The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly

Barbara’s Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Publication Date: 8/24/21

Series: Victorian Village Mysteries #3

Period:  Contemporary Maryland

Number of Pages:  304

Since the last book, things are moving right along in the tiny Maryland village of Asheboro.  After the sizable donation from Mid-Atlantic Power, Kate and her board have been able to start work on restoring Henry Barton’s shovel factory and have even begun planning for the restoration of the Barton’s Victorian mansion.  If all continues to move forward, they should be able to begin work on Main Street before too long.  Kate, and the town’s, dream of creating an authentic Victorian Village – complete with downtown area, mansion, and factory will save the town from totally disappearing.  So much is riding on the success of this project, and then … they find a body hidden in a closed-up stairwell.  Why is the 100-year-old body in the stairwell?  What happened to the man?  Was he murdered?  Did he fall down the stairs and die?  Why would anyone wall him in?  Since the house has been closed up for over a hundred years, they’ll probably never know the answer.  But when another body is found – a very recent death – also having fallen down a stairway – well – things get curioser and curioser.

Kate vacillates between feeling positive about the project and apprehensive about it.  Has she bitten off more than she can chew?  The publicity around finding not one, but two dead bodies at the Victorian mansion could very well keep donors from contributing to the project, so Kate, Josh, and Carroll know they have to pull out all of the stops to learn the personal history of the reclusive Henry and Mary Barton.  Learning that may help them solve the mystery behind the 100-year-old corpse.  Is the second body related to the first in some way?  Is it some weird family feud?  The victim wasn’t a very pleasant fellow, so who did he anger enough to kill him?

This was a thoroughly enjoyable story.  The mystery (both of them) was intriguing and the solution unexpected.  There were lots of clues to follow and lots of suspects to clear before we finally have solutions.  I also love following along with the overarching story of Kate leading the charge to turn Asheboro, Maryland into a vintage Victorian Village similar to Williamsburg, VA.  I hope you’ll give this book a try and love it as much as I did.  I definitely miss this author and all of her lovely series.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

2 thoughts on “The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly

    1. I have thoroughly enjoyed the books in this series – and I was so looking forward to seeing where the village would end up and what kind of romance there might be with Josh, etc. But sadly, we’ll never know. I loved several of this author’s series and I’m really going to miss her.

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