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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • The Secret Staircase!

    This cozy featured two mysteries: one from the past and one in the present. Even though the plot was very well-written, and the setting of the mansion and the grounds was beautifully described, I didn't really like any of the characters, including the main character, Kate. Maybe if I read some of the other books in this series, it would give me an insight into her character. The ending was a little sad and poignant.

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  • The Project

    Kate is involved in restoring an old mansion called "The Barton Mansion" once owned by a factory owner. Her dream is to restore the whole town to a Victorian village, but the Barton house is the first on her list. She engages a contractor, a plumber, and an electrician to restore the house. Unfortunately the work is halted not once but twice. The first time is when a hollow wall is found in the kitchen with a body behind it that fell down a secret staircase. Work begins again but another body shows up as the plumber is found dead from falling down a staircase. Kate does her best with her friends and the workers to renovate the house, but is it too big of a task for her? Can her friends help her find out the historical information she needs to sell the house as a Victorian tourist attraction? Will the mystery of the body in the wall and the unfortunate plumber be solved? Who was to blame, will we ever find out? This was a very engaging mystery, a lot of history of Victorian times and a lot of who done it questions to be answered. I enjoyed the book and I would recommend it. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own. Thanks to Sheila Connolly, St. Martin's Press, and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy to review.

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  • Escapist Read...Very Cozy, Predictable

    Mansion mysteries, especially those with hidden rooms/staircases, yank me right in. This one is set in Maryland where Kate finds herself between jobs with time and energy on her hands. Her passion is restoration and she is itching to tackle the Barton Mansion project. Workers are hired. But soon a body is found which manages to disrupt proceedings. Secrets and shenanigans ensue. What starts as a heritage restoration becomes an investigation. Though the story is just fine, it lacks oomph, suspense and mystery. The characters are one dimensional. Those seeking a riveting read may be a bit disappointed but if your desire is to read a quick escapist novel, do seek it out. My sincere thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley.

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  • Great Read

    Third in the Victorian Village Mystery series, The Secret Staircase offers a few twists and turns to keep the reader interested. A mysterious death leads to a look back in history to solve the case while a new death in the house creates suspicion. A fun, easy read which I would definitely recommend.

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  • Good whodunit

    cozy-mystery, historical-research, historic-buildings, murder, murder-investigation, renovation, family-dynamics, friendship, Maryland, small-town***** The first body was over a hundred years old, but the investigators still had hands full because it had been walled away. There seemed to be no clue as to his identity, but the friends were working on history of the house the town needed to be restored. There are historical research professionals, a construction manager, an FBI agent, and Kate who is more familiar with modern grandiose establishments. The characters are all interesting and well developed, the imagery clear. I devoured it in one sitting! This book stands alone, but I want to read previous in the series because I liked this one so much! I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from St. Martin's Press/Minotaur Books via NetGalley. Thank you!

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