Murder in Galway
Galway Ireland Mystery #1
By Carlene O’Connor
Author’s website: carleneoconnor.net
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
New Yorker Tara Meehan’s first trip to Galway may be her last . . .
Tara never imagined her introduction to Ireland like this—carrying her mam’s ashes to honor her final request: “Tell Johnny I’m sorry . . . Take me home.” She’s never met her mam’s estranged brother, Johnny Meehan, who owns an architectural salvage business in Galway. Although Tara is immediately charmed by the medieval city, the locals seem wary of strangers and a gypsy warns her that death is all around.
When Tara arrives at her uncle’s stone cottage, the prophesy seems true. A dead man lies sprawled over the threshold in a pool of blood. The victim turns out to be Johnny’s wealthiest client, and her missing uncle is the garda’s number-one suspect. In trying to find Johnny and solve the crime, Tara uncovers her mam and uncle’s troubled past. But with a desperate killer about, she had better mind herself, or they’ll be tossing her ashes in Galway Bay.
Full of Irish charm, Murder in Galway lays a firm foundation on which to build the new Galway Irish Mystery Series by Carlene O’Connor.
Things get off to a mournful yet auspicious start for Tara as she travels to Galway to fulfill her deceased mother’s requests to scatter her ashes and make amends with an uncle Tara has never met. Things quickly go downhill when there is a mishap with the ashes and Tara finds a dead body at her Uncle Johnny’s cottage with Johnny nowhere to be fund. Even though locals and law enforcement deter her from investigating, Tara cannot help but want to solve more than one murder and find her uncle, and clear his name.
I really wanted to love this book, and the Irish setting, in spite of Tara’s less than hospitable welcome, delivers, making for perfect armchair travel. There are a variety of characters, but none are particularly compelling with the exception of Johnny’s employee/Tara’s potential love interest Danny. Tara seems nice enough, and nosy enough to be a good sleuth, but I do not understand why she made herself at home so quickly in Johnny’s home and business without knowing what was really going on. And, as so many amateur sleuths do, Tara falls victim to the tendency to dive in without thinking and jumping to conclusions. I am interested in the locals, but their unwelcoming attitude toward Tara is unappealing. The mystery surrounding Emmett Walsh’s death, and the subsequent events and a second death, provide a nice puzzle that is complex enough that I was slow to pick out whodunit from the suspects. The resolution feels a bit haphazard but still satisfying. I will give the next book in the series a go when it is released with hopes that the rough edges of the characters are smoothed out. Recommended to cozy fans who enjoy an Irish locale
*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*