First Line: "John Tully's gone missing."
Maura Donovan has been living in County Cork, Ireland for six months, but she still has a lot to learn about the tight-knit village she inherited along with Sullivan's Pub. A local farmer, out for a stroll along the beach with his young son, has disappeared, and the tragedy brings all the locals to Maura's pub.
When a body is finally brought ashore, it is not the missing farmer. Maura's been listening while she keeps everyone plied with tea, and when she puts together what the farmer's little boy has said with what one of her employees mentioned, Maura decides to investigate the isolated coves and inlets along the coast for herself. But that may not be a very wise thing to do....
From what was a strong start I'm sad to say that-- to me-- Sheila Connolly's County Cork series is slowly running out of steam. In this fourth book nothing of substance happens until the halfway point, and then the most exciting part of the entire book takes place offstage.
A minor plot point concerns Gillian the artist, but most of the action consists of the village hanging out at the pub while they wait for news about the missing farmer. Maura counts heads, pours endless cups of tea, bemoans the fact that no one is actually buying anything, and learns a bit about the history of the area.
As it turns out, this community in which Maura lives knows more about what's really going on than Maura does. It has done from the start. But... Maura is the only one to roll up her sleeves and start putting things in motion. That didn't quite make sense to me in a book that was sadly lackluster. Am I going to continue with the series? I don't think so.
A Turn for the Bad by Sheila Connolly
Berkley Prime Crime © 2016
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Cozy Mystery, #4 County Cork mystery
Source: Purchased at The Poisoned Pen.