MURDER IN GALWAY
By Carlene O’Connor
Tara Meehan is taking her first trip to Ireland on a sad mission: she’s honoring her late mother’s final request to spread her ashes in the place where she was born; and apologize to her brother, Johnny. Tara’s visit gets off to a bad start. As she’s carrying the urn containing her mom’s remains, some of the young lads decide to have a little fun by playing catch with it and snatch it out of her arms. As Tara tries to retrieve it, the urn falls toward an unsuspecting passer-by, the lid opens, and the man ends up covered in ashes.
Tara is anxious to honor her mother’s other request, to connect with Johnny Meehan, the uncle she’s never seen who runs an antique business, Irish Revivals. Tara hopes to discover from Johnny why her mother left Ireland so suddenly, never to return. When she gets to his cottage, she discovers a man…bludgeoned to death. Tara assumes that it’s her uncle, and she is devastated that his life ended so violently, especially since now they’ll never be able to connect. As word spreads around Galway that Johnny Meehan is dead, Tara finds out that public opinion suggests that he may have brought it on himself because of his recent outbursts of paranoia, which made him a lot of enemies.
Johnny goes from poor murder victim to prime murder suspect in a flash when the police determine that the dead man is really Emmet Walsh, Irish Revival’s wealthiest client. Tara is stunned by this unexpected news, and despite the fact that she’s never even met her uncle, is determined to prove his innocence. Once she can find him, of course.
“Murder in Galway” is an entertaining start to a new cozy mystery series by Carlene O’Connor, who also writes the successful Irish Village Mysteries. It’s challenging to write two series with a similar setting and make them completely different, but O’Connor has pulled it off brilliantly.