24 June 2011

Just finished reading...

Let's Play Dead by Sheila Connolly.*

Nell Pratt isn't quite sure how it happened, but she's no longer fundraiser for the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society. She's the president. She's so busy acclimating that she barely has time to hire a replacement fundraiser or an assistant for herself, but she finally manages.

While she's working her way through the seemingly endless pile of paper, Nell gets a call from Arabella Heffernan, her counterpart at the nearby children's museum, Let's Play with an invitation to pop over and check out their new exhibit based on a series of children's books about Harriet the Hedgehog and friends.

While trying to show Nell how the interactive hedgehog figure works, one of the workers gets a severe electrical shock. An ambulance is called, and although Joe is fine, Arabella has the electrical system for the entire exhibit double-checked. A few days later, an electrician receives a shock from another figure, but this time it's fatal.

Nell was prepared to think of the first incident as an accident, but she's certain that two electrical shocks within a couple of days is not a coincidence.

Nell is still a bit nervous in her new position. What if the media connects the incidents at Let's Play with the problems at the Antiquarian Society a few months earlier? Connolly's protagonist could be any young woman thrust into a new position of responsibility, capable and competent, but still insecure enough to second-guess herself. Nell's reluctance to be the subject of a matchmaking scheme is also understandable, given her romantic trauma in the previous book.

This is one of those series in which it really helps to read the books in order; knowledge the events that produce the state of affairs in this book is essential in order to understand the motivations of many of the characters here. That shouldn't be a problem, though, as both books are quick reads of the "can't-put-it-down-till-the-end" variety.

*FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.

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