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Review ❤️ Murder in an Irish Churchyard by Carlene O’Connor

March 19, 2018

murder in an irish churchyard carlene oconnor

The village of Kilbane in County Cork, Ireland, has a new garda—and her first case is a grave matter indeed . . .
It’s official! Siobhán is now Garda O’Sullivan, and her five siblings couldn’t be prouder. While brother James runs Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán is doing her part to keep the village safe. Of course, Kilbane is pretty quiet compared to a place like Dublin, where Macdara Flannery has gone to be a detective sergeant. 

Then one night the local priest summons Siobhán to the church cemetery. There’s a dead man in the graveyard—aboveground. He lies shot on a blanket of freshly fallen snow, hand stretched out toward a nearby headstone. He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor.

A detective sergeant is dispatched from Dublin to assist with the case, and as fate would have it, it’s Macdara. After his parting, things are awkward between them, but they have to work together. They learn the victim was from Dublin—Dublin, Ohio, that is. And when his family members are located and told of his murder, the plot thickens. Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the family tree. But as long-buried secrets are unearthed, she and Macdara will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.

Release Date: Feb 27, 2018
Series: An Irish Village Mystery
Book: 3
Publisher: Kensington
Price: $11.99


Siobhán O’Sullivan has just started a new job as a police officer at the Kilbane Gardaí Station. It’s Siobhán’s first day and Father Kearney requests her help when he discovers the body of gunshot victim lying in St. Mary’s Churchyard. Siobhan checks out the scene and agrees it’s murder. Even though she’s a rookie, since she is the first on the scene, she’s allowed to work on the case along with the lead investigator. That person happens to be newly promoted DS Macdara Flannery who is called in from Dublin. Siobhán must now work with her former boyfriend while she’s learning the ropes of her new job to make her first case a success.

Murder in an Irish Churchyard is the third in the Irish Village mysteries, but I haven’t read the first two. I easily got caught up on the most important details of Siobhán’s life and quickly became invested in the story. I admire Siobhán’s skill as an investigator and her loyalty to her family. I don’t like how she sometimes allows herself to be walked on by her new co-workers and by her brother’s pushy girlfriend. Some of what she was going through at the police station was uncomfortable to read, and I’m glad Macdara put a stop to the hazing as soon as he came into town. Unfortunately, James’s girlfriend Elise remains annoying throughout the book. Siobhán and Macdara make a great team investigating the case and I like how they are able to put their awkwardness aside for the good of solving the crime. When they allow themselves to relax, their rapport is a delight.

In a lot of American cozies set outside the United States, the main character is a transplant from the U.S. I’m happy that in this book which takes place in Ireland, Siobhán and her family are natives, which gives the book a different feel that I enjoy. Although Siobhán is a rookie police officer, she refers to crimes she solved before she joined the force, so she makes a competent and caring investigator. I like that Macdara takes her ideas seriously and doesn’t brush her off because of her rookie status or their complicated relationship. After a big build-up, the ending is a bit rushed. However, the characters and settings are interesting, and I would enjoy reading another book in this series to watch Siobhán grow as a police officer and see how things with her and Macdara. Fans of Shelia Connolly’s County Cork mysteries will enjoy the Irish setting of this book.

~ Christine

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  1. Sounds good. Thanks, Beverley. I didn’t wear green on St. Paddy’s. Got pinched a lot.

  2. sounds enjoyable

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