Monday, January 27, 2020

Fatal Root - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Fatal Roots (County Cork #) by Sheila Connolly

Rating: Just Okay
Source: NetGalley

Description: A few months ago, Boston expat Maura Donovan was rekindled with her mother after more than twenty years of absence. Since then, Maura has been getting accustomed to Irish living, complete with an inherited house and a pub named Sullivan's. But now, her mother has returned--and she's brought Maura's half-sister in tow. To make matters more confusing, a handful of Cork University students are knocking on Maura's door asking about a mystical fairy fort that happens to be located on Maura's piece of land.
The lore indicates that messing with the fort can cause bad luck, and most everyone is telling Maura not to get too involved for fear of its powers, but Maura is curious about her own land, and she definitely doesn't buy into the superstition. Then one of the students disappears after a day of scoping out the fort on Maura's property.

Maura treads carefully, asking the folks around town who might have an idea, but no one wants anything to do with these forts. She has to take matters into her own hand--it's her land, after all. But when she uncovers a decades-old corpse buried in the center of the fort, nothing is for certain.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed this series and other books by this author in past.

My Impression:  Let me start off by saying that I do truly enjoy this series and I do truly enjoy books by this author.  However, every author has an off book and this was definitely one of those.  It started out slow but enjoyable.  I liked seeing Maura, Mick, and Rose and the rest of the cast of characters.  I like catching up with what is going on in the pub and seeing more from Maura's long lost mother.  And I was instantly intrigued by the fairy forts.  It was slow but not a book I minded reading.  About half way through the slow pace became dragging. 

Maura has never been the most motivated of characters but in this book her lack of motivation was straight up apathy.  Every question she was asked she shrugged off with a kind of "I don't know.  Why are you asking me?" attitude and this ranged from her personal life to details about the business which is supposedly her life.  She's lived in the cottage for a year but never got around to even looking through the previous owner's stuff.  She has no idea how the kitchen will add to the pub and figures Rose (who is maybe 20) will take care of all of that.  Then we have the repetition.  Every conversation between Helen and Maura is an apology and an explanation.  In real life this would probably be necessary but it becomes a bit much in book form.  It is also repeated multiple times that Maura knows nothing about the land she owns, fairy forts, or really anything in Ireland. 

I enjoyed the first half enough to give it 3 stars but I was so frustrated with the last half I would have given it 1 star.  I still love Sheila Connolly and will pick up her next books but I'm glad to have this one behind me.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  I would.  I've read a number of other books by this author and really just felt this book was an off book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozy mysteries I would recommend this author.  However, I would not recommend this book even if you're already a fan of the series.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. The author is new to me. I like mysteries like this so am making a note of it all.

  2. That’s too bad it wasn’t as good as the previous book. Set in Ireland would be a draw for me. Every author has their off books though.

    I haven’t had much success with NetGalley lately and may delete the account. It was great at first!

  3. It does seem like every author has an off book. I hope your next read is better.

  4. Thanks for sharing, and while I've enjoyed other books in the series, I will pass on this one, I think. I do not like books that drag! LOL

  5. Sounds like Maura has some kind of inertia or depression!

  6. It is a shame this one missed the mark, but it happens. I love the setting and see why you enjoy the series overall.