If you’re a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization, you have to read Fundraising the Dead, by Sheila Connolly. How many other chances will you have to see someone in your profession solve a murder mystery?
Nell Pratt is the Director of Development at the Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society. Hours before her big fundraising event, a blueblood Board member informs her that priceless documents from the Board member’s family collection have disappeared from the building. Then, after the gala, Nell discovers the body of the man who worked most on those documents, dead in an upstairs room.
Is it murder? How will Nell get the documents back, and save her job? And is her relationship with her boss, the elegant Charles Elliot Worthington, going to survive the crisis?
The book gives a good idea of how fundraisers spend their work days, and the relationship between staff and major donors. The author has done the work herself. Like me, she speaks nonprofit.
As a mystery, this is a fun read. If you are looking for a puzzle that will tax your brain, this isn’t it. I figured out who stole the documents halfway through the book, and who committed the murder almost immediately thereafter. But it was a pleasure to follow the relationships between Nell, Board member Marty Terwilliger, and her nephew Special Agent James Morrison (yes, he went down to the wrong side of town). Even your non-fundraising friends will enjoy it.
Have you read any other fiction about nonprofit fundraisers or communicators? Would you please recommend it in the comments section below?