Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O'Connor
Rating: Very Good
Description: A slice of Heaven on the Emerald Isle... In the small village of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, Naomi's Bistro has always been a warm and welcoming spot to visit with neighbors, enjoy some brown bread and tea, and get the local gossip. Nowadays twenty-two year old Siobhan O'Sullivan runs the family bistro named for her mother along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents in a car crash almost a year ago. It's been a rough year for the O'Sullivans, but it's about to get rougher. One morning, as they're opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table, dressed in a suit as if for his own funeral, a pair of hot pink barber scissors protruding from his chest. With the local garda suspecting the O'Sullivans, and their business in danger of being shunned - murder tends to spoil the appetite - it's up to the feisty redheaded Siobhan to solve the crime and save her beloved brood. (from Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: I can never resist a book set in Ireland - especially if it's a mystery!
My Impression: First I was pleased that this book started off with a pronunciation guide for names and a glossary for a few slang terms. It always pulls me out of the book a bit when I can't pronounce a name in my head and without the pronunciation guide Siobhan would have been one of those names! When we first meet Siobhan and the rest of the O'Sullivan Six it's obvious that they're just holding it together after the death of their parents. They're all doing their best but they've had a rough time of it. It was easy to like them and I found Siobhan a sympathetic and relate-able character because she's doing her best raising her teenage siblings and trying to run her business and support her brother who is just recently sober.
The village of Kilbane is well done. You get the sense of a small community without being inundated with characters who aren't connected to this particular mystery. Like any small town there are quirky characters and gossips and hints of secrets. This is definitely a town I look forward to revisiting and getting to know better.
The mystery was really interesting. It's two parts - who killed the dead man and what did he know? - and both parts are done very well. I liked that Siobhan is an unapologetic amateur detective. Her reasons for being involved and for investigating make sense and are very personal but she also makes no excuses for being nosy or even tries to stop. I absolutely loved when the rest of her family became involved. I liked that in Agatha Christie fashion we're given multiple suspects all with valid motives for murder and things are definitely not quite what they seen. The reveal surprised me a little and I enjoyed how everything played out. I really enjoyed the mystery and am excited at seeing where this series goes.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely! I really enjoyed this one.
Would I Recommend this Book?: I think any cozy mystery lover would really enjoy this and if you enjoy an Irish setting this is one you can't miss!