We’re pleased to re-post this book review of the first in Nancy Martin’s Blackbird Sisters Mysteries; we first ran it last year when Nancy was scheduled to visit our libraries, and we’re running it again because she’ll be here this week!
The Blackbird sisters come from an old, respectable, wealthy Pennsylvania family. At least, they did until their parents fled the country. Now they just come from an old family with a somewhat murky reputation. Their parents left a mixed legacy for the three sisters. Libby got the antique furniture, Emma got the artwork, and Nora was left the old homestead. This sounds great, except Nora also inherited the two million dollar tax bill that goes with the land. Of course, like most sisters, they rarely agree and each thinks the others got the better deal.
Nora, the one with the land, has taken a job as an assistant to the gossip columnist of the local newspaper. She’s trying to make a go of it, despite a boss who hates her, when she finds the body of Rory Pendergast. Rory was a close friend to the Blackbirds who also owned the newspaper and gave Nora her job, so Nora is determined to find out what happened to him. Because of the standing of the Blackbird family, the police agree that Nora might be better placed to find inside information about the elite families of Philadelphia.
How to Murder a Millionaire is a fast and fun beginning to The Blackbird Sisters Mysteries. It has an intriguing mystery and the author’s descriptions of fabulous parties and the stylish clothes worn by the well-to-do give you a glimpse into another lifestyle. The historical notes about Philadelphia were also interesting to me. There is a young police detective and a shady character Nora sells some land to who sometimes help her with her investigations. Both of them are also potential love interests for Nora. In addition, the rivalry between the sisters is very true to life. You can actually want to protect and kill one of your siblings at the same time (not that I am speaking from experience!). I look forward to reading the rest of this series.
Nancy Martin is the author of many mystery, suspense, historical and romance novels. Nominated for the Agatha Award for Best First Mystery of 2002, How to Murder a Millionaire won the Romantic Times award for Best First Mystery and was a finalist for the Daphne DuMaurier Award. Nancy has also written the Roxy Abruzzo mystery series.
Nancy will appear at several Wake County Libraries in this week on a mystery author panel hosted by Raven award winner Molly Weston She will be joined by fellow mystery writers Deborah Coonts and Brad Parks.