We ran away from home for the Thanksgiving holiday this year. It’s enjoyable to get away, see new sights and experience new things, even if it’s only for a few days and a few hundred miles away. This trip we went to the beach and got a place overlooking the ocean, so I could sit and read next to the window and look out at the ocean whenever I wanted. You might say that was one of my versions of heaven.
Once we got home, I started a new book, though, and took an entirely different trip…this one to Ireland. The book is located there and features an American ex-pat who has lived in Dublin for three years. While I don’t have a desire to move to Ireland, I would love to visit and until I do this is the next best thing.
The book itself was sprinkled with Irish phrases and names, along with a pronunciation guide. That was really helpful as I sometimes get pulled out of a book if I come across a name I don’t know how to pronounce. Instead of making up a pronunciation so I can get on with the important stuff, like reading the book, I will spend time “Googling” how to pronounce the name or place, listening to two or three different pronunciation guides before settling on the one I think is most accurate. All that was eliminated with the guide, and I loved being able to move more seamlessly through the book.
Of course, it helped that I thoroughly enjoyed the book itself. There was just enough Irish in it to be intriguing and make me want to go for a visit. The mystery itself was well plotted and the protagonist did a good job of following clues and putting together the solution. I also enjoyed the characters who are hopefully going to be part of the series, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them even better.
What’s the book, you ask? It’s Dead in Dublin by Catie Murphy with an added bonus of the first chapter of the next book Dead on the Green. Here’s my review for your consideration.
This is the first book in a new series which will be going on my list to follow. This was a thoroughly engaging mystery novel taking place in Dublin. The characters in the book are well crafted with lots of quirks and personalities that help create three dimensional people. Megan Malone is an American who moved to Ireland after retiring as an Army Medic. Now she drives a limo in Dublin which positions her perfectly to meet new people and become intrigued in their situations.
In this inaugural book in the series, one of Megan’s repeat couples is dining at a restaurant owned by one of Megan’s friends when the wife drops dead. Megan is concerned, both because 1)she has developed an interest in her clients and 2) her friend is worried her restaurant might fail as a result of a death on her doorstep. Megan springs into action, trying to help her friend Fionn save her restaurant as well as offer aid to her former rider, now a widower.
As Megan moves through Dublin she finds herself occasionally running into Detective Inspector Paul Burke, a ginger haired police detective. Initially he learns some information from her which has been given to her by another friend, Niamh, a beautiful woman who has a thriving career on stage and is well known to many in Ireland. Rounding out the cast of characters who might continue in the series are Megan’s uncle, Robbie and a neighbor Brian. All these characters are well developed and interesting enough to want to get to know them better. They provide a good circle of friends to round out Megan’s world with enough interesting personalities to make the reader want to know more.
The author has also provided a pronunciation guide for some of the lesser known Irish names and places. This, coupled with the occasional phrase with a distinct Irish turn help create a more “Irish” atmosphere for the reader without causing them to interrupt their reading while they attempt to figure out how to say something, even if it’s just in th
There may be a couple of places within the book that stretch credulity, but the mystery is so well written they are easy to gloss over. For example, it’s hard to believe someone who was visiting Ireland would trust their chauffeur so fully that they turned to them for help in solving the mystery of the murderer’s identity. It also stretches the imagination just a bit to believe that a retired Army Medic could have the computer skills to hack an account using hacking software she “Googled’ on the internet.
There are two mysteries here, one is the murder and the other is some other illegal activity that is uncovered through the reseach into the woman’s death. In both instances, I was able to figure out the basic premises as to motive, which lead to suspicions of the correct people involved in the crimes. The book was so well written my suspicions only served to make me that much more interested in finishing the book to discover if I was right.
I’m putting this on my lists of new series to watch, as I would love to spend more time with Megan and her friends. My thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for providing me with an Advanced Digital Read Copy in exchange for an unbiased review. I would recommend this to anyone who was looking for a new series that is basically a cozy, but with a few elements of detective/classic fiction included.
That’s it. Now, if you’re ready to do some travelling of your own, you have a potential place to go. Regardless of whether you choose this one or a different place, I wish you happy reading.