Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Murder in an Irish Village (Irish Village Mystery #1), by Carlene O'Connor (author), Caroline Lennon (narrator)

Dreamscape Media, February 2016

It's been a year since the O'Sullivan parents died in a terrible car crash, and their six children are still struggling a bit, both emotionally, and in keeping their restaurant, Naomi's Bistro, open and running. Siobhan, the eldest daughter, is guardian of the four younger children, and manager of the bistro, putting aside for now her plans to attend university. The eldest O'Sullivan, James, is not doing these jobs because he slipped into alcoholism after his parents' deaths. At six months sober, Siobhan is not ready to rely on him too far yet.

With the anniversary of the deaths approaching, it's not a good time for them. It gets worse when, on the morning of the anniversary, they enter the bistro to find Niall Murphy, brother of the young man who was driving drunk and is now in prison for killing their parents, sitting at one of the tables, quite dead, with a pair of scissors in his chest.

James, angry that Niall was back in the village and had said threatening-sounding things to Siobhan, had gone out in a rage and gotten drunk--and had clearly gotten in a fight. He's the obvious suspect.

Macdara Flannery, local garda, sweet on Siobhan as he apparently is, can't help but notice this, and he has to do his job.

Convinced that there's little chance of Macdara and the other garda asking enough questions (especially since she doesn't initially tell them some important facts), Siobhan decides she has to investigate, too, because she can't leave James unprotected.

This is a small village, and even with the presence of one visiting American, there on business no one seems to be really sure of, there's little chance the murderer isn't someone Siobhan knows well. Yet she can't believe it's any of them. A village this small is almost family. Her suspect list soon includes some of the village's most prominent citizens, and people she is very close to. O'Connor gives us a likable and engaging cast of characters.

It's a nice little cozy mystery, the narrator is very good, and as the start of a series, my main concern is that the murder rate could soon come to resemble that of Cabot Cove, of the tv show Murder, She Wrote. The tv show, however, was able, when things became too ridiculous, to send professional mystery writer Jessica Fletcher on all kinds of travels, to find dead bodies elsewhere than in tiny Cabot Cove, Maine. Siobhan is a bistro manager, responsible for four growing siblings, and her ambitions beyond that focus on going to university and studying Celtic literature. One can only be alarmed for the citizens of Kildane, Ireland!

Nevertheless, this was very enjoyable and a good listen. Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.