O’Connor’s exceptional fifth Irish Village mystery (after 2019’s Murder in an Irish Pub) takes Kildane, County Cork, garda Siobhán O’Sullivan and her fiancé, Det. Sgt. Macdara Flannery, to the remote village of Ballysiogdun. At the cottage of Ellen Delaney, Macdara’s aunt, they’re greeted by Ellen’s grown daughter, Jane, who says she returned home from a weekend in Dublin to find her mother dead. A broken window points to a break-in; other evidence suggests Ellen was poisoned and smothered. Siobhán and Macdara must work to gain the trust of the superstitious locals, who wanted Ellen’s cottage destroyed because it posed a danger being in the middle of a fairy path. O’Connor does a fine job depicting the complex relationship between the spunky Siobhán, who’s troubled by Jane’s failure to provide an alibi for her well-timed weekend away, and the reserved Macdara, who’s reluctant to acknowledge his cousin may have something to hide. Cozy readers will have a hard time putting this one down. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Mar.)
Praise for Carlene O’Connor and her Irish Village Mysteries!
MURDER IN AN IRISH PUB
“The intricate puzzle and continuing Irish atmosphere make this the series’ best to date.”
“A clever twist on the locked-room mystery and the convivial village community will leave cozy readers well satisfied.”
“Fourth in the series, this is a delightful combination of Irish village life, family dynamics, and romance.”
MURDER IN AN IRISH CHURCH YARD
“Captivating . . . Fans of light mysteries with an Irish flavor will look forward to Siobhán and Macdara’s further adventures.”
PRAISE FOR MURDER IN AN IRISH VILLAGE
“This entertaining combination of Maeve Binchy's old-world Irish charm and Janet Evanovich's roguish humor is a smart, fast-paced read. Devotees of the Hibernian mysteries of Dicey Deere and M.C. Beaton will toast this debut with a pint of Guinness. Sláinte!”
“A lively debut . . . The cheeky and close-knit O’Sullivans are sure to appeal to cozy fans, who will also appreciate the warmth and spirit of the people of Kilbane.”
In the fifth "Irish Village" mystery (after Murder at an Irish Wedding), Garda Siobhán O'Sullivan plans to spend her summer break with her five siblings in Kilbane, County Cork, where they run a bistro. Instead, she becomes involved in a murder investigation when Jane, the cousin of her fiancé Macdara Flannery, places a frantic call. She doesn't tell Macdara that she found her mother dead in their cottage. But Siobhán and Macdara immediately suspect murder when there's foam at her mouth. The superstitious villagers knew there would be a death—they warned Jane and her mother, Ellen, that the cottage was on a fairy path, where fairy rings, dancing lights, and unearthly screams have been reported. The villagers want the cottage bulldozed. But, it wasn't fairies that poisoned Ellen, dressed her in a red dress, and laid her on her bed. Siobhán went to the academy with one of the guards assigned to the case, and she's not afraid to ask questions. VERDICT Fans of this series and other Irish cozy mysteries, such as Sheila Connolly's "County Cork" books, will appreciate this atmospheric story filled with Irish superstitions, legends, and colorful characters. Vivid descriptions of the countryside will appeal to lovers of Ireland.—Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN
A newly fledged Garda jeopardizes her romance in pursuit of a killer.
Siobhán O'Sullivan, who helps her siblings run the family cafe in Kilbane, is secretly engaged to fellow Garda Macdara Flannery. Siobhán is on holiday from her day job (Murder in an Irish Pub, 2019, etc.), so when Macdara's cousin Jane calls with a frantic cry for help, Siobhán accompanies him to Ballysiogdun. Jane is legally blind and shares a cottage with her mother, Ellen, who's estranged from her sister, Macdara's mother. His mam is not easy to get along with, but Ellen, a bossy, retired schoolteacher, is even worse. They arrive to find a crowd of people near Ellen's cottage, all agitating to have it bulldozed because they're convinced that its location in the middle of a fairy path spells bad luck and because people who live in it keep dying. Just the night before there had been strange lights, screaming, and even a black dog, the final straw for a superstitious lot of local residents. Siobhán and Macdara find Ellen dead, poisoned or smothered or both, the body carefully posed and a window broken. Although the local Garda want no help from them, both are determined to investigate, especially since Jane is a suspect. Siobhán, who considers Macdara's involvement tricky because he's a relative, intends to follow every clue no matter where it leads. Luckily, the investigator is a friend from Garda college who's willing to pass her information. Ellen was unpopular for so many reasons that there are plenty of suspects who may have wanted her dead: a local councilman, a professor writing a book on the fairy people, and several unhappy neighbors. Picking her way through a thorny thicket of alibis and lies, Siobhán uncovers hidden gold and hidden relationships. Can she also uncover a killer before the case ruins her romance?
Plenty of surprising twists and oodles of Irish charm make this an entertaining read.