The Lost Traveller: A County Cork Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Ireland
Crooked Lane Books (January 8, 2019)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07D2J14S8
Danger comes to Cork in the seventh County Cork mystery from New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly, and it’s up to Maura Donovan to find a way to protect all she’s worked for.
Pub owner Maura Donovan is settling into a charmed life in Ireland—until a mutilated body on her property ends her lucky streak.
Boston expat Maura Donovan came to Ireland to honor her grandmother’s last wish, but she never expected to stay in provincial County Cork—much less to inherit a house and a pub, Sullivan’s, in the small village of Leap. After a year-long struggle to stay in the black, Sullivan’s is finally thriving, and Maura has even brought back traditional Irish music to the pub. With a crop of new friends and a budding relationship with handsome Mick Nolan, Maura’s life seems rosier than ever—but even in Ireland, you can’t always trust your luck.
It begins with Maura’s discovery of a body in the ravine behind the pub. And then, the Irish gardaí reveal that the victim’s face has been battered beyond recognition. Who is the faceless victim? Who wanted him dead? And why was his body dumped in the backyard of Sullivan’s Pub? Even after the dead man is finally given a name, nobody admits to knowing him. In the tight-knit world of Leap, no one is talking—and now it’s up to Maura to uncover the dark secrets that lurk beneath the seemingly quiet town.
After less than a year in Ireland Maura has been involved in solving several murders. This time the body is found in the ravine behind the pub and the man is unrecognizable due to his face being beaten to a pulp. It is hard to find a killer when you can’t identify the victim but that doesn’t keep Maura from trying.
I love this series, but this installment had a couple of issues for me. First, Maura is a smart woman, she was brave enough to travel to Ireland and take over the pub she inherited, but in this story, she surprised me. Things she should have known like where her employees live and where Indiana is located within the U.S. were just two examples. Leap is not that big of a town to know where people reside, especially a man she is romantically involved with, and the majority of high school graduates should be able to visualize a map of the country they grew up in. She also seemed muddled about where she wanted to take her business, whether to add a kitchen or not, even though her employee, Rose, is in training to be a cook for the pub.
I love Rose, seventeen and going places. She is filled with ideas, confident, willing to learn, and such a hard worker. I think she has grown so much over this series while Maura seems to be going backward.
I really enjoyed learning about The Travellers and the way they are different from gypsies. A very interesting life, I wish we would have met more Travellers and learned their stories.
The mystery was hard to solve even after the man was identified, virtually no suspects. Maura’s theory kind of came out of blue along with the theme the ran throughout the book. She kept talking about it to everyone, so at times it got a little repetitious, but she didn’t give up and soon all the matters fell into place for a very unusual ending that I really appreciated. The theme is a current hot topic in the states and it was interesting to learn about it with an Irish twist.
My issues with Maura’s character development aside, this was an entertaining story that kept my attention. It was unique in several ways and I enjoyed that.
Note – The first four of this series were published by Berkley Prime Crime.
The series continues with books 5, 6 and 7 published by Crooked Lane Books.
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 here to find out more about her and her books.
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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.”