Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fundraising the Dead, by Sheila Connolly

Fundraising the Dead (A Museum Mystery)Eleanore "Nell" Pratt is the Director of Development for the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, which basically means she is a professional fundraiser.  So when she uncovers a mystery that involves stolen historical items being sold on the collectors black market, and possible murder, well, she is way outside of her job description.  Could someone at the society really be responsible for these heinous crimes?  What is a history loving girl to do?

When I read the description of this book, I had a feeling I was in for something special, and boy howdy, I was right!  This book was a trip and a half, and completely unlike anything I have ever read.  I tend to steer away from mystery books for the most part, because they all seem so similar, but this one was so unique.

First off, we have the setting element of the historical society, which is part library, part museum.  There are a lot of politics involved in these kinds of organizations, and Connolly captures them beautifully.  It made for a truly one of a kind setting.  Second, I love that this book was set in Philadelphia.  Sadly, I have never visited this historically rich area, but this book certainly make me long to.  I am a sucker for books that tap into the richness of a particular geographic setting, and this one does so brilliantly.  It also ties in the concept of old Philadelphia society; all of these elements are woven together for an intricate tapestry of a plot.

The characters are so memorable.  You instantly feel a connection with Nell, though I have to admit my favorite character is Marty Terwilliger (whom I always address by both names).  I found myself laughing out loud at her at more than one instance.

Overall, this book was a fabulous read.  It releases on October 5th, so if you are looking for a good mystery to keep you up on those cool autumn nights, this is just the ticket.  You can even pre-order it now.  Mystery lovers will be pleased, I think given the historical subtext historical lovers will enjoy as well.  And lovers of Philly should read it just because it showcases the city so well in my opinion!

A touring review copy of the book courtesy of Crazy Book Tours.

 Crazy Book Tours