At The Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiques, fundraiser Eleanor “Nell” Pratt solicits donations-and sometimes solves crimes. When a collection of George Washington’s letters is lost on the same day that an archivist is found dead, it seems strange that the Society president isn’t pushing for an investigation. Nell goes digging herself, and soon uncovers a long, rich history of crime.
Fundraising the Dead is one of the multiple cozy mysteries picked up during my grad school bookstore wanderings. I couldn’t resist a mystery set in a museum. So many cozy series occur in an antique store, bookstore, or antique clothing store and it was nice to read something different. It was an added bonus to read about museum work which is one of my passions.
Nell is the fund-raiser specialist for The Society for the Preservation of Pennsylvania Antiques. She loves her job and is content working with the historic community. That is until she is alerted of some missing letters composed by George Washington. The next day she finds Alfred, who is in charge of the Society’s database, dead next to his precious computer. It seems as if more than just a few letters are missing and Nell is determined to catch the thief!
I really enjoyed Fundraising the Dead. I loved reading about all the stacks, the floors of artifact storage, and the variety of items maintained by the Society. I was like a kid in a candy shop reading about Alfred’s job because that is my dream job and nothing would make me happier than organizing artifacts and paperwork. Seriously folks, I’m that nerdy. I liked Marty and her whit. Her plan to organize a sneak attack of wealthy women on the Society thief had me laughing repeatedly. Her cousin, Jimmy, is probably my favorite character. I even had a soft spot for stubborn Nell and her love of order. More books should involve museums!
But I will be the first to admit that Fundraising the Dead is not for everyone. I will go as far as saying that most cozy lovers will have a hard time getting in to this one. The first half of the book is just SLOW. It was a tad tedious to get through and I am someone who loves everything about the ends and outs of museum organization. It will be even slower for someone not well versed with the museum/archives world. I also had a tough time initially connecting with Nell. She comes across cold.
Good news for those who stick it with it; the plot speeds up and the characters are better developed as the story progresses. I eventually connected with Nell when she finally teams up with Marty and just loved her by the time I turned that last page!
What do you think about setting a mystery in a museum?