Mansions of the Dead by Sarah Stewart Taylor

robynryle's review

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I liked the first book in this mystery series. She's an art historian, so you get some interesting history stuff thrown in. I will eventually grow tired if she seems to fall in love/lust with someone in every book.

quietjenn's review

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a decent mystery, although not particularly remarkable. sweeney is a likable enough amateur sleuth - stronger here than in the first book, although maybe i'm just getting used to her. but, as other have noted, the writing is sometimes a bit laborious and goes on a bit/repeats itself. i think that my major quibble is that stewart obviously did a lot of research and as such seems intent on sharing all that she learned in the course of it with the reader. and sometimes that's just not necessary.
additionally, some of the side stories, especially the bits about quinn and his homelife, felt really out-of-place and unnecessarily melodramatic. i assume this was done so that his relationship with sweeney can go in a certain direction in later books, but i really wasn't keen on it. and no, real cops would not be that tolerant and inclusive of someone like sweeney.
still, pretty readable and engrossing while in the midst of it.

prof_shoff's review

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Again, a quiet yet engaging mystery. Taylor doesn't focus on big sweeping scenes of increasing horror; her mysteries are somewhat mundane yet realistic. I'm already quite fond of the main character; Taylor's depiction of the inquisitive professor isn't overblown or too far out of focus.

depizan's review

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Two and a half stars, really. I felt like it held together better than the previous book in this series that I read. (Which was the third book. Nothing like reading series backwards.)

But it still had some flaws. Like a few other reviewers have commented, I'm not sure how the killer thought the murder was going to benefit them. I could've seen it if this were a case of semi-accidental murder (you know, ye old "I hit him and he fell and hit his head on the edge of the fireplace" kind of thing), but this was far more thought out than that. And then there's the tragic side plot that's just...there. I don't even know why it's there.

Ah well.