The Sweeney St. George Series
Sarah is the author of the Sweeney St. George mystery series from Minotaur Books. The series features a young art historian who specializes in gravestone and funerary art -- the art of death. The first novel in the series, O' Artful Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first novel.
O’ Artful Death
Sweeney St. George looks nothing like a university Professor with her unruly red curls and preference for vintage clothing. Single and wary of relationships, she pours her energy into her college teaching and a passionate interest in cemetery art. And now Sweeney is intrigued with a macabre graveyard statue of a beautiful woman-a carving that is at once astonishing, sinister, and perhaps hiding a one-hundred-year-old murder...
Dying to find out more about the strange monument, Sweeney heads for a winter holiday among friends at a mansion in Vermont's historic Byzantium Art Colony. Her plan is to snoop in dusty archives and tromp through the tiny cemetery where the statue still stands. But what Sweeney finds in this isolated rural community is an emotional awakening, a chilling link between old and new crimes...and a clever killer reaching for her with deadly hands.
Praise for O' Artful Death
"Taylor does a lovely job of setting an atmospheric scene and luring us inside."
Marilyn Stasio - The New York Times Book Review
"A strikingly atmospheric debut. The writing is crisp and the characters all quite forcefully alive, especially Sweeney."
"[O' Artful Death] rings subtle--and enormously satisfying--changes on the venerable tried-and-true."
"An elegantly wrought first mystery with layers within layers like carved ivory balls...Rich and rewarding reading."
Mansions of the Dead
When college student Brad Putnam turns up dead in his bedroom in his Boston apartment, Homicide Detective Timothy Quinn is baffled by the crime scene and decides to seek the help of art history professor Sweeney St. George to make sense of the evidence. An expert on "the art of death," Sweeney immediately identifies the objects found on the body as mourning jewelry-and discovers that she knew the victim. Brad Putnam was taking her class on that very subject.
Sweeney is shocked by Brad's death, and determined to help Detective Quinn unravel the mystery of Brad's death. They soon discover this is not the first tragedy to strike the Putnams, a prominent Boston family. Peter Putnam, Brad's brother, died in a terrible car accident years earlier. But the cause of the accident was never discovered, as the Putnam family covered up what happened and refused to cooperate with the police.
Detective Quinn warns Sweeney not to get too involved in the Brad Putnam investigation but as she gets closer to the Putnam family, she becomes even more determined than ever to find out what happened. Haunted by secrets in her own past, Sweeney dissects the family's history and begins to realize that she may uncover secrets that were never meant to surface.
Sarah Stewart Taylor's intricate and engaging follow-up to her acclaimed Agatha Award finalist debut, O'Artful Death, is an absorbing and suspenseful novel about love and family, secrets and lies-and murder.
Praise for Mansions of the Dead
"Taylor's on sure footing when she focuses on graveyard art, Victorian burial sites, and mourning brooches."
"Taylor shows us without missing an exciting beat just how much our world has changed in the past century."
"Taylor's is one of those mystery series where readers are educated as well as entertained...Mansions of the Dead is agreeably tricked out with red herrings and jarring switches in mood: Just as readers settle in for an academic cozy, the atmosphere changes, and disaster that has the coarse feel of reality intrudes."
"Spooky séances, ouija boards, nights spent cavorting in Mount Auburn Cemetery, and mourning jewelry made of human hair take center stage in Mansions of the Dead...a story of grief and remembrance, and its pleasures include the explication of the 'cult of mourning' that overtook America in the wake of the Civil War, and grief as we experience it today."
Boston Sunday Globe
Judgment of the Grave
While most travel to Concord, Massachusetts to relive America's Revolutionary past, Harvard professor Sweeney St. George has come looking for a different sort of history. An expert on funerary art, she roams the local cemeteries, fascinated by the macabre carvings of a celebrated stonecutter and hero of the Revolution--a project that takes a strange turn when a man dressed in a uniform of 1775 is found murdered in the nearby woods.
With police suspecting that the victim may be a missing Cambridge scholar who had been researching the very same historical figure as Sweeney, the investigation draws her in. Now, searching for clues in the weathered stone markers of the dearly departed, and with the help of a precocious twelve-year-old boy and Cambridge police detective Tim Quinn, Sweeney St. George closes in on a 230-year-old enigma--and a desperate killer without remorse.
Praise for Judgment of the Grave
"Engaging…[a] richly textured tale."
"A tale that will keep you reading…a complicated plot with many twists and turns, red herrings awaits the reader…talented Sarah Stewart Taylor writes a well-constructed tale with realistic characters set in a well-drawn background."
Praise for Still As Death
“The fourth St. George mystery displays all the wit and charm of its predecessors. Unlike some other series leads, it's not just Sweeney's name that sets her apart: in a genre full of amateur sleuths, she sparkles with originality.”
“. . . Every bit as riveting as the previous installments in Taylor's series.”