Saturday, March 4, 2017

Murder at an Irish Wedding

Author:  Carlene O'Connor
Series:  An Irish Village Mystery #2
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington
Publication Date:  February 28, 2017

Description:  Any wedding is a big deal in the small village of Kilbane—even more so when the bride is a famous fashion model. It’s also good for business. Not only has customer traffic picked up at Naomi’s Bistro, Siobhán O’Sullivan and her five siblings have a full plate catering for the three-day affair. And Siobhán’s own beau, local garda Macdara Flannery, gladly steps in as best man after the groom’s first choice makes a drunken arse out of himself.

Even if he hadn’t been disinvited to the wedding, the original best man wouldn’t have been able to show. He’s been found murdered in the woods, casting a pall over the nuptials. And when a second member of the wedding party is poisoned by a champagne flute engraved with Macdara’s name, the garda goes from being best man to prime suspect.

With a killer at large and a string of robberies plaguing Kilbane, Siobhán feels more than a little protective of her village. She vows to clear Macdara’s name, but the suspect list is as long as the guest list. Like the bride walking down the aisle, Siobhán needs to watch her step. For as she gets closer to unveiling the truth, the murderer is planning a very chilly reception for her.

My Review

This is the second book in the Irish Village Mystery series by Carlene O'Connor, and frankly, I think readers will be just as charmed by this book as they were the first.  Set in Ireland, with this authors wonderfully descriptive writing style, the reader will be transported to Kilbane where they will discover a quaint village filled with enjoyable characters and a solid mystery.

This second book leaves off not long after the first and we find Siobhan once again in the place where a murder has taken place.  I love Siobhan.  She is a feisty, loving, warmhearted independent your Irishwoman who has not only taken on the running of the family business due to the death of her parents, but the raising of her five younger siblings as well.  She was bitten by the investigative bug in the first book and just can't seem to help herself in this story.  Her romance with Macdara (one of the village policemen) is in the fresh new stages, but she is determined to clear his name as a possible murder suspect.  I like Macdara as well.  He is protective of Siobhan but at the same time he respects her insights and ability to observe human behavior.  At the same time, he wishes she would stay out of murder investigations.  The villagers and Siobhan's siblings round out the cast nicely giving the characters color and some humor as well.

The mystery is solid.  The murder victim was not necessary the most liked person in the wedding party and made his share of enemies during his time at the castle.  This means there are plenty of suspects to choose from and Ms. O'Connor provides her readers with plenty of twists and turns as she crafts a well-plotted solid mystery.  I was completely surprised by the identity of the killer - I really didn't see this one coming.  The killer's identity is revealed in a climatic ending that ties of this story very well.  I also like where Ms. O'Connor is heading with Siobhan's future - it should make for some interesting plot lines in future books.

I voluntarily read an advanced reader copy provided by the publisher through Netgalley.  This did not influence my opinion and the thoughts expressed are my own.

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