No Strangers Here

Kensington. (County Kerry, Bk. 1). Oct. 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781496737526. $27. M
In a tightknit Irish town, the body of Johnny O’Reilly, the town’s richest man, is found staged on a local beach. The only clues are black stones spelling out “Last Dance,” a tarot card, a syringe containing veterinary euthanasia medication, and small footprints leading away from the scene. Recently transferred DI Cormac O’Brien, ignorant of the local lore and characters, is dependent upon longtime DS Neely for context. The O’Reilly family is determined to point O’Brien in the direction of local veterinarian Dr. Wilde, due to longstanding family grudges. Alerted to the situation by a friend and former police officer, Wilde’s daughter Dimpna, also a veterinarian, reluctantly returns home after a long absence to find her father not only a suspect in a murder, but also sadly losing his memory and incapable of maintaining his practice. She steps into his practice and the murder investigation. Cormac and Dimpna navigate the clues and uncover answers to long held secrets.
VERDICT Known for her cozies, O’Connor (“Home to Ireland” and “Irish Village” series) moves into darker territory here. For fans of Louise Penny.
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