Blog Tour: Murder in an Irish Bookshop – Carlene O’Connor

*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author, Canelo Crime and Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours.  The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

Blurb: The opening of a new bookstore becomes the closing chapter in an author’s life…

Kilbane’s new bookshop is hosting an event featuring up-and-coming Irish writers who will be taking up residency in the town for a month. Among them is indie author Deirdre Walsh, who has been causing a heated debate among the writers. She seems to have a particular distaste for the novels of Nessa Lamb.

Then Deirdre’s body is found the next day in the back of the store – with pages torn from Nessa’s books stuffed in her mouth. Now, Siobhán must uncover which of Kilbane’s literary guests took Deirdre’s criticisms so personally, they’d engage in foul play….

A charming cosy mystery, perfect for fans of Margaret Mayhew and Betty Rowlands.

This is the seventh book in Carlene O’Connor’s Irish Village Mystery series, but having not read any of the other books myself, I can assure you that this book stands alone perfectly well after the first few chapters. It is clear that by not reading books 1-6 that you miss the background to Siobhán’s family, friend and romantic relationships, but the author catches new readers up as you go along.

The plot and characters are classic cosy mystery style, opening with an anonymous prologue from the murderer’s point of view, before switching straight to Siobhán, the main character, and the discovery of the first body. There are a range of suspects, from the visiting authors and newly-arrived bookshop owners, to a couple of the village locals who have been behaving oddly, but the author keeps the pool at just the right number to allow suspense without becoming confusing. Similarly, there are plenty of red herrings and distractions as the plot unfolds, but not so many that the threads become tangled or overwhelming.

Most strikingly memorable is the Irish flavour that suffuses every page of the book. From snippets of dialect, to food, to the local village culture, the reader feels like they are not just there in Kilbane, but part of Siobhán’s inner circle… one of the family. This aspect of the book really stood out for me, and I feel this is one of the main arguments for going back and reading the whole series in order, to really savour the continuity of setting and community.

Fans of cosy mysteries will enjoy this series, as will anyone who loves stories set in the Emerald Isle.

It was only then that Siobhán noticed a basket in Bridie’s hands with a pie on top. Lemon meringue from the looks of it. A card on top of the basket said: WELCOME.
“It’s for the bookshop owners.” Bridie did not step inside. Her brunette curls were sticking to the side of her pretty face, her breath still labored. “She’s dead. She’s lying near the bookshop, and she’s dead.” The words came out in a rush. “You know she never leaves the inn. What in heaven’s name is she doing lying on the footpath near the bookshop?”

– Carlene O’Connor, Murder in an Irish Bookshop

Find more from Carlene O’Connor at her website here, or follow her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Murder in an Irish Bookshop is available on Amazon right now!

Don’t forget to check out the other blog stops on the tour for more great reviews and content (see the poster below for details)!

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