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Book Review

Book: Still As Death
Author: Sarah Stewart Taylor
Published: September, 2006
Publisher: St. Martin’s Minotaur

available at

Synopsis: In the latest Sweeney St. George mystery, Still as Death, art history professor Sweeney St. George finds that a valuable Egyptian necklace is missing from the university museum collection. Sweeney’s research reveals that the student intern who last handled the piece decades ago committed suicide shortly afterward. Just as Sweeney enlists the help of old friend and police investigator Tim Quinn to resolve some unanswered questions, a cleaning woman at the gallery is found murdered next to an ancient canopic chest and several of her colleagues fall under suspicion. As Sweeney and Tim work together to solve the increasing number of mysteries surrounding the museum and the crimes, the reader learns more about the personal lives of the museum staff including Sweeney’s uncertain romantic interest.

Editor’s Review: Still as Death is a slow-paced and tame mystery that allows the reader to experience the day-to-day activities and concerns of a handful of museum employees while a mystery unfolds. There is not a lot of action but instead a revealing look into the personal lives of those involved. Ms. Taylor does a good job of keeping the reader in suspense about who’s guilty and who just appears to be. I found it disconcerting that the main character doesn’t resolve her own personal problems as well as the crimes but her humanness is very convincing. In fact, the story strikes me as particularly realistic since many clues lead to dead ends and loose ends don’t all get tied up neatly just as they wouldn’t in real life. Overall, Still as Death is not a brilliant and fast-paced thriller but a steady and realistic mystery set amidst a museum backdrop for those who enjoy the topic of art history.

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Diana Blake is a professional artist and art history enthusiast. Her fascination with art history began when she encountered European art firsthand during several trips abroad as a young adult. As she began to compose a portfolio for her own art career, she called upon what she had seen in Europe and extended her knowledge to other styles of art through profuse reading and exhaustive research. As a result, Diana has written more than one hundred articles in which she delves into a variety of art history topics and she has compiled a list of links that she believes to be invaluable for art history enthusiasts. In addition, she also reviews books and movies on the topic of art history and has assembled an extensive list of online stores that sell books, movies and gift items related to art history.
   You can see Diana's own artwork by visiting her site at