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Eilis DIllon Books In Order

Publication Order of Inspector Kenny Mystery Books

Death At Crane's Court (1953) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death in the Quadrangle (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Lost Island (1952) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The San Sebastian (1953) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Sent to His Account (1954) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The House On the Shore (1955) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Island of Horses (1956) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bitter Glass (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Singing Cave (1959) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Head of the Family (1960) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fort of Gold (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Coriander (1963) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bold John Henebry (1965) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Road to Dunmore (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sea-Wall (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cruise of the Santa Maria (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seals (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Herd of Deer (1969) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Across the Bitter Sea (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Shadow of Vesuvius (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Blood Relations (1978) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wild Geese (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Citizen Burke (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seekers (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Interloper (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Island of Ghosts (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Children of Bach (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Picture Books

Dinky Donkey (1950) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
King Big-ears (1961) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cats Opera (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Horse-fancier (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Chapter Books

Midsummer Magic (1949) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Fight for Plover Hill (1957) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Aunt Bedelia's Cats (1958) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Pony and Trap (1962) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Family of Foxes (1964) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lion Cub (1966) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Key (1967) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Under the Orange Grove (1968) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Wise Man On the Mountain (1970) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Five Hundred (1972) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The King's Room (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Down in the World (1983) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Living in Imperial Rome (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rome Under the Emperors (1975) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Inside Ireland (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

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.

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