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Maggie McConnon Books In Order

Publication Order of Belfast McGrath Mystery Books

Wedding Bel Blues (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bel of the Brawl (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bel, Book, and Scandal (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Maggie is a well-established Irish-American writer. She grew up in the typical traditional Irish culture in New York. A former Irish step dancer, Maggie enclosed herself in a family of musicians who played traditional Irish songs at family functions. She was inspired to write by her grandparents who provided numerous stories of their homeland and the family setting in Ireland. Maggie picked those stories to write her novels, key among them the Belfast McGrath Mystery series. In this review, we shall review some of the best books written by this author.

Maggie McConnon Best Books
Wedding Bel Blues (Belfast-McGrath Mystery #1)
Belfast (Bel) McGrath, is the only girl in a family of five children, born of a retired chef in a five* New York restaurant. She has recently returned home after a devastating incident and the unexpected breakup with her boyfriend. Bel couldn’t wait to grow up and move out of Foster’s Landing, away from her rowdy brothers and hectic parents. The desire to leave came sooner than she’d expected, after quarreling with her best friend Amy, who couldn’t stomach their discord, has gone missing.

Bel did leave eventually, amid mixed emotions, confusion, and anger. She left for New York and found her footing in the restaurant business as an executive chef. Her life was perfect, a steady career and she was engaged to a wonderful man – until a former President dining at her restaurant chokes on a fish bone. An intense argument ensues between Bel and the restaurant owner, forcing her to leave the city in humiliation. She has no option other than to return home and brood in the quarters over her father’s improvised art studio in Foster’s Landing. Bel’s cousin Caleigh insists that she accompanies as a Maid of Honor for her wedding. The big day does not go according to plan, as the bride drinks herself silly and passes out at the reception. She is sad that the wedding was a bad idea and was bound to fail from the start.

As if that’s not enough to worry about, as Bel tucks in her drunk cousin in bed at the Shamrock manor in one of the guestrooms upstairs, she watches in shock as the groom falls from a balcony, hitting the foyer floor with a nasty thud, and dies immediately. Was that a terrible accident? Did someone push him to his death? Bel uncovers many secrets as she probes into the incident, making her doubt if true love exists. This first edition of the Belfast Mysteries presents numerous characters full of life and zest. They’re a complicated bunch but love each other regardless of their shortcomings.

Bel of the Brawl #2 Belfast-McGrath Mystery
Bel McGrath transitions into a professional wedding chef, and she loves it. She has an event slated to take place at Shamrock manor, and she’s had a busy week before this big event. The Casey wedding made her huge losses, causing a loss of ten thousand dollars, a dead groom and a staff member on the run. She juggles between trying to solve the death of her cousin’s short-lived groom, and ensuring the current auspicious occasion on her lap does not end up like the previous one. What began as families gathering to enjoy one of their own celebrate her wedding turns into a violent gunfight with the Casey family falling apart and McGrath losing cash by the minute? Bel went too far with the investigation. With all these troubles, Bel barely has time to preoccupy herself with a new boyfriend and her past problems from the New York restaurant choking incident.

Bel of the Brawl presents a cozy mystery, located in a small town and narrates the story of a wealthy Irish family who lives in a beautiful old Shamrock Manor. The family is extremely traditional. Shamrock Manor has suffered massive losses since the Casey wedding took place at the house. Bel’s father gave her niece massive discounts and the whole day is ruined by an accidental death of the groom. Now Bel’s business is suffering due to that fatal incident, causing potential clients to overlook the manor as their preferred wedding grounds. After managing to host another wedding, Bel is relieved and tries her best to make this day a successful one. When dusk slowly sets in, and everything seemed perfectly okay, the wedding was quite a success, another terrible accident takes place. This time the groom is found dead in the ladies bathroom and the basket holding cash tips from the wedding is missing. One of her employees has also disappeared, and the Irish gangsters found their way into Bel’s apartment.

How will she manage to sort this one out as the pressure continues to pile on and hurt her business? Can she uncover the real murderer and et her life back in order? The best part of this novel was the unity between Bel and her beloved brother Cargan. The two seem quite close, and Cargan tries to help Bell figure out the mysterious murder cases on her guest list. He parents and other brothers enjoy a symbiotic closeness typical of prominent families. Bel’s mother doesn’t like her daughter’s cooking. She prefers to use the old Irish ingredients, while Bel likes to experiment with different dishes and flavors. The family seems close, and they fiercely look out for one another at all times.

Bel and Kevin know each other from way back before Amy disappeared. Kevin dated her for a while, and now that Bel is back in town, she agrees to organize his wedding buffet. Meanwhile, the two seem to have an attraction for each other and cannot keep their hands off each other. Bel doesn’t care that Kevin is about to get married and the two smooch and make out at every chance they get- Not very professional on Bel’s part, as the two struggle to deal with their feelings for each other. Could they be in love? You must read the book to find out. The book was well paced and quite engaging to read. Overall, the Irish family dynamics was well put and smoothly blended with the fantastic characters.

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