Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly

Fatal Roots (County Cork #8)My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: County Cork #9
Publication Date: 1/7/2020
Number of Pages: 237

This well-written and well-plotted series brings to life the verdant countryside of Ireland. The author’s descriptions make you feel as if you are walking into that cottage or pub or are just walking along one of the quiet lanes. I had begun to despair of Maura Donovan ever actually becoming self-aware. It seems she just floated along on the surface of her life in Boston and has done the same in the year she’s been Leap, County Cork, Ireland. She’s never asked questions about the past or the future and just sort of floated along in the here-and-now. So, I’m very happy to see that in this book she has finally started to question what happened in her family’s past that set up the current circumstances. I’m also happy that she has finally taken a further step in her relationship with Mick.

As always, there is a lot going on in this story and it keeps you jumping from page to page to find out what happens next. They are renovating and opening the kitchen at Sullivan’s Pub, Maura’s mother and step-sister arrive unexpectedly, graduate students have arrived wanting to examine the Fairy Forts that dot the countryside, and, of course, there is a dead body. Maura, Mick, garda Sean Murphy, Old Billy, and Bridget each contribute their knowledge and expertise to solve the mystery of the body that has lain in the center of the Fairy Fort for several decades.

One of the ways Maura has demonstrated her ‘floating on the surface’ mode is that she has been in Ireland for over a year and she has yet to realize the extent of what she inherited from old Mick Sullivan. When she arrived, she just signed whatever papers the lawyers told her to sign and didn’t inquire any further. She embraced the pub and the cottage – but in this book, she learns she has inherited several plots of land. At least one of those plots holds a Fairy Fort. BTW – be aware that you will hear – ad nauseum – that there was a body found on land she didn’t even know she owned.

Maura is awakened early one morning by a banging on her front door. It turns out to be an archaeology graduate student, Ciara McCarthy, from the university in Cork City. She and two friends, Darragh and Ronan, plan to map the circles, take pictures using a drone, and use ground-penetrating radar to see what might lie beneath the surface. It doesn’t take long before Darragh disappears and the search begins. Unfortunately – or fortunately – the search for Darragh leads to the discovery of a body buried directly in the center of the Fairy Fort.

Identifying the body leads to some revelations about Maura’s family’s past and Darragh’s as well. Will the discoveries lead to revenge or will it finally lay the past to rest? You’ll just have to read the book to see.

It was a delight to meet and spend time with Maura’s half-sister, Susan. She is a wonderful young lady and I look forward to spending time with her in future books. Helen, Maura’s mother, is another story. She’s trying to make amends to Maura and I applaud that – but – at the same time, she keeps excusing herself by saying she was young and desperate. That just doesn’t sound contrite to me.

As we left our visit to County Cork, the kitchen at Sullivan’s Pub was just opening its kitchen. Now, we can look forward to whatever delightful dishes Rose makes in the next book.

I definitely recommend this book and the series. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I did.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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