Book of the Day

Murder in an Irish Pub
By Carlene O’Connor
ISBN 978-1538730171
Publication Date: February 2019

Murder in an Irish Pub

Review by Joy Gorence

When the “Dead Man’s Hand “is introduced in the first chapter of Murder in an Irish Pub, it is obvious that the player with that hand at the International Poker Tournament will soon be a victim of foul play. Early the next morning, Siobhan O’Sullivan of the Garda Siochana discovers the body.  Because there does not seem to be a way in or out of the locked room, his death is initially ruled a suicide. Siobhan, however, is convinced that Eamon Foley was murdered, which presents a conundrum for the police force and the reader. With a myriad of characters who have some relationship to Siobhan, the protagonist, the reader along with Siobhan travels through a labyrinth of lies to finally uncover the truth.

With the theme foreshadowed in the opening line, “Siobhan O’Sullivan dimmed the lights…” (p.30), the author sets the stage for a mystery.  People may not always be what others perceive.  Though the discoveries made by Siobhan, the reader begins to wonder who may be responsible for the murder.  With twists and turns, the reader also discovers that Siobhan, a new officer of the police force, has the skills that will lead her to finding the answer to the mystery. 

The pacing of the plot keeps one turning the pages as the protagonist deals with the tensions of her family and her superior, Macdara Flannery. As residents of the Kilbane, Siobhan and Macdara must keep their relationship a secret, which also adds to the tension. With the pacing of the plot and extensive use of colorful characters, it is not obvious throughout most of the novel how the crime will unravel.  Unravel, however, it does.

At times, it seems that the pieces of the puzzle fall into place for the reader through the eyes and narration of Siochana. When the tale finally unravels, the reader can put the book aside and not wonder what will be in store for Siobhan or the “good folks of Kilbane.” It does leave an opening, however, for more adventures of Siobhan.

Joy Gorence is new to Killer Nashville.  She is an author, world-traveler, English professor (ret.), and avid reader.  Originally from Long Island, NY she now lives in South Florida with her husband, Bill and their two pampered kitties.