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. Mrs. Fallon, unwilling to believe that Bridget would just run off without a word, fears that she's come to a bad end - possibly at the hands of her ex-con lover. Viola, confined to a wheelchair, enlists Nell to locate the missing mill girl. Working with Viola's black sheep son, Will, Nell uncovers a web of schemes and greed and dark obsession - and what she knows may just be the death of her.
©2004 Patricia Burford Ryan (P)2014 Patricia Burford Ryan
I was dubious about listening to this sequel, I was unsure whether it could capture all of the elements of the first novel. I need not have feared. An equally credible story, incredibly well written and narrated, and as equally astounding conclusion. Well worth the time and money.
Enjoy! I'm going hot foot to purchase the 3rd (& hopefully not final) episode.
"An all time fave in a whole new way"
The entire series serves up opulent historical accuracy in a way that's fresh and light--never oppressively text-book-ish. And I love the chemistry between Will and Nell. It's a taut, exciting relationship between two characters with so many wonderful layers.
Leigh Ryan is a spot on match for Nell Sweeney. A really lovely fit. The fear with a well loved book is that the narrator won't do the character justice, but Ryan gets Nell just right. I'm also partial to her portrayal of Gracie. The performance is so accurate, you forget you're not listening to a real child.
"Fierce Characters, with an Enticing story!"
Gripping. Intelligent. Heart-pounding.
Without giving too much away (It is a SHOCKER!) I'll say that while the whole story captivated me, the END really had me on the edge of my seat. What a thrilling conclusion, I felt like I was right there with Nell.
Nell Sweeney is a wonderful, strong female lead - which isn't always the case in historical fiction. Leigh Ryan seems very adept at capturing all of Nell's highs and lows she goes through during Mill Town. That's not to say that her other characters weren't equally fleshed out. I was surprised at some points to remember the same person was doing all those voices!
More like shriek! (well, almost) It really made me jump at the end!
I enjoyed the first book in the series, Still Life with Murder, and I even more so loved Murder in a Mill Town. I am simply in love with the series, and I fully recommend these books to all my audio nut friends. Can't wait for the third!
"Vivid world, and what a mystery!"
This second book in the Nell Sweeney series had me guessing right up until the end. Wonderful setting, the world really came to life through Nell's eyes, and minute details fleshed out each character. Great mystery, very skilled narration, I am looking forward to the next in the series.
"Young Governess Sleuthing in Post Civil War Boston"
After solving the case and acquitting William Hewitt of murder, young governess, Nell Sweeney has gone back to her quiet, satisfying life of caring for little Grace at the Hewitt estate . . . not without much tension, since Viola Hewitt had to threaten to leave her husband, August in order to keep Nell on as Grace's governess . . . and now self-absorbed, hard drinking, womanizing son, Henry has moved out of the house in protest of Nell's continued employment, given the fact that she had openly insulted him in front of family and guests during the murder investigation . . . Henry and August continue to work together at the family business, Hewitt Mills and Dye Works . . . when one day Mr. and Mrs. Fallon, the parents of Bridie Fallon, an employee at the mill, come to the Hewitt home asking for help . . . their daughter is missing . . . Viola receives them, and soon has Nell on the search for the missing Bridie (unbeknownst to Viola's husband, August) . . . Nell's quest soon brings her back to Henry, who's been carrying on an affair with Bridie, and with Will, his brother, who has been trying to lead his younger brother on a straighter path . . . this second in the series delves deeper into Nell's past, connecting her with the man who nearly killed her years earlier . . . Will joins her in her search for Bridie and the boyfriend she was supposedly with, and to clear his brother of any suspicion in Bridie's disappearance . . . Will's slow rehabilitation from his opium use and better decision making mark a turn in his life . . . and Nell's forced confrontation with her past, though deeply painful, has its rewards . . . and the case they are trying to solve turns out anything but the way I expected . . . Bravo! Excellent mystery and resolution!
"Terrific sequel to the series"
If you haven't read the first book of the series, it's better to read that first. Each book is a standalone, but there is an overall story arc involving the main characters, which is easier to follow if you read the books in order. Nell and Will continue to grow and evolve along with their troubled relationship, and many aspects of Nell's past are relieved in the course of the mystery. Excellent murder mystery, just like the first novel. I also love the details about the constrictions of Victorian society and the heavy influence of the Catholic Church in those days. Narration was outstanding. Highly recommended!
"My new favorite historical crime series! - 4.4 Stars"
Very enjoying audio-listening again...
The Nell Sweeney Mysteries is maybe my favorite historical crime series right now. I love to be with these terrific fiction characters and I just want more audio-hours with this lovely narrator.
Murder in a Mill Town brings a new mystery case for Nell Sweeney. — A young worker woman has very strangely suddenly disappeared. Her parents, mother at least, are worried and they are visiting the Hewitt's townhouse to ask the Lady of the house for help. ...Their daughter was working at the Hewitt family's big textile mill. — We also learn more about Nel's past and Duncan.
# A new good mystery case. I wasn't sure who was the evil villain until the very last end and it was both exciting and thrilling heartbreaking.
# Best of course the slowly developing so very interesting relationship between Nell and Will.
Not a romance series but this is for sure for me. Looking forward to start the third audiobook "Death on Beacon Hill" really soon.
"The second book in the series and just ok"
I bought this book after reading the first one in the series. I enjoyed the first one more. This one was boring in comparison. It moved too slow. It did have the same great narrator as all of the books in this series. The 4th and the latest book,, Death on Black Friday, is not available for me to review for some reason. Perhaps because I returned it. So I"ll say here that I hated it. I thought there would be some closure to the relationship between Nell and the Dr. but there isn't. Their relationship has become too long and drawn out. I got tired of her good catholic girl persona and his wimpiness.
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