Scandal in Skibbereen & A Spoonful of Murder

 

I was happy to get Scandal in Skibbereen by Sheila Connolly because I really enjoyed Buried in a Bog, book 1 in the County Cork series.  This second outing did not disappoint.  The mystery was full of twists and turns.  You get hints of what might be the answer but it doesn’t come all out until the reveal. The crime is connected to events in the past, a very Downton Abbey feel for that part of it.  This book,  like the first in the series, has a great sense of place.  I really enjoy books that develop the setting well.  Besides the theme, involving life as an Irish Pub owner, there are also elements of Irish history and Art history explored.  Really makes for an interesting read.

The sleuth, Maura, is also coming more into her own.  She has a personality that is more than just two dimensional.  You get to see her flaws, as well as what she is capable of achieving.  She comes across as intelligent, friendly and just a little cynical at times.  The recurring characters are developing and there were some new “tourist” characters in this book, just enough to give you a variety of suspects and informants.  In this book, there is the introduction of a romantic element, but I don’t want to say more and give anything away.

Great cozy mystery read.  Definitely looking forward to more in this series!

I picked up A Spoonful of Murder on a whim from my local indie bookshop.  I really knew nothing about the series or the author. I usually go in with a list that I am looking for but I didn’t that day.  I went home and checked the reviews on Goodreads and they were a mixed bag, but with some very critical ones.  I decided to give it a shot anyway, even though I have a great teetering tower of books on my nightstand and I’m afraid to even open my Kindle right now.  I am really glad that I did!

I really enjoyed this mystery.  A fun cozy with interesting characters.  I  liked the theme, a soup based restaurant, more of a soup and sandwich shop really.  The small town/touristy area setting worked well with the theme.  I did solve the mystery, but that was about two thirds of the way through and I still enjoyed the rest of the book.  The characters made the book for me; the protagonist, Lucky Jamieson, her grandfather, Jack, Sage, Remy, and Sophie are all engaging.  They pulled me in and I cared about the resolution.

This was an impulse buy that paid off.

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