Maura Donovan's grandmother asked only one thing: that Maura travel to Ireland to tell the friends she'd left behind that she was gone. Since there's nothing and no one to keep Maura in South Boston, she heads for the tiny village in West Cork that her grandmother had left decades before. There Maura finds far more than she bargained for: relatives she never knew she had, a home, a job, and friends to help her figure out how to forge a new life for herself in a corner of Ireland.
"Connolly vividly evokes rural Ireland, and her characters seem like real human beings trying their best to navigate their lives."
"Plenty of puzzles with a strong feeling for life in small-town Ireland."
"'Tis a grand thing...The prolific Sheila Connolly...pays tribute to her Irish heritage...Connolly invests this leisurely series opener with a wealth of Irish color and background."
"Another winner of a series...Connolly's latest is a captivating tale—sweet, nostalgic, and full of Irish charm, but also tightly plotted and full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals."
—The Maine Suspect
"[A] well-set and nicely paced cozy."
Pub owner Maura Donovan hasn't seen her mother for over twenty years, so when she suddenly shows up in Maura's pub, Maura's not sure what to expect. Her mother is trying to find a life for herself back home and has taken up a position working with the new owners of the Crann Mor hotel just outside Skibbereen. Until her new boss is found dead in the gardens, dumped down the hillside behind the hotel.
Now, trying to rekindle the relationship they've lost, Maura must investigate in order to clear her mother's name. It's not so easy though, as long-time residents of County Cork, including the families of her employee Mick, and the family of the deceased hotel owner, have bottled deep dark family secrets not meant to be uncorked. And someone will kill to keep them that way.
Crooked Lane Books, hardcover, January 2018, ISBN: 9781683314530
Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons—and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.
Maura's been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she'd never had a chance to do in court.
Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan's reviews the facts and theories about the case—and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case? A clever spin on the classic locked room mystery, Cruel Winter, the fifth in New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly's series, will delight fans of the Emerald Isle.
Crooked Lane Books, hardcover, March 2017, ISBN: 9781683311003
Crooked Lane Books, trade paperback, December 2017, ISBN: 9781683314462
After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways—and Sullivan's Pub is her classroom. Maura didn't only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it's the talk of the pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat.
Everyone from the local gardai to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it's the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister? Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee Mick that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head...
Berkley Prime Crime, paperback, February 2016, ISBN: 9780425273425
A New York Times Bestseller
Summer is ending in County Cork, Ireland, and with it the tourist season. Expat Maura Donovan is determined to keep Sullivan's Pub in the black as the days grow shorter—but how? When she hears that the place was once a hot spot for Irish musicians who'd come play in the back room, she wonders if bringing back live music might be Sullivan's salvation.
As word gets out, legendary musicians begin to appear at the pub, and the first impromptu jam session brings in scores of music lovers. But things hit a sour note when Maura finds a dead musician in the back room the next morning. With a slew of potential suspects, it's going to take more than a pint and a good think to force a murderer to face the music.
Berkley Prime Crime, paperback, February 2015, ISBN: 9780425252536
A New York Times Bestseller
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...
Berkley Prime Crime, paperback, February 2014, ISBN: 9780425252505
A New York Times Bestseller
Honoring the wish of her late grandmother, Maura Donovan visits the small Irish village where Gran was born—never expecting to get bogged down in a murder mystery. Nor had she planned to take a job in one of the local pubs, but she finds herself excited to get to know the people who knew her Gran.
In the pub, she's swamped with drink orders as everyone in town gathers to talk about the recent discovery of an almost 100-year-old body in a nearby bog. When Maura realizes she may know something about the dead man—and that the body's connected to another, more recent, death—she fears she's about to become mired in a homicide investigation. Maura has a sinking feeling she may really be getting in over her head...
Berkley Prime Crime, paperback, February 2013, ISBN: 9780425251898