Murder in the North End
by P.B. Ryan
Governess Nell Sweeney and Dr. Will Hewitt infiltrate the worst neighborhood in Boston to keep Detective Colin Cook from being framed for murder in Book #5 of P.B. Ryan’s celebrated historical mystery series, Murder in the North End.
(69,000 words; e-book $3.99 USD)
Reviews of Murder in the North End
“It’s always a good day when a new Nell Sweeney book arrives.” —CA Reviews
“Plucky Nell and her helpmate Will are well developed characters who are likeable and smart. The cast of supporting characters in this book is colorful and well drawn, making the book an easy read. All of the books in this series are enjoyable; Murder in the North End is no exception. P.B. Ryan has made a successful transition from romance to mystery novels and I eagerly await the next Gilded Age mystery.” Cozy Library
“Murder in the North End is a light read that you can cozy up to on a cold winter night in your easy chair by the fire…” —MyShelf.com
From Babbling Book Reviews:
Summary: Colin Cook was the only officer in the city’s Detective Bureau not to be found guilty of corruption and to escape being demoted or fired. But now he is a fugitive, wanted for killing a petty criminal in Boston’s North End, and the police believe Nell knows where the Irish cop is hiding. Nell doesn’t know where Colin is, nor does she believe her friend is capable of murder. To prove his innocence, she descends into the seedy and dangerous slums of the North End to look into the matter. Nell isn’t afraid of her fellow immigrants in the neighborhood, but Dr. Will Hewitt has his doubts—and he won’t let her conduct the investigation alone.
Comments: The Hewitts have gone to the Cape for their annual summer retreat, but Nell has remained in Boston to clear Detective Cook’s name. The odious, and disgraced, ex-detective Charles Skinner is sure that Nell is conspiring to keep him hidden, and he has threatened Nell. This doesn’t weaken her resolve to help her friend, but it puts her in danger. Before she gets far in the investigation, Will shows up and offers to help her—and protect her from Skinner. Will has returned from Shanghai, having realized that it’s too easy to give in to temptation. He would rather not lose his hard-won battle against opium addiction, or lose Nell’s regard, by returning to old habits. But nothing has changed for him in Boston, so Will is still in the same predicament he was before—in love with a woman he can’t have. He has two job offers to contemplate while helping Nell clear Cook’s name: take the five year teaching contract at Harvard, or go to France at President Grant’s request. Something has changed, though. Nell has begun to question her devotion to the Catholic Church. Will’s words to her at Gracie’s birthday party, the previous year, have affected her more than he knows—that it would be the Church, not God, turning its back on her if she was excommunicated. For the first time, Nell is willing to pursue a divorce. The ending is even more heart breaking than the previous book.