Murder at an Irish Bakery by Carlene O’Connor

Murder at an Irish Bakery

Barbara’s rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Series Irish Village Mystery #9
Publication Date: 2/21/23
Period: Contemporary County Cork Ireland
Number of Pages: 304

This is the ninth book in the series and they are still fresh, interesting, and delightful reads. The author, through the characters, shares her love of Ireland with us – its quaint population and its green fields. The O’Sullivan Six has grown from a set of struggling orphans into a robust, confident set of siblings who are always 100% behind each other, yet pursue their separate interests as well. You do not have to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy this one, but – goodness – you are missing so much if you don’t read them.

Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan and DS Macdara Flannery have been married for almost a year and their love has only grown during that time. As luck (fate) would have it, Macdara is off in Dublin for business meetings, leaving Siobhan in charge at Kilbane. That certainly isn’t a problem because the town is normally quiet and peaceful. What more could Siobhan ask for than leading the security at a celebrity baking contest being held at Kilbane’s best bakery – Pie Pie Love? Siobhan is so excited – she’s addicted to sweets (as is Macdara) and she’ll be sampling the baked goods all week. Ah! Life is sweet!

Of course, things go wrong on the very first morning when an ‘anti-sugar’ protester shows up outside the bakery – with a bullhorn. Cameras are everywhere, so Siobhan wants to handle the situation with quiet dignity, but the protestor isn’t having any of that! When he ends up dead within a few minutes of arriving, things don’t seem to be going too well for the contest. Was the young man allergic to something? Did he have some sort of fatal medical condition? They won’t know until after the medical examiner does her job, and until then, they have to treat it as a suspicious death. Drat! That will certainly throw the contestants into a tizzy.

Yet the show must go on with six contestants, a director, a cameraman, and two hosts. With banter and jibes among the hosts and contestants, the contest gets underway – until one of the contestants ends up dead as well. Accident? Could be? Maybe not. You’ll just have to read the book to find all of the twists and turns this case takes.

I thoroughly enjoyed this excellently paced mystery with an antagonist who seems to always be one step ahead. Macdara and Siobhan certainly have their work cut out for them because nobody seems to have a motive for murder.

If you love a good mystery, witty banter among the protagonists, wonderful secondary characters, and a tad of romance, then this book is definitely for you. I recommend it – I’d buy it for a friend – and I’d read it again. Should you choose to read it, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I can hardly wait for the next one.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) 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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