The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: The Secret Staircase

Author: Sheila Connolly

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Publish Date: August 21, 2021

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: Victorian Village #3

My Rating: 4/5

The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly


Kate Hamilton is feeling good about her plans to recreate Asheboro, Maryland as the Victorian village it once was. The town is finally on her side, and the finances are coming together.

Kate’s first goal is to renovate the Barton Mansion on the outskirts of town. Luckily, it’s been well maintained in the century since the wealthy Henry Barton lived and died there. The only substantial change she’s planning is to update the original kitchen so that it can be used to cater events in the building. But when the contractor gets started, he discovers a hidden staircase that had been walled in years earlier. And as Kate’s luck would have it, in the stairwell is a body.

After her initial shock wears off, Kate is relieved when the autopsy reveals that the man had died around 1880. Unfortunately, it also reveals that his was not a natural death—he was murdered. And serious questions remain: who was he and what was he doing there?

Kate begins a hunt to identify the man and figure out what he was doing at the Barton Mansion. But when a second body is found—this time from the present day—Kate realizes that real dangers lie in digging up the past…

Purchase Links: Amazon


The Secret Staircase is the third book in the Victorian Village mystery series. Kate Hamilton returned to her small hometown to help revitalize it and improve tourism. Along the way, she’s been involved in solving some mysteries.

Kate’s latest project is to renovate the Barton Mansion. During the renovation a secret staircase is found. Unfortunately, there’s a dead body in the stairwell. While the death was not a recent one, it is unknown who the deceased. Kate’s interest is peaked, and she’s on the case.

I have read the first two books this series, and enjoyed them both. The mysteries for each book are standalone stories, but Kate and the other character’s personal story arcs progress through the books. I recommend reading the series in order.

Realistic characters in a charming setting. An enjoyable read for fans of cozy mysteries.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books in the Victorian Village mystery series:
  1. Murder at the Mansion
  2. Killer in the Carriage House
  3. The Secret Staircase

4 thoughts on “The Secret Staircase by Sheila Connolly [Book Review]

  1. Nice review Darinda. I also enjoyed this series and am sad that there will be no more in the series with Sheila Connolly’s passing.

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