Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Sheila Connolly is back for a visit! Let’s give her a warm welcome!
Hi Everyone, and thank you Lori for hosting me today.
When I started writing about murders in Ireland, everybody told me I had to meet Sergeant Tony. Sergeant Tony is a garda (that’s policeman in Irish, and the national police force is An Garda Síochána, or The Guardian of the Peace). It wasn’t easy to track him down, because the local garda station is small and its officers are often busy, but I kept trying. And I’m very glad I did.
You see, there’s not a lot of crime in Ireland. Well, maybe in Dublin or Cork or Limerick, but get outside of the cities it’s a very peaceful place. This is both good and bad for me, since I’m trying to write about crimes in Ireland—not Ireland in general, but in one of the safest parts of Ireland, West Cork. There aren’t a lot of murders there (I’ve read the statistics), and I feel guilty about increasing the murder rate by a couple of hundred percent by now, in my books (no, I haven’t killed anyone personally). But that’s why it was important to talk to someone who knows, so I could get the details right.
Sergeant Tony was a gift from the heavens (or if there’s a patron saint of writers, from him or her). He’s had postings all over Ireland, including Northern Ireland, but he’s come back to Cork, where his wife’s family came from. Apart from police procedures, this is an important point: in Ireland, family matters.
He has told me lots of great stories, which I’m going to hoard until I can use some of them in a book. In any case, it’s great to have someone who can answer my stupid questions like, “What time do pubs really close?” Anyone can look up the official times online these days, but what’s the reality? Or, “How do you arrest someone?” In fact, it has to go through the Dublin office, to get a warrant. And more recently, I’ve asked him, “How do you reopen a closed case, or one that’s been dormant for a long time?” That’s for the next book.
A Turn for the Bad grew out of one of the stories Sergeant Tony told me. He was referring to a case from several years ago (long since solved), but I discovered other related cases when I looked it up. It involves smuggling, a time-honored tradition in an area with a lot of coves and beaches that nobody is watching. But in the modern world, it’s hard to turn a blind eye when there are millions of euros worth of illegal drugs arriving on Ireland’s shores (on their way to Europe, not for local consumption!). Still, people might look the other way—until one of their own gets entangled, through no fault of his own.
And that’s where Maura Donovan comes in, helping to put the pieces together to make a daring rescue, with the help of some unlikely friends. Because that’s what people do in Ireland.
Thank you Sheila for visiting today. I hope you come back soon!
A Turn for the Bad:
A County Cork Mystery
4th in Serie
Setting – Ireland
A Berkley Prime Crime Mystery (February 2, 2016)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Cover Illustration by Daniel Craig
Cover Design by Judith Lagerman
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.
After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan’s Pub is her classroom. Maura didn’t only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it’s the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.
Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it’s the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head…
I couldn’t wait to return to Ireland and Sullivan’s Pub. In this 4th book, Maura just blooms. People are coming to the pub to await news about a local farmer that has gone missing. He was walking on the beach with his 4 year old son when he disappeared. All the little boy can offer is that he saw a boat. The sea has taken many men, did it take this man too?
As the days go by and she listens to the people around her, including the farmer’s brother, she starts to realize what may have happened. She decides to do a bit of investigating to see if what she is thinking could have happened, and if it did, is there any way to save the man and bring him back from his family.
Like An Early Wake, this story has a slow build to draw us in and lets us get to know these very appealing characters. Gillian who usually summers in the area is back due do some upheaval in her life and she moves in with Maura and they become very close. They are also great sounding boards for each other. Maura meets several new people too and learns all about true Irish Whiskey. It is these new people that help her test her theory of what happened to the farmer. There is just a bit of romance too. Both Maura and Gillian are trying to sort out their hearts.
About midway through the book the suspense ratchets up as a plan starts to come together. At this point the book became glued to my hands and the pages turned much faster. Again we see that crime can be anywhere, even in County Cork. The area around Leap seems to be a prime area for an unsavory time-honored tradition and we find out about it right along with Maura.
This is my favorite book is the series so far. I loved the suspense and the way the author set the groundwork. I loved the humor as Maura learns more about the area, the pub and even her home. I especially enjoy the community feel of Sullivan’s Pub, the way people gather in good times and when things taken A Turn For The Bad. This was an absolutely wonderful read. I want to book my next escape to Ireland today!
About The Author
Sheila is the author of many fantastic reads. She not only writes County Cork Mysteries, but the Orchard Mysteries and the Museum Mysteries too. Visit Sheila’s webpage to find out more about her and her books.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have 2 copies to give away!
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”