Sunday, January 18, 2015


Sheila Connolly (born 1950) is a mystery writer and author of three mystery series published by Berkley Prime Crime.


The protagonist of this series described herself in the first book "Fundraising The Dead" as:

"I'm Eleanor Pratt - Nell to my friends- and I'm a director of development for the Society... it means I'm a fundraiser. I'm the one who writes those begging letters you get from nonprofit organisations every couple of months. It's not my name at the bottom- oh no, it's the president's, or, if your bank balance runs to seven figures or you're sitting on your great-grandfather's priceless library of Americana, the president's and the board chair's. But I'm the one who writes the letter,... I'm the invisible person who keeps the money flowing. 
I'm also the one who, when I say I'm a fundraiser, you run screaming from, your checkbook tightly clutched in your hand. Why would anyone go into fundraising? What starry-eyed college student ever said, with a gleam in his or her eyes, 'Gee, I want to beg for money when I grow up?' Well my answer is simple: I was an English major in college. Need I say more? I had drifted into development after a few years of trying to find an academic job, and then discovered I liked the work. I've been at it for more than a dozen years now, and at the Society for the last five of them. In addition to sending out endless mailings and grant proposals, and currying favour from potential donors, party planning is one of my responsibilities. And finally, after many,  many months of agonising over the theme of the evening, the perfect font for the invitations,  the menu selections, the arrangements of the table, and dozens of other details, here we were, just hours away from the anniversary gala."

"All was going according to plan. Even the weather had cooperated, the October evening crisp and cool, and blessedly dry. It was time to jump into the water and get my feet wet. 
I continued my descent of the staircase, largely unnoticed, even though I'd made time to put on a dress and heels. I'm used to being not noticed: I waved good-bye to thirty-five a few years ago, but am fighting forty; I'm carrying ten extra pounds (all right, fifteen) that I would gladly give to someone who deserved them; and my features could be best described as pleasant, and apparently easy to forget. But I like my job, and I'm good at it, so I don't worry if people's eyes pass right over me- as long as they sign their checks."


1) Fundraising The Dead

At the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society in Philadelphia, fundraiser Eleanor "Nell" Pratt solicits donations -- and sometimes solves crimes. After all, murder is not good for public relations...

At the museum, a few missing documents could be a major embarrassment. When a collection of George Washington's letters is lost on the day of the Society's grand gala, heads will certainly roll...but no one expects an archivist to be found dead.

Fundraiser Nell Pratt is frustrated when the Society president -- whom she also happens to be dating -- doesn't seem to be pushing for an investigation. And when Nell goes digging for answers herself, she just may uncover a long, rich history of crime...

(Books Not Yet Read)

2) Let's Play Dead
3) Fire Engine Dead
4) Monument To The Dead
5) Razing The Dead

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