Murder at an Irish Christmas by Carlene O’Connor

Siobhán O’Sullivan is the featured sleuth in this contemporary Irish series with an old-world flavor.  Getting bored and restless at home?  Then take a trip to merry ‘ole Ireland and join Siobhán and her entire O’Sullivan clan as they arrive in a quaint village in West Cork for the holidays.

Siobhán is a Garda (Irish police officer).  But now it’s time for her to stop chasing the bad guys and take some time off to celebrate the holidays with her family. Her brother, James, is engaged to Elise Elliot.  Elise’s family are all musicians and are also staying in the village.  Elise’s grandfather is Enda Elliot, a world renowned conductor.  This year he’s conducting a beautifully staged Christmas concert at the old mill. It’s a complete sellout – folks are coming from far and wide for the performance.  Siobhán is grateful that Elise’s family has not only gotten everyone in her family tickets to the concert, but found them a place to stay.

This is also giving her the opportunity to get to know her “soon-to-be” sister in-law and her family members.  This includes children, grandchildren, ex-wives, and current wives.  She’s also getting to know their immediate friends and acquaintances, including Harry Williams, also a high-profile conductor from London and neighbors Catherine and Theodore.

Macdara Flannery, her fiancé, unexpectedly shows up with his mam (mom) in tow.  It’s a week before Christmas and it couldn’t be more perfect — all her loved ones are there to celebrate.  There will be plenty of gatherings, family dinners and holiday baking, all building up to a musical Christmas event at the old mill.

Outside the mill there’s trees ready for trimming, boxes of holiday decorations including tinsel, wreaths, bows and plenty of baubles.  There’s also a large group of villagers and musicians who have volunteered to help decorate the mill and are anxiously waiting for someone to show up with the keys to unlock the door and let them in.  It’s blustery and cold and the smell of snow is in the air.

But when the doors are finally unlocked and the crowd rushes in, it isn’t long before they discover a tragic accident.  Someone has broken through an upstairs railing and fallen to their death!  It’s a horrifying scene, and once Siobhán makes her way to the body, she’s not so sure this was an accident – and she was right!

The tale then takes off on a treacherous game of cats and mice.  Siobhán and Macdara soon become the cats – and there are so many mice!   It doesn’t take them long to discover a bounty of greed, lust and jealousy.  They also discover that almost everyone in Elise’s family doesn’t just have “a” hidden secret – but multiple secrets and that includes the great Enda Elliot.

The authentic Irish setting is perfect for this fast-paced mystery that is both charming and challenging. This is one mystery that is really tough to solve.  There are so many crossroads that you won’t know which way to turn.  But it won’t matter – because you’ll be stuck in the snow along with Siobhán as she tries to outwit a killer or two.

This winter forget the one horse sleigh – oh what fun it is to ride with Carlene O’Connor and her cast of characters in Murder at an Irish Christmas (the newest book in her Irish Village Mystery series)Cozy mystery fans: don’t miss out on this perfect winter cozy – absolutely stellar! 

 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Kensington Publishing, a paid sponsor of Wonder Women Sixty.

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