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Razing the Dead: A Museum Mystery    by Sheila Connolly Amazon.com order for
Razing the Dead
by Sheila Connolly
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Nell Pratt is President of the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia. Her Significant Other is FBI Agent James Morrison. They're having a bit of a problem deciding about their future together maybe I should say she is having a problem committing. He's all for the next step in their relationship living together.

Nell is approached by a well-known real estate developer to have the land he has purchased in the suburbs vetted. He wants to be sure no archeological find will hamper his plans. Since his plans seem to respect the land and its use, she agrees to help.

This land was once a dairy farm where I, in real life, purchased many a gallon of milk. I lived just up the road from the farm for ten years. West Chester, Pennsylvania, also plays a role. Unfortunately, in the story, a man is found, murdered, floating in a pond and later two much older bodies are found. They are believed to be Revolutionary War soldiers. Nell hires help to prepare a report on the history of this thousand acre plot of prime real estate.

Razing the Dead offers a very interesting outline of what must be done to clear a property of historical claims. The people involved. The documents that must be searched, not knowing whether or not a little fact buried in the reams of paper might subvert the whole plan.

I enjoyed the characters Nell especially. She questions her own reluctance to move her relationship to the next level. Is smart enough not to just jump in with both feet when she has doubts. She also is a knowledgeable administrator, but can't keep her nose out of a murder investigation.

Razing the Dead by Sheila Connolly is classed as a cozy. In my opinion, it is a step above that. It's a very good read from the pen of a woman who knows what she is doing and does it well.

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