Murder in an Irish Bookshop
reviewed by Pam Guynn
Murder in an Irish Bookshop by Carlene O’Connor is the seventh book in the Irish Village Mystery series and a police procedural set in the fictional small community of Kilbane, in County Cork, Ireland. While the vibe is cozy, the detective is actually a member of the Irish garda (state police force of the Irish Republic) and the violence occurs off stage.
Garda Siobhán O’Sullivan is engaged to Detective Sergeant Macdara Flannery. Between training new garda Aretta Dabiri, trying to set a wedding date, and taking care of her siblings, one would think she has enough to do. She is looking forward to buying a romance book to help relax once the new bookstore opens. However, the story isn’t that straight-forward. Most visitors to the bookstore are turned away on grand opening day. What is going on? When this is followed by a death of a visiting indie author, Siobhán has even more on her plate.
I enjoyed getting to know Siobhán. Her character is well-developed and relatable. I felt tense about her predicaments and wanted to help her solve the mystery. The family dynamics with her five siblings added realism to the small town feel of the story. However, the other characters had varying degrees of depth. Perhaps some are explored more in earlier books.
The plot is well done with lots of suspects and unknowns, requiring the protagonist to sift through the misdirection, lies, omissions, and much more to solve this mystery. While I was able to solve the mystery, it was fun working through the clues with Siobhán. The author did a good job of giving this reader a sense of the stores in town and the weather, but I wanted to get a better feel for the rural setting around the town. Perhaps this will be in another book.
Overall, this book was entertaining, non-graphic, twisty, intriguing, and even humorous at times. I don’t usually start a series with number seven. I initially felt a little lost since it seemed that the author assumed readers had read prior books, but as the story progressed information was disseminated and I became totally absorbed in trying to help Siobhan solve the mystery. I am sure that reading the earlier books would provide additional background and add richness to the reading experience, and I want to go back and read them. If you like cozy mysteries set in small towns and filled with lots of misdirection, then I recommend that you check out this series.
I won a digital copy of this book from Kensington Books and the author in a Goodreads Giveaway. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.