Sunday, 4 October 2015

Murder in a Mill Town - P.B. Ryan

Murder in a Mill Town - P.B. Ryan
After reading the first of the Nell Sweeney mystery books the other day, (you can see my review here) I couldn't resist moving onto the second in the series. I didn't go straight into it, but I'm not reviewing every book I read at the moment, so it is the next one that you are going to hear about. 

Murder in a Mill Town picks up some months after the end of Still Life with Murder, and Nell hasn't seen Will since. The story opens with Nell in her governess role, playing the Mad Hatter's tea party from Alice in Wonderland with Gracie. Not only does this show Nell in the position that she holds in the Hewitt household, but it also gives Gracie the opportunity to proclaim 'How dweadfully savage' something is, with great comic timing, a little further into the story.

Nell is called downstairs to listen to the plight of a couple who's daughter is missing. She had been working at the Hewitt family Mill, run by the third of the Hewitt son's, Harry. Having already appealed to him for help and getting nowhere, they have now turned to his mother, Viola, for assistance. Nell finds herself sent off on an investigation for a second time, to attempt to find out what has happened to the missing girl. Before long she runs into Will again and the two of them begin to investigate together, particularly when it becomes clear that Will's younger brother, Harry, is caught up in the affair one way or another. 

In the first book we learnt a little of Will's past, his experiences during the civil war and how he came to be an opium addict and a gambler. In Murder in a Mill Town we are shown much more of Nell's back story and her life prior to becoming part of the Hewitt's household. Nell and Will become closer and work well together, but as the past is revealed their growing relationship comes under increasing strain.

The first time I read this book I didn't work out who done it and the end came as a surprise, that may of course have just been me being a bit slow, but either way, I did think that the mystery worked and didn't leave big unanswered questions. I have already mentioned that I love this whole series, so it will come as no surprise that I love this book and highly recommend it, (but read Still Life with Murder first).

By the end of Murder in  Mill Town, you may well find that you're a good way to being in love with Will, if you're the type that does fall for fictional characters, I certainly was. I'll try to hold off reading the third in the series, for a few days at least.