Monday, February 13, 2023

The Year of Reading Stuff I'm Excited About - An Irish Country Doctor +Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered


In 2023 my reading goals were to focus on reading books I was excited to read or had been looking forward to reading.  Here are two recent reads that met that criteria.

Goodreads:  An Irish Country Doctor by Patrick Taylor

Blurb:  Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the Northern Ireland village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there. But Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.
At least until he meets Dr. Fingal Flahertie O'Reilly.

The older physician has his own way of doing things. At first, Barry can't decide if the pugnacious O'Reilly is the biggest charlatan he has ever met or the best teacher he could ever hope for. Through O'Reilly, Barry soon gets to know all of the village's colourful and endearing residents and a host of other eccentric characters who make every day an education for the inexperienced young doctor.

Ballybucklebo is a long way from Belfast, and Barry is quick to discover that he still has a lot to learn about country life. But with pluck and compassion, and only the slightest touch of blarney, he will find out more about life--and love--than he ever imagined back in medical school.

My Thoughts:  This was a lovely cozy read full of quirky characters (and animals) and interesting stories.  It reminded me very strongly of All Creatures Great and Small  except that this involved humans instead of animals.  Fingal was quite the mentor and Barry learning that life cannot always lived by the book is fun.  Barry's friend Jack is a side character and provides a nice contrast showing the difference between being a doctor in a busy city hospital vs a village GP.  There's a bit of romance, a cat named Lady Macbeth and a long suffering housekeeper with a sense of humor.  This was a quick read and one I thoroughly enjoyed.  I'm glad to see that it is the first in a series so I can revisit Ballybucklebo and its inhabitants.  My Rating: Really Liked It! (4 Stars)

Goodreads:  Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village by Maureen Johnson and Jay Cooper

Blurb: A weekend roaming narrow old lanes, touring the faded glories of a country manor, and quaffing pints in the pub. How charming. That is, unless you have the misfortune of finding yourself in an English Murder Village, where danger lurks around each picturesque cobblestone corner and every sip of tea may be your last. If you insist on your travels, do yourself a favor and bring a copy of this little book. It may just keep you alive.
Brought to life with dozens of Gorey-esque drawings by illustrator Jay Cooper and peppered with allusions to classic crime series and unmistakably British murder lore, Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village gives you the tools you need to avoid the same fate, should you find yourself in a suspiciously cozy English village (or simply dream of going). Good luck, and whatever you do, avoid the vicar.

My Thoughts:  This was so much fun!  It's a quick book to flip through that details the places and characters that live in the village and the nearby manor and how the characters or the places will kill you.  And if anything fails the Vicar is there to kill you on sight.  There are also a few quizzes to see what will eventually get you and when.  I laughed all through this and absolutely loved the author's tongue in cheek tone.  If you have a British mystery lover in your life this would be such a fun gift - and if you ARE the British mystery lover it would be a great gift to yourself.  My Rating:  Really Liked It! (4.5 Stars)


  1. Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered sounds awesome! I love fun books like that. :D

  2. I thought about All Creatures as well! that's a good book about the Irish doctor.

  3. I love the idea of the An Irish Country Doctor. would make a great TV series.

  4. I'm also going to be reading some books for pure pleasure. The An Irish Country Doctor sounds great. 📚

  5. I love the sound of both these books!