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Buried in a Bog (A County Cork Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – February 5, 2013
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Connolly, author of the Apple Orchard mysteries, begins a new series set in County Clare, Ireland. Maura heads to Ireland to fulfill her grandmother’s last wish. She finds a job in a local pub and meets a dear friend of her grandmother’s. She also meets several relatives and locates a possible new home. Then she finds a letter in the pub that seems to be connected to a local body discovered in a bog, and when she turns it in to police, Maura finds herself threatened. A car chase, another murder, and a break-in tell Maura that someone wants her to return to Boston, but she is drawn into the community and the stories about her family. The setting and local personalities are cleverly woven into two mysteries, one a cold case and the other a modern murder. Ireland is known more for darker crime fare, so a traditional cozy set in the Emerald Isle and starring an amateur sleuth seems quite fresh. A very promising start to a new series. --Amy Alessio
Praise for the Orchard Mysteries
“[A] fascinating whodunit.”—The Mystery Gazette
“A winner for cozy mystery fans.”—Lesa’s Book Critiques
“An enjoyable and well-written book with some excellent apple recipes at the end.” —Cozy Library
“The mystery is intelligent and has an interesting twist . . . [A] fun, quick read with an enjoyable heroine.” —The Mystery Reader (four stars)
“[A] delightful new series.” —Gumshoe Review
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Nora Donovan’s family home was in Leap, by way of Dublin and then Cork, where Maura would meet up with her grandmother’s oldest friend, Bridget Nolan.
But what Maura finds there is not just her grandmother’s old friend, but a whole community of people who already know a lot about her, and who are ready to welcome her. Tea with Bridget led to stories, photos, and learning about Nora’s life before she left Ireland, widowed and with a young son (Maura’s father) in tow.
Everyone seemed ready to step up, offering a place for Maura to stay across from Sullivan’s Pub…and even the use of a car. Soon she is also helping out at the pub. It’s as if the villagers have taken her under their wing in honor of her grandmother.
But past events begin to surface, and Maura is suddenly swept up into a mystery involving a long-buried family secret. A mysterious man seems to be stalking Maura, making her question why someone is trying to scare her away.
Buried In a Bog (County Cork series Book 1) was a story of community, secrets, and the strength of family bonds. I enjoyed it, although it seemed as though many things came together rather serendipitously for Maura. What I loved most, however, was how I felt as though I was visiting the Irish countryside along with Maura, having tea in an Irish cottage, and hanging out in the Irish pub. 4 stars.
Maura's gran told her to go to Ireland after her death to the place where she originally came from County Cork, Ireland. So Maura sold everything she could to get the money she needed to go on her trip so she could see for herself what her Gran wanted her to see.
When she gets there everyone in Leap a small town where Gram lived when she was first married, knows who she is and knows all about her and her life.
The first week that she is there a body is found in the bog, a man is killed at the ATM machine, someone tries to run her off the road. All in one week.
The saving grace is that most of the people in town in one way or another are related to her and help her.
The book is well written and filled with Irish country scenes and descriptions of the colorful country.
I will recommend to my family and friends and look for the next in the series.
Book one introduces Maura Donovan, who has just come to Ireland to seek out her family after her last relative, her beloved Gran, has died in Boston. Planning to stay a week, she soon gets drawn into the local life when she takes a temporary job in a local pub. Before she can even get oriented, she's part of the local gossip and involved in the mysterious finding of a very old body pulled from the local bog. But why is someone trying to hurt her and run her out of town?
I'm really impressed with Connolly's ability to explain Irish customs, describe the local countryside, and create a distinctly Irish community within a fun cozy. Many people seek to know their past relatives but sometimes that search can be dull. Our heroine's search is anything but dull, as her life is endangered at the same time as most of the community is taking her into their hearts and lives. Perhaps it's the luck of the Irish, but Connolly has definitely created an atmosphere and characters that transported me to the Irish countryside! Mystery was done very well too!