An Early Wake
An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly is the third in this author’s mystery series set in a small town in County Cork, Ireland. In the first book, Maura Donovan, a poor bartender from Boston visited the town and learned she’d inherited the local pub Sullivan’s along with a home. She also inherited a cast of locals who work at or visit the bar.
In this book Maura is still struggling to make a success of Sullivan’s, although she has yet to check on the actual bar accounts. Sullivan’s is dirty, run down, and doesn’t have a lot of customers. Maura is surprised when a college student appears at Sullivan’s to do research and tells her the pub was once the heart of the Irish music scene. And when a number of music stars descend on Sullivan’s for an informal event, it seems as if things may be looking up for Maura and Sullivan’s. That is until the inevitable murder occurs.
As I finished this book I found myself wondering, “Why do I keep reading this series?” It definitely isn’t because the mysteries are compelling. While the mystery is a bit stronger here than in the previous two, it’s still a “mystery light.” And it’s certainly not because the main character is endearing. In fact, I find Maura rather hard to like, including her dithering over two men who have expressed interest in her. And while there are some potentially interesting secondary characters in the town, there’s been little character development over the three books. I’ve finally concluded I’ve continued to read the series because I’m captivated with the notion of an American moving to a small Irish town and becoming immersed in the local community. But after three books I think it’s time to start looking for other Irish-set mysteries and romances.