As the new owner of Sullivan’s Pub in County Cork, Ireland, Maura Donovan gets an earful of all the village gossip. But uncovering the truth about some local rumors may close her down for good…
Bostonian Maura is beginning to feel settled in her new Irish home, just in time for summer tourist season to bring fresh business to her pub. But the first traveler to arrive is thirsty for more than just a pint of Guinness. Althea Melville is hot on the trail of a long-lost Van Dyck painting.
Maura agrees to help Althea meet with the residents at the local manor house, the most likely location of the missing art. But when the manor’s gardener is found murdered, Maura wonders what Althea’s real motives are. Now, to solve the secret of the lost portrait and catch a killer, Maura will have to practice her Irish gift of gab and hunt down some local history—before someone else is out of the picture…
I’m liking this series
I’ve read the Orchard series and enjoyed it very much—it’s another district-focal series, and I urge tou to check it out.
I hope Maura Donovan will visit Skellig Michael in a later book.
So we see a contrast between Maura and another American, so different from each other, and Maura, who has accepted Ireland and its families, customs, and way of life. Althea, an employee of a fine art museum in New York City, is brash, pushy, demanding, selfish, and oblivious to how her behavior is truly unwelcome in County Cork.
A small oil sketch presented at an appraisal event strikes Althea as a previously undiscovered Van Dyck, and she believes there’s a larger full portrait in County Cork, because that’s all the information Dorothy who owned the sketch, had from her great-aunt, who brought it from there. It seems that a number of Irish ex-pats, at least women, don’t tend to reminisce with their offspring about their life in Ireland, as this great-aunt and Maura’s Gran did not. Should Dorothy ever visit the area, she will find as many relatives and connections as Maura did on her arrival.
The sketch and the search for its finished painting cause no end of trouble. Many secrets are revealed. Many connections are discovered.
That painting’s going to need some careful cleaning going forth, from centuries of smoke and other accumulations on the varnish.
I still don’t know what happened to Maura’s return ticket to Boston—did she cash it in before her expected date of departure?
The one thing I wish Ms. Connelly would do is give occasional reminders on what her primary characters look like! True for this and the Orchard series—buildings get more descriptions and with reasonable frequency.
I found this twists and turns in these two books, and probably the rest of the series, really interesting and riveting.
Scandal in Shebereen
A n engaging tale that keeps the reader turning the pages and staring up a bit late to see what will happen next. The characters are believable and well developed. There are just enough twists and turns to keep it “real.” A most enjoyable mystery!
Scandal in Skibbereen
I long for the green hills and the lilting cadence of Irish spoken by those friendly folk. Now, if I could find a little pub and hear Billy repeat his tales, I'd buy him a pint.