Sheila Connolly’s new County Cork Mystery Series is set in a tiny village on the south coast of Ireland, where things change very slowly. The village has a population of two hundred people—and it has four pubs. Mick Sullivan ran Sullivan’s Pub for decades, but he was recently laid to rest in the churchyard up the road, and now the staff and the regular customers—mainly Mick’s old friends—are worrying about what will happen to the place. Then Maura Donovan walks in.
I’m Maura Donovan and I didn’t want to come to Ireland. I’m from Boston, and I was getting along fine there, at least until I lost my grandmother and some jerk developer decided he wanted to turn the apartment building we lived in all my life into some fancy condos. I couldn’t afford to stay, but I didn’t know where to go.
My Gran was born in Ireland, but she left with my father when he was just a kid and never went back. She raised me, and she worked hard all her life to do it, sometimes with two jobs. She was the one who told me I had to go to Ireland, to say her farewells to the old friends she’d kept in touch with. And she left just enough money to pay for a plane ticket and a little over. I don’t know how she managed it, but that meant I had to go.
It’s weird, but a lot of the stuff they say about Ireland is true. It’s green, everywhere. The people are real friendly. And the craziest thing is, everybody seems to know everybody. It’s not that they’re nosy or anything, but maybe there’s not much to do in Ireland except mind other people’s business.
Which has been great for me, I guess. I keep meeting people who knew Gran, and I’m finding out a lot of things she never told me about. She didn’t talk about where she came from, ever, or why she left, but I think I’m beginning to understand her better.
Anyway, I show up in this village south of nowhere, and the next thing I know, somebody’s found a place for me to stay, cheap, and somebody else has offered me a job tending bar at Sullivan’s. The pub job just kind of happened. I walked in and the place was overflowing with customers—all talking about a body somebody had found in a bog nearby. Since the girl tending bar looked like she was in over her head, I offered to help her out, since I have plenty of experience with pulling pints around Boston. Turns out she’s not even seventeen, but her dad works at the pub too—when he bothers to show up. So that’s how I lucked into a job, that will pay for that place to stay, and food. I can take my time deciding what I want to do next.
The thing is, murder is still kind of rare in Ireland, and it turns out
that the dead guy in the bog was murdered, a long time ago. And the more people in the pub talked about it, the more I started to wonder if maybe I knew something about the dead guy—something that connected to Gran’s early times here. And I decided I should tell the local cops—gardaí, they call them here—what I knew, and that’s how I got sucked in to a murder investigation.
I thought I was going to stay for a week. Now it looks like I may stick around for a while—this place is kind of interesting.
Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of BURIED IN A BOG to give away. Contest open to US residents only and ends February 7. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher.
You can read more about Maura in Buried In A Bog, the first book in the new “County Cork” mystery series.
Meet the author
Sheila Connolly is the Agatha Award–nominated author of the Orchard Mystery series, the Museum Mystery series, and the County Cork Mystery series. Her most recent Orchard Mystery, Sour Apples, was a New York Times paperback bestseller. Her first self-published ebook, Once She Knew, was named one of Barnes & Noble’s Best 100 Books of 2012. Sheila has taught art history, structured and marketed municipal bonds for major cities, worked as a staff member on two statewide political campaigns, and served as a fund-raiser for several nonprofit organizations. She also managed her own consulting company, providing genealogical research services. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her previous occupations.
*photos taken by Sheila from her recent trip to Ireland.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.