Still Life with Murder by P.B. Ryan. Nell Sweeney takes a job as governess to baby Grace. Although Grace was born to a servant, the servant’s employer adopts the baby and asks Nell to come along as her governess. In Boston, her employer discovers that her son, who she thought was dead, has been arrested for murder. Since her husband refuses to defend their son, Regina Hewitt asks Nell to secretly investigate. The man Nell finds in prison is a Civil War doctor ruined by opium.
This book fed into my fondness for historical mysteries. Nell is an interesting character, observant, artistic, and trained in medicine, but her past is shadowy, and her origins lower class. As her relationship with Will Hewitt grows more complex, Nell comes to believe that he couldn’t have been the murderer. This book, which I downloaded free from kindle, is the first in a series, and I’ll definitely be seeking out the next in the series. 4/5*