Death on Beacon Hill
by P.B. Ryan
Boston, 1869: 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. Evidence suggests the two women traded shots after Virginia came upon Fiona trying to steal her famous diamond necklaces.
Devastated by this news, Fiona’s uncle, who serves as driver to the wealthy Hewitts, begs Nell to find out what really happened. The Hewitts’ estranged son, Will, accompanies Nell as she investigates Virginia’s scandalous romantic liaisons. It turns out there are quite a few people who might have wanted her dead, particularly her rich and powerful lovers, whose amorous exploits she recorded in a red leather – bound journal – a journal that has been missing ever since her death. Now, terrified men all over Boston, once blackmailed by the actress, will do whatever it takes to make sure her infamous “Red Book” never sees the light of day.
(69,000 words; e-book $3.99 USD)
Reviews of Death on Beacon Hill
“I decided to start the year off with my favorite mystery series. The mystery itself—what really happened that afternoon at Mrs. Kimball’s and who killed her and her maid—kept me guessing… Highly recommend the series.” —Babbling Book Reviews
“[Nell is] intelligent and has a strong sense of justice… She only takes action after careful consideration, never rushing to throw herself in harm’s way….The mystery consists of several layers, and is constructed quite well… It’s clear from the beginning that things are not as they seem; this serves to keep the reader interested in ferreting out the clues alongside Nell. I’m looking forward to another installment.” —The Romance Reader’s Connection
“Death on Beacon Hill continues Ms. Ryan’s excellent Nell Sweeney series. The rich characterization and her strong evocation of place, coupled with a well-plotted tale, make for a rich story. Add a clever conclusion and Ms. Ryan delivers a fascinating read.” —Fresh Fiction