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Eilis DIllon Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Kenny Mystery Books

Death at Crane's Court (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Quadrangle (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Lost Island (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The 'San Sebastian' (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sent to His Account (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House On The Shore (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Island of Horses (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Bitter Glass (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Singing Cave (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Head of the Family (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The fort of gold (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The "Coriander" (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bold John Henebry (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Road to Dunmore (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sea Wall (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cruise of the Santa Maria (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seals (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Herd Of Deer (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Across the Bitter Sea (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shadow Of Vesuvius (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood Relations (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wild Geese (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Citizen Burke (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seekers (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Interloper (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Island of Ghosts (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Children of Bach (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Picture Books

Dinky Donkey (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
King Big-Ears (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cats Opera (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Horse-fancier (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Chapter Books

Midsummer Magic (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fight for Plover Hill (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Aunt Bedelia's Cats (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pony and Trap (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Family of Foxes (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lion Cub (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
The key (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
Under the Orange Grove (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wise Man on the Mountain. (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Five Hundred (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
King's Room (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Down in World Dillon (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Living in Imperial Rome (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rome Under the Emperors (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
Inside Ireland (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon

Eilis Dillon was a renowned Irish author, who was famous for writing children’s books and teenage mystery novels. She was particularly famous for writing the Inspector Kenny Mystery series and numerous standalone books. Additionally, Dillon had written several picture books, chapter books, and nonfiction books. She has also edited an anthology called Book of Wise Animals. Overall, Dillon had penned more than 50 books, which have been translated into over 14 foreign languages. Author Dillon was born on March 7, 1920, in Galway, Ireland. She was the 3rd child of her parents, Thomas and Geraldine Dillon. Her father was a chemistry professor at University College Galway, while her mother was the sister of famous poet Joseph M. Plunkett. Initially, Dillon was brought up outside Galway. Later, her family moved to a small village called Barna. She completed her primary education from a local school and learned Irish very well.

Dillon also gained a good knowledge of the Connemara tradition. She was witness to her family’s involvement in the revolutionary politics of Ireland. Joseph Mary Plunkett, her uncle, was a member of the 1916 Proclamation. He was executed following the Easter Rising. While living in Sligo, Dillon was taught by the nuns of Ursuline. After that, she worked for some time in the trade of hotel & catering. In 1940, Dillon met and married her husband Cormac O’Cuilleanain, who was a University College Cork academic and 17 years senior to her. The couple had three children, one of whom is the popular poet and professor Eilean Ni Chuilleanain. Cormac Miller, a Trinity College professor and poet, is also one of the children of Dillon. Because of her husband, Dillon also developed an interest in writing stories and poetry.

In between raising her children and running a hostel for students at the university, she wrote many stories and developed a successful writing career for herself. Her earlier books were children’s novels in English and Irish. Later, Dillon started writing detective stories and mystery novels. More than 20 books penned by Dillon were released under the banner of Faber & Faber and all of them won critical acclaim worldwide. In the 60s, the health of Dillon’s husband started to deteriorate and forced her to take early retirement. She moved to Rome with her husband, where he breathed his last in 1970. Three years later, Dillon wrote and published a historical novel called Across the Bitter Sea based on Ireland’s road to independence during the 19th and 20th centuries. It was published simultaneously in New York and London and became a bestseller instantly.

In 1974, Dillon married Vivian Mercier, who was an English professor at the Colorado University in Boulder. She moved to California following the marriage due to Vivian’s job. The couple used to spend the winters in California and the summer and spring in Ireland until 1987 when Vivian retired. Throughout her career, Dillon was active in numerous cultural and public bodies, including the Arts Council, Irish Writers’ Union, International Commission for English in Liturgy, Irish Writers’ Center. She was also a fellow member of the Royal Society of Literature and Aosdana, a state academy for artists, composers, and writers.

Vivian’s death occurred in 1989 and was followed by the untimely death of Dillon’s daughter Maire in 1990. These blows affected her deeply and also resulted in her health decline. But, Dillon did not stop writing until the final few days of her life. She was conferred with an honorary doctorate in 1992 by University College Cork. Dillon’s death occurred on July 19, 1994, in Dublin. She was buried in Clara, County Offaly. A notable award won by her is the 1991 Bisto Book of the Year Award. Out of all her books, ten are in the process of being republished. To honor her contribution to literature, a special prize is given in her name every year as a part of the Bisto Book Award.

The Inspector Kenny Mystery series written by author Eilis Dillon is comprised of a total of two books released between 1953 and 1956. Both the books feature Mike Kenny in the role of the chief protagonist. The debut book of the series is entitled ‘Death at Crane’s Court’. It features the main characters in the form of George Arrow, John Burden, and Mike Kenny. Initially, George Arrow is introduced as a wealthy and good-looking man. When his doctor informs him that he has a weak heart, he feels totally devastated. At the young age of 36, George is asked to prevent himself from putting even a slight strain on his heart. Upon the doctor’s advice, he packs everything and relocated to Galway to spend the rest of his life in quiet. During the journey, George meets a man named John Burden and senses that he is quite odious.

Both John and George check-in at Crane’s Court and begin to live in each other’s acquaintance. As the days pass by, George realizes that he was correct to think that John is a nasty, selfish man. There were a few others who thought the same about John Burden. Later, John’s dead body is discovered with a knife stabbed through his heart. Mike Kenny is put on the case to find out who killed John Burden. He makes a list of all those who wanted John gone and starts looking for the one who took the drastic step of doing it with his own hands.

The series’ second book is called ‘Death in the Quadrangle’. It consists of the primary characters in the roles of Professor Daly, Mike Kenny, and President Bradley. The book opens by showing that Professor Daly lives a quiet life after his retirement. In between, he helps the police in solving odd cases of crime. When he gets the invitation from the university to deliver several lectures, Daly becomes quite happy. When he reaches the university, Daly learns that he has been called for his experience in solving crime rather than sharing his literary knowledge. He is asked to find the culprit who has been sending threatening letters to the university president. Daly is teamed up with Mike Kenny to carry out the investigation. Before they can unravel the mystery, President Bradley is found dead. Now, Kenny and Daly set out to find the murderer before anyone else turns up dead.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Eilis DIllon

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