Senior Reviewer Debbie
Wiley has some great book recommendations for the luckiest day of the
St. Patrick’s Day is only a few days away and what better way to celebrate the magic of Ireland
than through books! I had the good fortune to visit Ireland several years ago and St. Patrick’s
Day brings back those joyous memories. So, let’s dive into the books as the allure of Ireland
Carlene O’Connor’s biography indicates she spends time regularly in Ireland and her love for
the country shows in her Irish
Village series. The first book,
MURDER IN AN IRISH VILLAGE, introduces us to Kilbane in County
Cork where we are immediately immersed into the life of a small Irish village. I love how
Carlene O’Connor incorporates the inflections of speech as it makes me feel as if I’m sitting in
the family-owned bistro in Ireland right along with the rest of the O’Sullivan clan. Carlene
O’Connor’s sixth book in the series,
MURDER IN AN IRISH PUB, delves more into the work of the Garda in a
small village and is a real treat for readers. I love the direction this cozy mystery series is
taking and recommend the Irish Village series to readers. I’m also looking forward to
Carlene O’Connor’s new series, Galway Ireland that starts with MURDER IN GALWAY
Santa Montefiore writes richly detailed historical dramas that draw you in and make you never
want to leave her world.
SECRETS OF THE LIGHTHOUSE is perhaps my favorite of hers, as she
captures the hauntingly beautiful mystery of Ireland. From the haunted lighthouse to the
welcoming Pot of Gold pub, to the long walks Ellen takes along the countryside, SECRETS OF
THE LIGHTHOUSE is a vibrant and compelling read. The Deverill Chronicles features
three books, THE GIRL IN THE
DAUGHTERS OF IRELAND, and THE SECRET OF THE IRISH CASTLE and follows several
intertwined families and how the past always haunts the present. The series is more of a
family saga, but Santa Montefiore incorporates a lot of Irish history into the storyline and it’s
fascinating and sometimes horrifying, to see the impact the Troubles had on the lives of both
the wealthy and the poor.
I’ve only read one book in Sheila Connolly’s County Cork series so far, but the first book, BURIED IN A BOG, has me
captivated. Sheila Connolly’s descriptions of Ireland through the eyes of a young woman
visiting her grandmother’s homeland grabbed hold of me from the first page. I love Maura
Donovan’s observations about the land and the importance it has to the Irish people. And oh,
her trip to see the Druid’s Altar of Drombeg makes me long to visit Ireland again to see it for
myself! I’m excited that there are seven books in the County Cork series, including a
recent release called THE
LOST TRAVELLER. I’m definitely going to be reading more of this series to
further visit Ireland!
No article about books set in Ireland would be complete without mentioning Tana French. She
has six books in her Dublin Murder
Squad series and they are nothing short of brilliant! Whether it’s dealing with the
dangerous gossipy world of a private girls’ school, such as in THE SECRET PLACE
, or the gender discrimination faced by a female detective, such as in THE TRESPASSER,
Tana French draws the reader into her twists and turns as the detectives work hard to solve
the murders. Even if you don’t like literary fiction as a general rule, you’re almost guaranteed
to enjoy her eloquently written detective novels.
If you prefer books featuring Irish food, how about IRISH STEWED by Kylie
Logan? It’s part of her Ethnic
Eats series and is a fun cozy mystery. Or maybe you’d rather read a book focused
more on St. Patrick’s Day and if so, you’ll be amazed how green beer can be a killer in
A CATERED ST. PATRICK’S
DAY by Isis Crawford. Whatever you decide to read, I hope you enjoy this St.
Some other books set in Ireland:
The Wild Irish Sea by Loucinda
The Wild Irish by Robin Maxwell
Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly
The Irishman’s Daughter by V.S.
An Irish Country Cottage by
Wonder by Emma Donaghue
The Irish Princess by Karen Harper
O’Malley by Ann Moore
The Princes of Ireland by Edward
Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy
Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
Born in Ice by Nora Roberts
Born in Shame by Nora Roberts
Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
SOME OF THE BOOKS FEATURED IN THIS ARTICLE:
An Irish Village Mystery #1
A little slice of Heaven on the Emerald Isle…
In the small village of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, Naomi’s Bistro has always been a warm
and welcoming spot to visit with neighbors, enjoy some brown bread and tea, and get the local
gossip. Nowadays twenty-two-year-old Siobhán O’Sullivan runs the family bistro named for
her mother, along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents in a car crash almost a
It’s been a rough year for the O’Sullivans, but it’s about to get rougher. One morning, as
they’re opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table, dressed in a suit as if for his
own funeral, a pair of hot pink barber scissors protruding from his chest.
With the local garda suspecting the O’Sullivans, and their business in danger of being
shunned—murder tends to spoil the appetite—it’s up to feisty redheaded Siobhán to solve the
crime and save her beloved brood.
Cozy [Kensington, On Sale: January 31, 2017, Mass Market
Paperback / e-Book (reprint), ISBN: 9781617738463 / eISBN: 9781617738456]
Set in Ireland on the wild coast of Connemara, this hauntingly romantic novel tells the story of
a young woman who goes in search of her family’s past and ends up discovering her future.
Ellen Trawton is running away from it all. She hates her job, she doesn’t love the aristocratic
man to whom she is engaged, and her relationship with her controlling mother is becoming
increasingly strained. So Ellen leaves London, fleeing to the one place she knows her mother
won’t find her, her aunt’s cottage in Connemara. Cutting all her ties with chic London society,
Ellen gives in to Ireland’s charm and warmth, thinking her future may lie where so much of her
past has been hidden. Her imagination is soon captured by the compelling ruins of a
lighthouse where, five years earlier, a young mother died in a fire.
The ghost of the young wife, Caitlin, haunts the nearby castle, mourning the future she can
never have there. Unable to move on, she watches her husband and children, hoping they
might see her and feel her love once more. But she doesn’t anticipate her husband falling in
love again. Can she prevent it? Or can she let go and find a way to freedom and happiness?
The ruggedly beautiful Connemara coastline with its tightknit community of unforgettable
characters provides the backdrop for this poignant story of two women seeking the peace and
love they desperately need. For each, the key will be found in the secrets of the past,
illuminated by the lighthouse.
Romance Paranormal [Simon & Schuster,
On Sale: August 5, 2014, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9781476735375 / ]
beautiful story of love, loss, and finding one's self
County Cork Mystery #1
National bestselling and Agatha Award-nominated author Sheila Connolly introduces a
brand-new series set in a small village in County Cork, Ireland, where buried secrets are about
to rise to the surface...
Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where
her Gran was born—though she never expected to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor
had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to
know the people who knew her Gran.
In the pub, she’s swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the
recent discovery of a nearly one-hundred year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes
she may know something about the dead man—and that the body’s connected to another,
more recent, death—she fears she’s about to become mired in a homicide investigation. After
she discovers the death is connected to another from almost a century earlier, Maura has a
sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head...
Mystery | Mystery Cozy
[Berkley, On Sale: February 5, 2013, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN:
9780425251898 / eISBN: 9781101619124]
Maura Finds a
Mystery and Roots in Ireland
Are two dead
bodies enough to make Maura leave Ireland and never look back?
Dublin Murder Squad #5
The photo on the card shows a boy who was found murdered, a year ago, on the grounds of a
girls’ boarding school in the leafy suburbs of Dublin. The caption says: I KNOW WHO KILLED
Detective Stephen Moran has been waiting for his chance to get a foot in the door of Dublin’s
Murder Squad—and one morning, sixteen-year-old Holly Mackey brings him this photo. “The
Secret Place,” a board where the girls at St. Kilda’s School can pin up their secrets
anonymously, is normally a mishmash of gossip and covert cruelty, but today someone has
used it to reignite the stalled investigation into the murder of handsome, popular Chris Harper.
Stephen joins forces with the abrasive Detective Antoinette Conway to find out who and why.
But everything they discover leads them back to Holly’s close-knit group of friends and their
fierce enemies, a rival clique—and to the tangled web of relationships that bound all the girls
to Chris Harper. Every step in their direction turns up the pressure. Antoinette Conway is
already suspicious of Stephen’s links to the Mackey family. St. Kilda’s will go a long way to
keep murder outside their walls. Holly’s father, Detective Frank Mackey, is circling, ready to
pounce if any of the new evidence points toward his daughter. And the private underworld of
teenage girls can be more mysterious and more dangerous than either of the detectives
The Secret Place is a powerful, haunting exploration of friendship and loyalty, and a gripping
addition to the Dublin Murder Squad series.
Mystery | Thriller | Mystery Police Procedural [Viking,
On Sale: September 2, 2014, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN:
9780670026326 / eISBN: 9780698170285]
book from Tana French!
The national bestselling author of the League of Literary Ladies Mysteries introduces an
all-new cozy culinary mystery series featuring ethnic eats.
After flopping as a personal chef to a Hollywood movie star, jobless Laurel Inwood finds
herself humbled in Hubbard, Ohio, helping her aunt Sophie run her restaurant. Much to
Laurel’s dismay, Sophie’s Terminal at the Tracks is not the cozy bistro her aunt would have had
her believe—it’s a run-down greasy spoon in an old railroad station. To save the dingy diner,
Laurel cooks up a plan to feature alternating ethnic cuisine as specials.
But first there’s the problem of the body in the booth. Slumped over a table with a receipt
spike in his back is Jack Lancer—”the Lance of Justice”—an investigative reporter for local TV
news. Assisted by the drop-dead gorgeous owner of the neighboring Irish store—who may or
may not be a suspect—Laurel sets out to track down a killer who had no reservations about
impaling a newshound. But as she turns up the heat, will she end up in the soup herself?
Cozy | Mystery Culinary
[Berkley Prime Crime, On Sale: May 3, 2016, Paperback / e-
Book, ISBN: 9780425274880 / eISBN: 9780698159204]
Tasty start to a
new cozy mystery series!
A Mystery with Recipes #8
Catering sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons wade into a Celtic knot of malice and mayhem
when a St. Patrick's Day celebration goes terribly wrong, in this eighth installment of
Crawford's cozy series.
Gastronomical dream team Bernie and Libby Simmons wade into a Celtic knot of malice and
mayhem when a St. Patrick's celebration goes terribly wrong...
To most of the people of little Longley, New York, St. Paddy's Day means good food, great
music, and plenty of Guinness. But when the lifeless body of Mike Sweeney floats to the top of
a vat of green beer, it looks like the luck o' the Irish has just run out.
Unfortunately for the Simmons sisters, the number one suspect is related to one of their best
catering customers, the pampered and powerful Bree Nottingham. When Bree visits A Little
Taste of Heaven to beseech them to clear her nephew's name, they just can't say no.
But the more information Bernie and Libby stir up, the more Duncan Nottingham looks like a
killer. Known for his hot temper and love of the drink, Duncan and the deceased were both
part of the Corned Beef and Cabbage Club, a group with more buried history than the Emerald
Isle. And each member- especially Duncan- had a motive to sing Sweeney his last Irish lullaby.
A motive they don't want anyone revealing.
For Bernie and Libby, the situation is deadly and in danger of boiling over. And they can't
count on good old Saint Pat to drive out the snake in their midst...they'll have to do it
themselves, before a murderer strikes again.
Cozy [Kensington, On Sale: February 1, 2012, Hardcover /
e-Book, ISBN: 9780758247407 / ]
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