by Sandra Murphy
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Murder in an Irish Village and a link to purchase the book where a portion goes to help support KRL & an indie bookstore.
Siobhan O’Sullivan (pronounced Shi-vawn), is doing her best to run the café and her family after the death of their parents in a car accident. It’s not easy with a brother who likes ‘a wee bit’ of the bottle ‘a wee bit’ too much, curious youngsters, and a teenage rebel sister. Still, the village has been very supportive, and things are improving.
Siobhan is in love—with a pink scooter. It would be so much easier to do her errands if she could fly around the countryside on that pink dream. She’s startled to see Niall in the scooter shop. It’s his brother, Billy, who was arrested for drunk driving and manslaughter for the car crash that killed her parents. Niall says since Siobhan isn’t going to go to college now, she should have plenty of money stashed. He demands twenty thousand euros and says he’ll use the money to prove Billy is innocent. Well, he’s daft, of course. Who has that kind of money or would even think Billy didn’t cause their deaths?
Niall has no sense of what’s proper and shows up at the café too. There’s an ugly scene between Niall and Siobhan’s oldest brother before Niall storms out.
With all the stress she’s under, Siobhan decides she’ll get up early and run, for sport, like. It’s the anniversary of her parents’ death. The other kids plan a surprise breakfast to be ready when she’s back from the run—except, she sees a man sitting at the back table in the café, hours before they open. Upon closer examination, it’s Niall, and he’s dead. Odd though, he’s dressed in a suit, has had his head shaved since she saw him the previous day, and has a pair of pink-handled scissors stuck in his chest. Siobhan doesn’t think he was stabbed there but outside and then dragged in to implicate them somehow. It doesn’t help when she goes to find brother James and discovers he’s not been home all night, probably on a bender.
To add to her worries, the landlord’s daughter inherited the café’s lease when her father died. Now she wants to sell the place and has a buyer at hand. Surely, no one will want to eat where a man was murdered. Siobhan manages to turn that into her favor by inviting Niall’s reclusive mother to come to the café for a fundraiser for Niall’s funeral. It seems Siobhan can hardly stay one step ahead of disaster.
This is a tale of a tightly knit family. The accident has hurt them all, in one way or another, and Siobhan is hard pressed to give each of them what they need. There’s a promising love triangle with Siobhan, the local garda (police officer) and the American who wants to buy the café. In the end, family is what’s most important, no matter who you are.
The characters are very easy to picture in your head, especially the younger children. The café is a place you’d love to stop for brown bread (Siobhan makes the best, ever) and a tea. Come, spend a bit of time in Kilbane, in the County Cork, with the O’Sullivans. You’ll fit right in, no matter where you’re from.
To enter to win a copy of Murder in an Irish Village, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “village,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 5, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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