Historically Dead

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

Really liked the hook of this cozy mystery, and I found seamstress Daria to be an intriguing character with some unusual and original sidekicks. Veered a little edgy, but the book kept my attention, and it made me want to go back and read the first one in this series. Nice. job!.
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This is a historically interesting cozy with a nice protagonist Darla who is interested in studying historical clothing for her sewing business. When her mentor is killed she decides to take on the case to determine the suspect. Along the way she meets challenges and threats to her safety.  She is also Hired to help ready a local historical home to its' Revolutionary War glory for a reality TV show.  The prize is a million dollars so she dives into that project with help from her friends..  She also has a budding romance with a local photographer which is just right for the story . 
I found this a friendly enjoyed easy read. The historical facts are truly fun and interesting. I look forward to the next in series.
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This was a great sophomore outing for seamstress Daria Dembrowski. Hired to help ready a local historical home to its' Revolutionary War glory for a reality tv show, Daria becomes involved in both the murder mystery and local mysteries about the real history of the Compton House. Laurel Springs has a bit of everything, including a nearby university to provide the historical background and researchers for the project. I wasn't sure how I felt about Daria's ex, but I like her blossoming friendship with newspaper photographer Sean McCarthy. (I love how she just refers to him as McCarthy all the time). Her brother Parker and tenant (and Twisted Armpit bandmember) Aileen round out what I feel are the basic characters for the ongoing series. All are well done and help propel the story along.
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Greta McKennan's Historically Dead is the second book in the Stitch in Time Mystery series.  Daria is sewing the clothes and curtains for a home being featured on a history themed reality show.  She thinks it will be a good for her business.  She begins to have doubts when a professor doing research is murdered and an attempt is made on one of the homeowners.  It hits even closer to home when strange things begin happening at her own house.  I liked getting to know Daria's roommate Aileen more.  The mystery was good and the historical portion was a nice touch.  I had read the previous book, but it is not necessary to enjoy this one.
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Princess Fuzzypants here:
Daria is a busy lady.  She is working on a wedding gown for a client as well as sewing curtains and dresses that are historically accurate for a tv show.  She is being advised by a history professor from the local college, that is until he is murdered and Daria discovers the body.  It seems the professor liked to explore scandals and revelled in breaking the stories.  It makes him a force with which to be reckoned but not popular with those in his crosshairs.
At the same time he was looking into the true story of a War of Independence hero, he is also looking at two more recent scandals.  Was his snooping into the distant past or the more recent past the cause of his demise?  Daria feels very protective of the elderly lady who owns the house where this all takes place..  Daria wants to be sure nothing untoward happens to her.  But Daria has some of her own history lurking in the background.
It seems the groom in the upcoming wedding is none other than the man who jilted her and drained her bank account after she put him through law school.  As the lawyer for the family who own the house as well as the prospective groom, he is looms everywhere.  Plus somebody is leaving some nasty messages for Daria.  Thankfully she has a kitty to help her maintain equilibrium.
Daria is a pleasant, if somewhat bland heroine.  She is a dichotomy- supposedly independent yet clingy.  There really wasn’t one character that truly grabbed me, except the two elderly sisters.  I enjoyed the book but did not love it.
I give it four purrs and one paw up.
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I am still a newbie when it comes to reading Cozy mysteries. I honestly can't decide if I like them or not, as they seem to conform to a specific formula of female protagonist/sleuth who is a usually an entrepreneur of some sort, with an animal companion, a best friend, and a love interest. 

That being said, I enjoyed Historically Dead, and would read the others in this series. Daria is a likable character, and Sean is a good love interest. She isn't constantly swooning over/pining for him like many Cozy heroines do. I liked Daria's brother Pete very much, her roommate Aileen, not so much.

The mystery itself was fun, with a good setting and logical pacing, although the murderer/bad guy (or gal) was very evident to me. 

I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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This is the first book I've read in the series. I enjoyed the main character and the quirky  secondary ones. The mystery was interesting and I liked the fact there was more than just who killed the victim one. I found it interesting enough to look for the previous book and am looking forward to the next.

I received an advanced copy from Netgalley for an honest review.
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The historical aspect puts a unique perspective on this cozy mystery. Not a subject I have particular interest in, but the story is engaging enough to keep me reading.
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My rating: 3 of 5 stars, I liked it.

Book 2 in the series.

I enjoyed this book more than the previous one. The characters are much more likeable here. The author combines history with modern day mystery, and some romance thrown in.

I'm still not a fan of Steve. I think he and Darla are kind of bland together. But the sisters, Ruth and Priscilla, more than made up for it. And the reappearance of Darla's thieving ex made things a bit more interesting as well.

This was an interesting and fun mystery and I am looking forward to the next book in the series.
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Historically Dead is the second book in the A Stitch in Time Mystery series. Daria Dembrowski is a seamstress. She loves her period clothing business, A Stitch in Time. Most of the time, she busies herself making period wedding gowns, doing alterations, or making projects for local churches. But, when she gets the chance to create historic period clothing for reenactors or other fun special occasions, she's more than willing. This time a reality show, My House in History, is featuring two local elderly sisters, Priscilla Compton and Ruth Ellis, who are restoring their colonial period mansion. A historian, Professor Burbridge, is helping make sure everything added to the home is correct and authentic. Imagine Daria's surprise when she shows up for a meeting with the historian, only to find him dead! Theft, arson and other crimes soon follow....    Who killed Professor Burbridge, and how is it connected to the Compton Mansion?

I really love this series! I'm completely obsessed with history and would LOVE it if there was a period clothing shop like A Stitch in Time anywhere near where I live! I enjoy Daria as a main character, and the story lines in this series have been really interesting so far! Book one dealt with Civil War reenactors....and now the Colonial era. I am so curious what the next book will bring. I will definitely be reading it! I liked the fact that there was a bit of romance added in for Daria in this newest book, along with an ex-boyfriend showing up. Randall......ugh. Boo! Hiss! Jerk! Not saying any more .... no spoilers!

Definitely a nice addition to this series!

To find out more about the author and her books, check out her website: http://www.gretamckennan.com/

**I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book from Kensington via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. **
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The second book in A Stitch in Time Mystery series is as great as the first. The main character, Daria, is still trying to get her sewing business that focuses on historical clothing off the ground. She has agreed to sew dresses and curtains for the owners of Compton Hall so they can appear in the TV show My House in History. As Daria goes to get the drawings of curtains from the resident professor she finds him bludgeoned to death. Once again Daria is unable to stay out of the investigation. Can Daria solve the murder before another one happens?

The sisters of Compton Hall are a trip. You have Ruth, who is a very unhappy person with just clause. Her oldest son disappeared many years ago and is feared dead, her husband died a fire that destroyed their home and she was acquitted of his murder. Her younger sister, Priscilla, who sees the happy and good in everyone. She lives her life pretty simple. They are as opposite of one another as you can get.

I cannot put my finger on why this series grips me so but it does. It may be her determination to pick up the pieces from a broken engagement and move on with her life. It takes a strong woman to rent a room to a stranger that is the lead singer of the Twisted Armpits. She takes in her brother who got off onto the path of drugs and destruction and helps him find his way again with unconditional love. 

There is more romance in the second book of the series. You have Daria and McCarthy, the local newspaper photographer, who are trying to figure out what they are to each other. We also get more of the backstory between Daria and Randall, the ex-fiancé. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review based on my own words.

#HistoricallyDead #NetGalley
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Historically Dead by Greta McKennan is the second book in the “A Stitch In Time Mystery” series. Daria Dembrowski is the Seamstress/Owner of “A Stitch In Time”. Working to make a name for herself in historical circles she has been commissioned to create historically accurate clothing and draperies for Priscilla Compton.

Priscilla and her sister are remodeling Priscilla’s 18th century home for a TV reality show “My House in History”. Everything about the house will be historically accurate to the 1770’s so all of the modern conveniences have to go, even the Japanese maple trees out front of the house have to be uprooted. A dozen other houses have been chosen to compete on the show for a $1 million dollar prize and a chance to be in the sequel “My Life in History”.

Daria wants to do a good job. Being known as a historical seamstress in Laurel Springs, Pennsylvania can mean a lot more business and finally, financial security. Things have been tight since her fiance left, taking all of their joint savings with him. All she had was the house they had shared and her business.

In order to ensure the draperies planned for the living room are historically accurate, she consults Professor Burbridge, Oliphant University’s History Professor. But before he can tell her his findings, she finds him dead in the library.

At first, it looks like a natural death, but he was murdered.

A Wonderful Job

Reading this book was thoroughly enjoyable. Although it is the second in the series, it does stand alone well. Of course, it leaves me wanting to get ahold of the first book.

The author has done a wonderful job of making Daria approachable and interesting. Her backstory is complete but not overwhelmingly so. Throughout the book, I felt like I was in the room watching everything she did. I could “see” the wheels turning whenever Daria was trying to work out a puzzle.

This is definitely a book I feel happy to recommend and I hope there will be many more books in the series.

Reviewed for LnkToMi iRead in response to a complimentary copy of the book provided by the publisher in hopes of an honest review.
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Having grown up with a grandmother who was a whiz with needle and thread (and who made period clothes for her antique dolls), I'm happy to say that there was enough information on period sewing to keep me interested in Greta McKennan's Stitch in Time cozy series. Historically Dead is the second book, but I didn't feel as though I'd walked into the middle of a conversation, which is always a plus. 

Daria is a talented and interesting main character who works amazingly well on very little sleep, doesn't own a car, and is in danger of wearing out the local bus system. She lives in an old Victorian house where she rents out rooms to her brother as well as to the lead singer of the Twisted Armpits-- a woman named Aileen whose food combinations should garner her a hit series on BARF TV.

McKennan has provided some excellent misdirection because I didn't have a clue about the identity of the killer, and I liked the resolution of the subplot involving a stolen Paul Revere platter. Where the book seriously stubbed its toe for me is with the entire My House in History scenario. It doesn't make sense. Untold amounts of money are being spent to remove decades (or centuries) of renovation to take the house back to its original appearance. This includes ripping out several fully grown Japanese maples and gutting the kitchen to put in a huge fireplace to cook the food... yet they didn't build an outhouse, tear out the laundry room, or erase the indoor bathrooms. This is a competition between several homeowners, so after spending all that money on the houses, the production company is going to turn around and pay the winner a million dollars? If that's true, there are hundreds of similar companies that would kill to have their advertising revenue.

If not for that particular stumbling block in which I could not persuade my disbelief to willingly keep suspending itself, I did enjoy the book. There's a good mystery in the pages of Historically Dead, and a very promising cast of characters.
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Daria is making historically correct gowns for two older ladies that competing to win the grand prize on a national TV show.  She's also doing the curtains and other sewing assignments as required.  The TV crew is a bit of a pain, but she keeps soldiering on and gets most of it all done.  All she has left are the curtains and a few more dresses.  When she goes in the office the researcher uses to ask about curtain patterns, she finds him dead on the floor.  She calls 911 and waits.  When she finds out he was hit in the head and it was not a natural death, it worries her.  No one was in the house who didn't belong.  Who killed him?

Lyrical Underground and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published December 19th.

This cozy mystery has one older lady who isn't quite all there and her sister, who seems to be made of steel.  There's a rumor that the more rigid one burned down her house and her husband both.  She doesn't regret his death.  It was arson, but did she do it?  She said she stayed in a local hotel because they had a fight.  Was that all she did? And then there's the boy that disappeared years ago.  No one ever proved him dead and his fluffy aunt still thinks he'll return.

Daria finds out the researcher had a secret he was going to reveal and it would expose the local hero as a traitor.  His assistant knows this secret, too, and she begs him to stay safe.  Then her newspaper reporter she's fond of disappears along with the assistant and she's afraid they are dead.

The story is busy, has lots of action, and ends violently.  This one won't bore you.
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Seamstress Daria Dembrowski is working her fingers to the bone to ensure that the (mostly) hand-stitched dresses and curtains are perfect for her client's appearance on My House in History. That's not quite enough to keep the bills paid, so she's still doing wedding dresses and the latest bride-to-be brings a very unwelcome visitor along to her fittings.

I love this series, which lets me vicariously experience a type of sewing I'm not likely to tackle myself. If My House in History was an actual show, we'd definitely be watching it at our place. The book develops some of the relationships that began in the first book and Daria and her friends are fun to spend time with. Too bad avoiding spoilers means I can't tell you what I loved most about the plot.
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A page turning suspense about a cop haunted and maybe hunted by a serial killer.
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If you enjoy reading historical cozies featuring colonial homes, you will enjoy this book. Daria Dembrowski is a historical seamstress who is hired to make curtains, drapes and gowns for the Compton House and the two elderly sisters who live there. Compton House is scheduled to be featured on the reality TV show, “My House is History.” No one expected a murder or two to take place. Daria is trying to solve the mystery before someone gets hurt and believes the murderer is someone in the house. Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with an advanced reader copy of this book.
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Entertaining and unique cozy that I happily read as a standalone as I hadn't read the first one.  Darla is a seamstress who specializes in historical clothing and other things, although she's got a wedding dress business as well.  She's working for two "mature" sisters- Ruth and Priscilla- who will make you chuckle when, well, there's a murder.  Dr. Burbridge might be a historian but why was he the target of a killer?  There's a rotten ex, a potential new love interest, some twists, some turns- all of which made this a good read.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  This is fun!
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Seamstress Daria sees a business opportunity when a reality show comes to her hometown. Unfortunately, during the production of the show, one of the researchers is found dead and everything starts to unravel. 

This is the second book in the Stitch in Time series, and I have to admit that I liked the first installment much more than this one. I couldn't resist another series set in Pennsylvania, and most of the characters were people I'd like to get to know, but I'm really getting tired of the too-stupid-to-live moments so many cozy heroines seem to find themselves in. I will probably read one more book in the series before deciding whether to drop it or continue.
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A great cozy mystery with a great historical side story that added an interesting aspect to the story I was expecting. I enjoyed the mystery and found that I liked all of the characters. The fact that the main character is a seamstress was a unique detail and the fact that she made historical clothes and other fabric house wares added a lot of interest. All in all I really enjoyed the book and am really looking forward to the next book in the series.
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