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County Cork Books In Order

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Publication Order of County Cork Books

Buried in a Bog (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scandal in Skibbereen (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Early Wake (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Turn for the Bad (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cruel Winter (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Many a Twist (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Traveller (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fatal Roots (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of County Cork Short Stories/Novellas

Tied Up With a Bow (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

“County Cork Mysteries” is a series of novels by Sheila Connolly, a mystery and thriller author. Sheila was born in New York even though her wanderlust has seen her live in a variety of states including Massachusetts, Delaware, California, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. As a teen, she went to Wellesley College for her bachelor’s degree and then proceeded to Harvard to get her doctorate in Fine Arts. Since she could not find a job in art history, she went to the University of California Berkeley from where she graduated with an MBA. Connolly has always been passionate about genealogy and history and has worked as a professional genealogist, art historian, fundraiser for a nonprofit, and investment banker. Sheila has written more than thirty titles some of which have been on the New York Times bestseller list. She published her first novel “One Bad Apple” in 2008 and has never looked back since. She now has more than thirty-five novels in the “Orchard Mystery,” “Museum Mysteries,” “County Cork Mystery,” “Relatively Dead Mystery,” and “Victorian Village Mystery” series of novels.

While Sheila is an American citizen, her paternal grandparents were born in Ireland though she never got to visit them as a child. It was not until she was a mother and had a teenage daughter to boot that she visited Ireland. She wanted to learn everything about Ireland and particularly her own history and thus took a road trip from Dublin to Leap the nearest town to where her father’s father was born and brought up. Connolly found Cork everything she had thought Ireland would be and it was not long before she had bought a cottage in the country. She is a member of the Society of Mayflower and the Daughters of the American Revolution. While she has a house in Cork, Ireland, for most of the year she lives with her husband and daughter in a big Victorian house in Massachusetts. When she is not writing, she loves to fix things around her old house, travel, and research genealogy and history, which are things that she is still passionate about even though she no longer works in those fields.

The idea for the “Cork Mysteries” series of novels came from a concept of outsider versus insider that she had in her mind for the longest time. Maura Donovan the lead happens to be both of these things. She is a young woman who never went past high school and now is uncertain about her future. But things change when her Irish grandmother that had raised her dies and she learns that she is the newest owner of a pub and house in Cork. She had been living as a waitress and bartender in Boston and hence she can pretty much move anywhere in the world and make a living. She moves to Cork, starts running Sullivan’s Pub and enjoying life in the small but charming town. Given that these are cozies, it is not long before the bodies are turning up and Maura steps up as an amateur sleuth. However, since it is not Donovan who discovers the bodies, many of the novels are much more laid back and relaxed than the typical cozy mystery. Being an American city girl in rural Ireland, Maura finds that life moves a lot slower. Another surprising thing for the city girl is that she can get a lot of things from the kindness of the locals without needing to ask. In no time at all, she has a phone, a car, and a place to live with little effort. Her insider-outsider perspectives make her an effective sleuth since she can ask dumb questions about how things work in Ireland. As a city girl, she also has unique insights on crime in rural Ireland which is not known for grisly crimes.

“Buried in a Bog” the first novel of the “County Cork” series of novels opens to Maura Donovan just having arrived in the rural village in Ireland where her grandmother once lived. She is there to honor the dying wishes of her granny but she has no job, home, or family. But then she learns that her grandmother had organized her a job at the local pub, and even found her a place to live. As she is heading back to Leap the small town where she is to start a new life, she sees a police car across the road. She is curious and stops her car to inquire. Donovan is told that the police had found a body in the nearby swamp. By the time she gets to work at Sullivan’s Pub the news is all over town and people are wondering who the dead man is and how long has he been dead? A cheerful customer dines and drinks at the pub only to be found dead the following day. Maura finds a missive behind the counter addressed to Mick Sullivan that may have clues to the mystery of the dead man in the bog. It is not long before Maura starts to notice strange things happening and it seems someone wants her gone from her new home dead or alive. Maura is determined to unravel the mystery of the letter, the dead customer, and the body in the bog, which seem to be connected somehow.

“Scandal in Skibbereen” the second novel of the “Cork County Mysteries” is still set in Leap where Maura Donovan is working as a waitress and amateur sleuth. Althea Melville an American woman had visited the pub and from her demanding tone and her clothes, Maura believed she must have been from Manhattan. But her motivation is soon revealed and Maura agrees to help her look for a famous painting that she believes might be housed at the Townsend’s “Mycroft House.” Eveline Townsend who is quite advanced in age is the only resident in the house at present except for Florence and O’Brien her caretakers and Seamus Daly the gardener. Her nephew Harry Townsend often comes to see her but he never stays long. Gillian Callahan an artist that often comes into town during the summer becomes part of the team that is looking for answers to the mystery painting. But things get interesting when Seamus Daly is murdered the same night Althea comes into town with his body being discovered the following day. A detective named Sean Murphy is in charge of the investigations and though his digging and that done by Donovan we learn a lot about the art world and the residents of the small village.

“An Early Wake,” the second novel of the “County Cork Mysteries” sees Maura becoming more mature as he now owns a pub in Ireland. She has fears and doubts since running a pub is still very new to her. As such, she questions her aptitude and craves acceptance from the locals even though she for the most part remains profitable. Sullivan’s Pub had once been the place where renowned artists would drop in and jam. A student from a nearby college comes into town looking to write a paper about Sullivan’s especially the music scene and suddenly everything changes. Maura has not done any promotions but suddenly old musicians start turning up and fill up the pub as they play their music to appreciate patrons from all over town. Sullivan’s made a lot of money on the night and she is happy with herself until she stumbles upon a dead body in a back room. As a sensible sleuth, she first contacts the cops and then starts listening to conversations at the pub hoping to find some clues about the murder.

The “County Cork” series are a set of cozy mystery novels by Sheila Connolly, a mystery and thriller novel author. Before she became an author, she was involved in all manner of careers that included professional genealogist, nonprofit fundraiser, historian and investment banker in Philadelphia and San Francisco. Now that she is an author, it does seem as if all those jobs were some preparation for what she would write in the future. She has used almost every career she ever had as inspiration for some book or other. Nonetheless, she not only relies on the past as she is continuously learning. She now knows how to run a pub as she has one in Ireland, can communicate with the ghosts of her forebears and can grow apples with the best farmers. Sheila is married and has one child with her husband.

After collecting a ton of degrees and working in all manner of careers, Sheila Connolly made her debut as an author in 2001. She now has more than thirty novels in the mystery genre many of which have become New York Times bestselling titles. In October 2012, she published “Once She Knew,” her first standalone eBook. She also has several shorts that have appeared in several anthologies. Her work had her nominated for the Anthony as well as an Agatha Award. She currently lives in eastern Massachusetts in an old Victorian home that always has something broken. Over the course of her life studying and working, she has lived in two countries, nineteen towns, and seven states. She is a true mongrel American as a child of Irish immigrants and descendant of some of the settlers that came in on the Mayflower. She recently fulfilled a dream she had for years by buying a home in Ireland. When she is not writing, she loves to fix things around her old house, travel, and read and research about genealogy and history.

The “County Cork” series of novels by Sheila Connolly tell the story of Maura Donovan. The debut novel of the series was “Buried in a Bog” that was first published in 2013 to rave reviews. The series is set in Ireland and as it opens, the lead honors the wishes of her grandmother. Her grandmother had asked her to travel to Ireland where her granny had been born and brought up. She needs to visit the village and inform her old friends that her granny was no more. Given that she has no one and nothing to keep her in Boston; she decides to visit the small village of West Cork where her grandmother had come from. In the small village, she finds more than she ever imagined she would. She takes on a new job at a local pub and gets down to find friends, know relatives and make a new life for herself in Ireland. She also finds herself investigating and solving murders in the quaint and picturesque small town.

“Buried in a Bog” the first novel of the “County Cork” series of novels by Sheila Connolly is a thrilling mystery set in a small village in Ireland. In County Cork Ireland, there are secrets buried that will soon be unearthed. Seeking to honor the wishes of her Irish born grandmother, Maura Donovan travels to Ireland but she never thought she would ever get embroiled in a murder mystery. She has also not planned on taking a job in the local pub but it feels good getting to know the friends and relatives of her dead grandmother. It is quite a busy pub and she is taking orders from tens of patrons gathered to talk about recent events. In a nearby swamp there had been found a body that is believed to be a century old. Maura soon realizes that the dead man may be known to her and the body found in the bog may have something to do with a recent homicide. She fears that she may have gotten herself involved in a murder case. She may just be in over her head but there is no way she is not investigating.

In “Scandal in Skibbereen,” the third novel of the series Maura Donovan is settled in County Cork Ireland. She is so comfortable in her new home that she has bought Sullivan’s Pub. But her business may shut down for good if the truth about some local rumors comes to light. She had bought the pub just before the summer tourist season and was priming herself for booming business when things got complicated. The first traveler in town who visits the pub wants more than a pint of Guinness to quench his thirst. Althea Melville is looking for a Van Dyck painting that had been lost a few decades past and hopes Maura can help him find it. She agrees to help him meet some of the residents at the manor house which is the place most likely to have the painting if it were ever found. But then the gardener employed at the manor house is found killed and Maura cannot help wonder about Althea’s motives. She now needs to catch a killer and resolve the secret of a long lost art work. She will need to use her Irish gift of the gab to find information before Althea leaves town.

In “An Early Wake” the second novel of the “County Cork” series, Maura Donovan the pub owner may have Irish blood but not the luck of the Irish. Nobody could ever have imagined that introducing music back to Sullivan’s would result in the death of a musician. Summer is coming to an end and the tourist season is also winding down. Maura Donovan the expat is determined to keep her pub profitable even as the days grow shorter. She had heard that the pub used to be the place to be for Irish musicians that would play in the backroom. She thinks bringing back the musicians could revitalize it and keep her in the black when the season comes to an end. As word gets out, legendary musicians start coming to her joint and the first session is full of music lovers. But things go awry when a musician is found dead in the backroom while they are preparing for the following day’s events. There are several suspects and they are going to need to up their game to catch a cunning killer.

Book Series In Order » Characters » County Cork

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