MYSTERY

Murder in an Irish Village

Kensington. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781617738449. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781617738456. M
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After their parents were killed by a drunk driver, the O'Sullivan Six—Siobhán, James, Ciarán, Eoin, Ann, and Craic—were left to run Naomi's Bistro in tiny Kilbane, County Cork. Niall, the driver's older brother, soon returns from Dublin to blackmail Siobhán in regards to a secret about her parents' deaths. No one is terribly upset when Niall is discovered dead in the bistro until James is charged with his murder and another body turns up. The headstrong Siobhán decides to investigate, even though Macdara Flannery, the handsome Garda sergeant, tells her to keep out of it.
VERDICT This entertaining combination of Maeve Binchy's old-world Irish charm and Janet Evanovich's roguish humor is a smart, fast-paced read. The complex Siobhán is a singular character who struggles with her new role as guardian to her younger siblings. The Irish dialect feels authentic, and a handy glossary is useful for learning the local lingo. Devotees of the Hibernian mysteries of Dicey Deere and M.C. Beaton will toast this debut with a pint of Guinness. Sláinte!

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