Sunday, February 15, 2015
Review: Scandal In Skibbereen By Sheila Connolly
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
As the new owner of Sullivan’s Pub in County Cork, Ireland, Maura Donovan gets an earful of all the village gossip. But uncovering the truth about some local rumors may close her down for good…
Bostonian Maura is beginning to feel settled in her new Irish home, just in time for summer tourist season to bring fresh business to her pub. But the first traveler to arrive is thirsty for more than just a pint of Guinness. Althea Melville is hot on the trail of a long-lost Van Dyck painting.
Maura agrees to help Althea meet with the residents at the local manor house, the most likely location of the missing art. But when the manor’s gardener is found murdered, Maura wonders what Althea’s real motives are. Now, to solve the secret of the lost portrait and catch a killer, Maura will have to practice her Irish gift of gab and hunt down some local history before someone else is out of the picture…
Although I enjoyed the first installment of the County Cork Mystery series, I must admit this second installment was certainly much better than the first and I loved revisiting this endearing cast of characters as well as Ireland's countryside. Just as Maura Donovan is settling into her new life as the owner of Sullivan's Pub and learning the customs and manners of her new surroundings, Althea Melville, an Art Historian from New York, makes a whirlwind entrance in her search for a previously unknown and extremely valuable Van Dyck painting. However, Althea's demanding behavior and arrogance only hinders her search until Maura decides to assist Althea. But, would Althea's determination and lack of patience lead her to murder? When the gardener of the Manor suspected of housing the lost Van Dyck is found pushing up daisies, Maura is quick to question Althea's motives and finds herself digging into the Manor's history. With endearing characters, wonderful historical research, a well-developed plot and sub-plots, as well as unexpected twists and turns, Sheila Connolly has created another wonderful cozy mystery. Scandal In Skibbereen was just what I needed to chase away the winter chills! FOUR stars.