks Nell to find evidence that will set her oldest son free since his father doesn¿t care if he hangs. Nell risks everything to clear Will because she believes he is innocent despite all the evidence to the contrary.<P> Post-Civil War Boston is an interesting place to be as the scars from the fighting though distant from the city still linger in unexpected places. Nell is a woman of mystery who hides secrets that she hasn¿t revealed which should be disclosed in future books. The heroine is a spunky woman who climbed out of a poverty-stricken and crime infested area to make something of herself. Readers will admire her and won¿t be able to resist her many charms. STILL LIFE WITH MURDER is a well-constructed and fascinating mystery in what looks to be a great series.<P> Harriet Klausner

    18 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Excellent read.

    Like reading about Civil War history, very much enjoyed reading this fiction history/mystery book. Unexpected ending. Purchased next book in the series.

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    More please!

    Fantastic book! I was very drawn into the story and found myself wanting to know more about the characters. I am looking very much forward to reading more!

    15 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Great period novel.

    Absolutely loved this book. Story had a good main plot and logically developed the solving of the murder. Looking forward to reading more from this author.

    14 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The start of a great historical series with a romance included.

    9 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Good read.

    I am looking foreard to Nell's next adventure.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Very good book! It was a page turner and kept me absorbed. I would definitely read more books from this author.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2012

    Highly Recommend this series of books

    Really Loved this book! Love the characters,real page turner currently reading the 2nd in this series and looking forward to more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2011

    Great

    I thought this was such a fun read! Fell in love with the characters right away and could not put it down.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    Love It! Love It!

    I don't usually read historical novels, but this was a bargain 99 cent and sounded like it would be good. Well, it was GREAT and I now plan to read the entire series. This book held me from page 1 all the way through; I couldn't put it down. A definite must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Great read!

    I was leery the first few pages but quickly got caught up in the story. Off to purchase book two now!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    Very good mystery

    Although, I dont read mysteries often, I loved this one. Its a page turner with lots of historical interest and unique characters. Nells position as the governess in a prominent Bostonian's family places her in the middle of the story. She is fantasticly involved in the solving of a murder that take us in the seediest of Boston's slums. All this said, I didnt pause for one minute to question the plausibility of this. Great engaging story. Can't wait to read the next one

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2015

    Had it all

    Great mysteries. Strong heroine. Flawed yet real characters. Goid story arch. Real sense of history, society and classes. Will be rereadibg. Recommended it to my friends

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2014

    Great story

    Loved the story

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