Nell Sweeney

4 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 501 ratings

Still Life with Murder Publisher's Summary

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.

©2003 Patricia Burford Ryan (P)2014 Patricia Burford Ryan
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  • Book 1

    • Still Life with Murder

    • Nell Sweeney Mystery, Book 1
    • By: P.B. Ryan
    • Narrated by: Leigh Ryan
    • Length: 9 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 266
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 244
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 243

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Outstanding mystery and narration!

    • By Consequences Schmonsequences on 08-14-14

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 2

    • Murder in a Mill Town

    • Nell Sweeney Mystery , Book 2
    • By: P.B. Ryan
    • Narrated by: Leigh Ryan
    • Length: 7 hrs and 55 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 98
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 89
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 88

    Nell Sweeney, a young Irish-born governess in post-Civil War Boston, may not have much, but she does possess both a keen mind and a brave heart. As governess to the wealthy Hewitt family, she finds plenty of opportunities to use both - especially when the seamy side of society shows itself. The lowborn Fallons come to Viola Hewitt with a desperate plea for help. Their wayward daughter, Bridget, a pretty young employee of Hewitt Mills and Dye Works, hasn’t been seen for days.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • An all time fave in a whole new way

    • By Punky585 on 09-18-14

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 3

    • Death on Beacon Hill

    • Nell Sweeney Mystery Series, Book 3
    • By: P.B. Ryan
    • Narrated by: Leigh Ryan
    • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 74
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 71
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 70

    As governess to the wealthy Hewitts, Irish immigrant Nell Sweeney belongs to no particular caste - hers is halfway between her brethren and the Brahmin. But now, a double murder involves both maid and mistress - and it will take cooperation by rich and poor alike to solve it. All of Boston is talking about the murder of Virginia Kimball. The famous actress, past her prime but still a renowned beauty, was found shot to death in her Beacon Hill townhouse, along with her young Irish - American maid, Fiona Gannon.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • More I want more

    • By barbara on 01-01-15

    Regular price: $19.95

  • Book 4

    • Murder on Black Friday

    • Nell Sweeney Mystery Series, Book 4
    • By: P.B. Ryan
    • Narrated by: Leigh Ryan
    • Length: 6 hrs and 8 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 63
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 56
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 56

    On Sept. 29, 1869, the gold market crumbles, and fortunes are lost in a matter of hours. When the bodies of two men, wealthy Boston Brahmins Noah Bassett and Philip Munro, are found, it's assumed that they committed suicide over their financial losses. But when Harvard professor and forensic scientist Will Hewitt autopsies the victims, he discovers that Munro was murdered. Dr. Hewitt needs help navigating the city and its complex society to find the killer. He turns to governess Nell Sweeney, who understands the world of the rich and how their power can be used to hide their secrets

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • 1869 Gold Crash, the Haves and the Have Nots

    • By Debbie on 03-24-16

    Regular price: $19.95