Cora Harrison s Reverend Mother series is my favorite series discovery this year I m addicted to these mysteries set in the 1920s in Cork, Ireland, a city still torn by violence and politics.A Shocking Assassination puts Reverend Mother Aquinas right on the scene of a murder.The convent s gardener is dying of tuberculosis, a disease that wipes out scores of people in the wet, fog ridden city of Cork Reverend Mother, feeling a little guilty that she didn t recognize the man s illness, is at the English Market to buy fresh eggs The city engineer, James Doyle, is making a speech about his plans to rebuild the burned out city when the lights go out A shot rings out, and when the gas lights come back on, Doyle is dead, and an unemployed journalist is standing by his mother s stall with a gun in his hand and a confused look on his face Although everyone sees Sam O Mahoney with the gun, no one saw the actual shooting Sam is arrested, while his horrified mother protests that he s innocent.Mrs Mahoney isn t the only one who thinks Sam is innocent Reverend Mother and two of her former students are doubtful as well While Inspector Patrick Cashman was forced to arrest the young man, he doesn t believe he s guilty But, he ll hang for the assassination unless Patrick can prove otherwise And, Eileen, now an active member of the Republican Army, is sure it was one of that group that killed Doyle.Once again, Reverend Mother listens and asks questions In a town torn by its recent history and violence, everyone is afraid to speak But, the small group Reverend Mother trusts is willing to search for the truth.The second in the Reverend Mother series, and the third I ve read, continues to impress me The solutions to the murders are surprising and ingenious They are also appropriate, not answers that don t seem to fit The core cast of characters is believable, while Reverend Mother, even in her seventies, continues to grow and develop It s fascinating to watch her train of thought and her clever manipulation of community members.A Shocking Assassination is another intriguing historical mystery in this appealing series. Although it is never a good idea to learn history from fiction, one of the many gifts of historically based fiction is its ability to inspire curiosity about a past time or place and to evoke a sense of that world and its people I knew only a ghost of a smidgeon about modern Irish history, but this mystery quickly drew me into the time, its tensions and disasters The strife between various factions is not only background, but an integral part of the murder or is it an assassination that sets everything in motion Exceptionally well drawn characters, a rich setting teeming with possible motives, twists I did not see coming, and a satisfying if heart wrenching ending made this mystery set in 1924 Ireland a great read.I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair review. Although the background information is interesting, I found this novel somewhat boring The characters are all flat and the plot itself is flat There are just too many consultations between the Reverend Mother and her informants. Ireland in the time of The Troubles it is only 8 years after the Easter Rising 1916 and 2 years after the formation of the Irish Free State after the bloody Irish Civil War 1922 1923 The economy has suffered, nationalist factions are still prevalent and the border boundary is still a hot issue.In Cork City, a city engineer is murdered in a market a young man stands with gun in hand Guilty or innocent his mother tasks Rev Mother Aquinas to prove her son s innocence Former pupil now Police Inspector Patrick Cashman sets out to investigate.So, why three stars Yes it is a clever plot that does leave you guessing till the end but it was a bit too drawn out for my liking and certain events were not quite believable for myself, a student of this period of history Added to that was my lack of empathy for one of the female characters I really wanted to slap her.I would probably go back and find the first book in this series reading the first book may have assisted me and getting a line on the main characters. Not a bad book but I am just not that interested in the characters I think it seems like the author is interested in giving me a history lesson than telling me a good mystery story and developing her characters I think I ll skip future installments. A simple read not too demanding I do like the character of the Reverend Mother Moreover the book does not shy away from the social problems of Cork during the Irish civil war in which this book is set.It also shows us the continuing effect the war of independence had on the town. Reverend Mother Aquinas Is Asked To Prove A Young Man S Innocence In The Second Of This Atmospheric New Irish Historical Mystery Series Ireland Reverend Mother Aquinas Is Buying Buttered Eggs In The Cork City Market At The Very Moment When The City Engineer, James Doyle, Is Assassinated Although No One Saw The Actual Killing, A Young Reporter Named Sam O Mahoney Is Found Standing Close To The Body, A Pistol In His Hand, And Is Arrested And Charged Following A Desperate Appeal From Sam S Mother, Convinced Of Her Son S Innocence, The Reverend Mother Investigates And, In This Turbulent, War Torn City, Uncovers Several Other Key Suspects Could There Be A Republican Connection Was James Doyle S Death Linked To His Corrupt Practices In The Rebuilding Of The City, Burned Down Than A Year Ago By The Black And Tans Cork Is A City Divided By Wealth And By Politics This Murder Seems To Have Links To Both Why bother The title does not work, there is too much ramble and not enough plot, and the characters don t have any character I know. This thrilling mystery is the 2nd part of the Irish mystery series featuring the Reverend Mother Aquinas.The setting of this series is in Cork, Ireland, and a nice touch and insight is that the author s parents themselves are from Cork and from the 1920s, and so their tales of life and events in Cork are forming the foundations of the stories of this series, while also the author s own recollections from Cork of the 1940s and 1950s are taking some part in this very fine series.The book contains quotes from Thomas Aquinas, William Butler Yeats, while also the writings of Allan Ellis, former journalist of the Cork Examiner and the father of Peter Beresford Ellis Author Peter Tremayne are featuring at the beginning of some chapters, while the author also made quite some research about Cork and its burning down by consulting historical books.The story itself starts in the Month of April of the Year 1923, and it is here where our Reverend Mother Aquinas will enter another chapter of Cork where violence, freedom, murder and death are an everyday occurrence.It really starts off right at the beginning when Reverend Mother Aquinas is buying buttered eggs in Cork s English City Market when all of a sudden the city engineer, James Doyle, is assassinated, and standing close by and with pistol in hand is the young former reporter of the Cork Examiner Sam O Mahoney.After a desperate appeal by Sam s mother, the Reverend Mother Aquinas starts to investigate in her own kind of way, and while doing so, and with the help of Inspector Patrick Cashman and Dr Scher, she will uncover different suspects while at the same time she has to face very difficult and dangerous personal situations.Does this murder have a political Republican connection, or was James Doyle assassinated for his corrupt behaviour in the rebuilding of the city of Cork which was burned down by the Black and Tans some years before, and so he was hated by quite a few men, and in this city so very much divided with dirty politics, could this burning down have been the spark to commit this heinous crime, and thus after quite a few twists and turns the culprit of this murder will finally in a subtle way be exposed by the Reverend Mother Aquinas.Very much recommended, for this series deserves much credit, and that s why I call this book, A Very Exciting Irish Murder Sequel In December 1920 British forces burned much of the city center of Cork In this story, the British government has accepted responsibility for the atrocity and paid damages to the city, However, instead of rebuilding homes and businesses, the city officials plan on spending the money on a grandiose new city hall So when corrupt city engineer James Doyle is shot in front of dozens of witnesses, including Reverend Mother Thomas Aquinas, it is hardly shocking The recreation of Cork in the 1920s is compelling but I found the plot rather dull and, in the end, not believable.
Cora Harrison worked as a headteacher before she decided to write her first novel She has since published twenty six children s novels My Lady Judge was her first book in a Celtic historical crime series for adults that introduces Mara, Brehon of the Burren Cora lives on a farm near the Burren in the west of Ireland.
- 256 pages
- A Shocking Assassination (Reverend Mother Mystery #2)
- Cora Harrison
- 11 February 2018 Cora Harrison