Nell Pratt is the president of the Philadelphia Antiquarian Society, an institution which has been having some interesting times lately--this being volume four in a mystery series. But surely thingss have quieted down now. Crises are resolved, Nell is dating FBI Special Agent James Morrison, and the Society has a large stash of possibly stolen documents it is sorting and cataloging for the FBI. And on her train ride in to work one morning, Nell reads the obituary of a former Society board member. It's not an expected death, but the woman was elderly, and there's no suggestion it was anything but natural.
Then as she's working at her desk that morning, James Morrison calls, and tells her he thinks the former board member's death wasn't natural. He thinks he's seeing a pattern of deaths in older members of Philadelphia's cultural world.
There's enough back story salted in to let readers new to the series pick up the essentials and follow what's going on among the continuing characters. This is a world where historians and reference librarians and catalogers matter, techies are valued for their skills, and the sticky mind that retains details others might find trivial is a valuable asset. Nell, her staff, and James have to work through lots of detail about Philadelphia's cultural world without, at first, really knowing what they're looking for. This isn't action-adventure and won't be to everyone's taste, but it moves along, and the characters and background are interesting, and for me, absorbing.
Alongside the mystery, the characters and their personal lives are also well-developed, likable, and interesting.
Recommended for anyone who enjoys a good cozy mystery.
I received a free copy of the audiobook from Audible in exchange for an honest review.