Murder in the North End
In this fifth mystery featuring Nell Sweeney, Detective Colin Cook is wanted for the murder of a man in the unsavory North End of Boston a few years after the end of the Civil War. Nell had worked with Detective Cook in the past, and can’t believe he could be guilty, even though eyewitnesses saw him standing above the body with his gun drawn. Nell is determined to find out the truth, and in this she is assisted by Dr. Will Hewitt, son of her employer and the man she finds herself strongly attracted to. At the end of the last book, Will had left for Shanghai when he thought that he and Nell had no future together, but he has found he can’t stay away. His return comes at an auspicious time for Nell.
The author makes the smells and sounds of the slums of the North End come alive. Cook’s alleged victim died in an establishment that is part bar, part boxing ring, part dancehall, and full house of corruption and vice. Readers will feel that they are there, the writing is so vivid. The characters, some virtuous but many not, really come alive as well. Nell and Will advance in their relationship, yet their future together is anything but assured. Readers new to the series are advised to start with Still Life with Murder and work through the books sequentially for the fullest reading experience.