Still Life With Murder

Still Life With Murder Book Cover

Book 1: Nell Sweeney Mysteries

A #1 National Bestseller

Boston, 1868: The dawn of the Gilded Age, an era of burgeoning commerce and invention, of unimaginable new fortunes and lavish excess—for some. Born into dismal poverty, young Nell Sweeney scratches by on her wits and little else until fortune blesses her with a position as nursery governess to the fabulously wealthy Hewitts. But she soon learns that ugly secrets lurk beneath the surface of their gold-plated world.

The Hewitts’ eldest son, William, a former Union Army battle surgeon and the black sheep of the family, was reported to have died three years before in a notorious Confederate prison camp. But one snowy February afternoon, his parents learn that he is, in fact, still alive—and in jail for having murdered a man while intoxicated on opium. Infuriated by his son’s deception and convinced of his guilt, August Hewitt forbids his wife from coming to Will’s aid, so she begs Nell to help exonerate him. Nell finds that she must delve into the kind of dark and treacherous underworld she thought she’d left far behind if she is to unearth the truth before the hangman’s noose tightens around William Hewitt’s throat.

Originally published by Berkley Prime Crime.

“P.B. Ryan makes a stunning debut with Still Life With Murder … I can’t wait for the next installment.”

~ Bestselling author Victoria Thompson

Still Life With Murder audiobook by Official Website of P.B. Ryan, Author of the Nell Sweeney Historical Mystery Series
Audiobook Edition

Still Life With Murder is now available on audiobook from these online booksellers:

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Format: Unabridged
Narrator: Leigh Ryan
Time: 9h 43m


“P.B. Ryan makes a stunning debut with Still Life With Murder…I can’t wait for the next installment.”

– Bestselling author Victoria Thompson

“A beautiful combination of entertaining characters, minute historical research, and a powerful evocation of time and place. I’m very glad there will be more to come.”

– New York Times bestselling author Barbara Hambly

“The atmosphere is that of The Alienist, but feisty Irish [governess] Nell Sweeney is a more likeable protagonist. I look forward to seeing her in action again.”

– New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen

“With its rich sense of place and time and a crisp, intelligent plot, readers will speed through this tale and be clamoring for more.”

– Bestselling author Earlene Fowler

“Utterly absorbing. Vividly alive characters in a setting so clearly portrayed that one could step right into it. A very clever plot in which each clue is clearly offered and yet the identity of the murderer is a complete surprise.”

– Bestselling author Roberta Gellis

“If you like fast moving, accurately drawn, historical mysteries, you won’t go wrong by trying Still Life With Murder.”

– Reviewing the Evidence

“Still Life With Murder is sheer perfection…gripping…powerful…unforgettable…You’ll know you’ve read one hell of a story after you turn the last page!”

– Reader to Reader Reviews

“…a highly entertaining book with a well-drawn pair of characters who have both sparkling chemistry and conversation. I’m looking forward to more Nell Sweeney mysteries.”

– All About Romance

“This debut mystery is a winner, with a feisty heroine, a colorful historical backdrop and a strong mystery rife with complexities. An ideal blend of history and mystery.”

– RT BookReviews

“A well-plotted mystery, with a memorable character in the person of Nell Sweeney.”

I Love a Mystery

“Readers will admire [Nell] 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.”

– Midwest Book Reviews

“This is the first book in the acclaimed [Nell Sweeney] Mysteries series, and has many things to recommend it. 1860′s Boston comes to vibrant life in Ms Ryan’s capable hands, and the vast gulf between rich and poor is well-delineated. Nell makes a sensible and plucky heroine, and I didn’t guess the denouement of this teasing plot. But the thing that stays in the memory is the author’s tactile descriptions of the recent war and the experiences of soldiers. The period immediately after the conflict is not often described, and Ms Ryan paints a memorable picture of a surface calm, the “still life” of the title, while underneath passions roil. Her descriptions of opium addiction are certainly enough to deter readers from drug taking, and this alone is an extra bonus to a tidy package of well-drawn characters, lively story and historical verisimilitude.”


The Details

Publisher: Berkley / Hawkley
Published: July 2003
ISBN-10: 0425191060
ISBN-13: 9780425191064


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