That was a fun read! I can recommend a breath of fresh air
in a murder mystery, courtesy of this amiable look at the
village of Kilbane in County Cork. A poker tournament is
being held -- for those who don't know, gambling on poker
for money is illegal in Ireland. Instead, people pay to play
in a tournament and the persons with the most chips at the
end are the winner and next placed, gaining the prize money.
Unfortunately, this process leads to MURDER IN AN IRISH PUB.
Garda Siobhan O'Sullivan is keeping the peace in this
usually peaceful village, along with detective Macdara
Flannery, secretly her boyfriend because it's against
regulations to be a couple in the force. I'm puzzled by how
Siobhan's siblings all live here too because the Gardai
never send an officer to anywhere they have lived. Maybe her
family moved here once she was posted? This is the fourth
book in the 'Irish Village Mystery' series so that might
have been covered in an earlier story. Amanda Moore is a
confident teenager in the town, well known along with her
racehorse Midnight. This horse is illegally gambled by a
player, her father.
Eamon Foley is a travelling man who has come to the poker
contest, along with his wife Rose who is expecting. Rory
Mack's pub hosts the poker, drawing a big crowd, but angry
scenes follow the allegation that Foley cheated his way to a
win in the first round. Is he being accused just because
he's an outsider? Did someone deliberately plant a cold
deck near his chair? Foley has his supporters too. Whatever
the truth, someone feels strongly enough to take matters
into their own hands overnight. Siobhan discovers a death
the next day, an apparent suicide in a store room at the
pub. She is suspicious and starts a full investigation.
We meet a wide variety of characters including ethnic
minorities, each with their own personal dramas, and my
favourite has to be young Amanda who is fiercely determined
to keep her lovely horse. I also really enjoyed Eddie
Houlihan, a lonely lad who cleans in the pub and feeds a
friendly homing pigeon. This book is up to date, with
people's social media sites consulted for information, but
still feels familiar and traditional in many ways. Carlene
O'Connor is great at recreating atmosphere and keeping the
tale moving. MURDER IN AN IRISH PUB is a good read,
especially if you are thinking of touring Ireland this
summer. Slainte! (Good health, a toast.)
When competing card sharps stir up SiobhĂˇn O'Sullivanâ€™s
quiet Irish village, a poker tournament turns into a game of
Hangman . . .
In the small village of Kilbane in County Cork, for a cuppa
tea or a slice of brown bread, you go to Naomiâ€™s Bistro,
managed by the many siblings of the lively O'Sullivan brood.
For a pint or a game of dartsâ€”or for the poker tournament
that's just come to townâ€”itâ€™s the pub you want.
One playerâ€™s reputation precedes him: Eamon Foley, a tinker
out of Dublin, called the Octopus for playing like he has
eight hands under the table. But when Foley is found at the
end of a rope, swinging from the rafters of Rory Mackâ€™s pub,
itâ€™s time for the garda to take matters into their own
hands. Macdara Flannery would lay odds itâ€™s a simple
suicideâ€”after all, thereâ€™s a note and the room was locked.
But SiobhĂˇn suspects foul play, as does Foleyâ€™s very
pregnant widow. Perhaps one of Foleyâ€™s fellow finalists just
raised the stakes to life and death.
With conflicting theories on the crimeâ€”not to mention the
possibility of a proposalâ€”tensions are running high between
SiobhĂˇn and Macdara. Soon itâ€™s up to SiobhĂˇn to call a
killerâ€™s bluff, but if she doesnâ€™t play her cards right, she
may be the next one taken out of the game . . .