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Death of an Irish Lover based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
This is one of the later Peter McGarr mysteries. While it has its positives, it was not an entirely satisfying read. The murder that is the centerpiece of the story is intriguing. An Irish lover - a middle aged, seducer of women - is found shot, apparently while in the midst of one of his escapades, in this case with an unlikely female partner. There are two mysteries. First, who did it; secondly, since both the Irish lover and his partner were killed with a single bullit in the middle of a bedroom, how could someone have snuck up on them and done this. Per usual for a McGarr mystery, the book is filled with interesting characters, some of whom are part of a long standing McGarr mystery cast. In addition, as mentioned, the crime itself is interesting. Having read a number of McGarr mysteries, I am always interested in how he mixes in some aspect of Irish culture or history. His books are not only fun, but educational. That, however, was one of my disappointments with this book. The theme for this book is eel poaching on the Shannon (including an IRA connection). There is an interesting chapter on the subject in the middle of the book, but it almost reads like a separate essay. While eel poaching adds a few suspects to the story, it plays little to no role in the murder. Secondly, the book comes to a rather abrupt end. All of a sudden, McGarr decides who committed the murder and how. The evidence is so slim that the guilty party correctly declares that McGarr has an interesting theory, but it will never hold up in court. Thus, Bartholomew has to invent some other contrivance so that the guilty party can come to justice.
The Leixleap Inn owner Tim Tallon calls his childhood acquaintance, Ireland¿s Chief Superintendent Peter McGarr to report a double murder. The victims are two Eel Officers, Ellen Gilday and her superior Pascal Burke. They have been found in an illicit position that defies her recent marriage to a local lad. Peter, as the head of homicide in the country, begins his investigation into the killing of two cops. He quickly realizes that several motives exist. They could be victims of a love crime from either her spouse or one of his string of lovers. They could be victims of an IRA assassination since a questionable confession from a former member provides a clear-cut tie to the group. Finally, there is the economic crime as there is a thriving eel poaching business that the two cops were assigned to control. The fourteenth McGarr mystery is a taut police procedural that shows why the lead character has been a favorite of readers for over two decades. The story line is exciting as the motive for the killings keeps switching based on the latest findings. McGarr remains one of the more endearing fictional detectives as he still retains his wit and intelligence even with the frustrations of a seemingly ever-changing case. Bartholomew Gill proves he still is one of the masters of the Irish mystery without the trite maudlin gushiness that many authors feel is a requirement of a tale set in Ireland. Harriet Klausner