Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

Murder in an Irish Village (Irish Village Mystery, #1)Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: Irish Village Mystery #1
Publication Date: 2/23/16
Audiobook Format

The narrator, Caroline Lennon, makes this audiobook an absolute delight to listen to. Her enchanting Irish lilt draws you into the story and makes you feel as if you are right there in Kilbane chatting with and listening to the citizens. I tried to look up Lennon’s biography to see if she was truly Irish or if her affectation of the Irish lilt was just very believable, but I couldn’t find anything much on her. Her pacing is perfect and you can hear all of the emotions – fear, concern, love, etc. in her voice. I’ll definitely look for more books narrated by Caroline Lennon.

Carlene O’Connor is a new-to-me author, but I’ll definitely look for more from her. Since her great-grandmother emigrated to the US from Ireland and the author herself splits her time between the US and Ireland, her representations of Ireland should be spot-on. The story is well-plotted, excellently written and the characters are lovely to meet. The prose is so descriptive that you can see the beauty of the Emerald Isle and commiserate with Kilbane’s inhabitants over the frequent rains.

Siobhan (shi-vawn) O’Sullivan and her family, known as the O’Sullivan Six, have had a very, very, very bad year. Almost exactly a year ago her parents were killed in a car accident, she had to give up her college plans and now, she’s responsible for running the family Bistro and caring for her four younger siblings – Grainne (Grawn-ya) who is sixteen, Ann, Eoin (Owen) and Ciaran (Keeran) as well as her older, by two years, brother James who had taken to drinking.

The anniversary of her parent’s deaths is just a few days away when the nasty brother of the man who was convicted in the drunk-driving accident. That stirs up all of Kilbane, but especially the O’Sullivans and James in particular. James has been alcohol-free for six months, but the appearance of Niall Murphy sends him out on a temper-fueled bender. The next morning, when Niall is found in the bistro, stabbed through the heart with a pair of scissors, James is the Gardai’s (police) prime suspect. When James cannot remember any of the events from the previous evening and splatters of Niall’s blood are found on James’ clothing, he is arrested.

Siobhan believes that the Gardai, including their local Garda, Macdara Flannery have focused on James and aren’t looking any further, so it is up to her to find the real killer. She starts awkwardly questioning her friends and neighbors and ends up with most of the village angry with her. That doesn’t stop her though, she has to save James. Garda Macdara, who is sweet on her, keeps asking her to back off and let the Gardai handle it, but she doesn’t trust them to really look for anyone else.

There are red herrings galore, but I was pretty sure I knew who the villain was from the first or second time he/she was mentioned. It was fun to read and find out if I was right or not! Add in an American visitor to put a wrench in the budding romance and you have an interesting read!

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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