A Day in the Life of Maura Donovan by Sheila Connolly

A Turn For The BadOkay, so I’ve been in Ireland for, what, six, seven months now? I got here in March, and then it was kind of a blur for a while when I found out I now owned a pub—Sullivan’s—and a house. I mean, the most I ever owned before was whatever clothes were in my closet. And suddenly I’m a homeowner and a manager, in a country I’d never seen before. At least they speak English here, except sometimes the people are a little hard to understand.

Well, I’ve made it this far. The pub hasn’t gone belly-up yet, and I haven’t burned the house down, although I’m not really sure how the heat works. If there are taxes and licenses and stuff like that to worry about, I’m going to save them until the end of the year. Maybe by then I’ll be able to afford an accountant or a solicitor or whatever the heck it takes. Maybe.

I’m not complaining, really. There is just this one problem: I get getting involved with crimes (no, I don’t commit them). I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. People keep coming into the pub, and they start talking, which is what I want them to do, and the next thing I know, they’re telling me about somebody who died a long time ago, or something that went missing. Why do they tell me this stuff? It’s not because I look friendly, or even wise (I’m kind of young for that). I guess they just look at me behind the bar and say, yeah, that’s a bartender, and I’m supposed to spill my guts to bartenders. Right?

Don’t laugh. It keeps happening. And now it’s happening again.

You wouldn’t think a dairy farmer who disappeared a good number of miles from here would be any of my business, but I keep finding out that everybody around here in West Cork knows everybody else and is probably related to them three different way, and that makes it everybody’s business. How come I lived in the City of Boston all my life before I came here, but after six months I know more people here than I ever did in Boston? And Sullivan’s is kind of information central, where everybody comes to swap stories and see what’s new. It’s better than the national news.

Okay, this time around it’s that missing farmer. Don’t ask me how many farmers just up and disappear, because I just don’t know. If you ask me, farming, especially with cows, is a messy job, and it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people get fed up with it and walk away. But the thing is, this guy left his kid behind, on the beach, wondering where his daddy went. Everybody who’s come into the pub says he isn’t the kind of man to do something like that. So the only other possibility is that somebody took him away, and either didn’t see the kid on the beach or didn’t care. Which doesn’t explain why anybody would want to grab a dairy farmer.

But when they heard he was missing, people got busy—fast. I didn’t know how many rescue agencies there were around here, like the Coast Guard and the Irish Navy, although I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since we’re so close to the coast. There’s a lot of coast around here. Most of it is too shallow or too rocky for boats. At least, that’s what people say, but then they kind of go nod-nod wink-wink, and I’m left wondering what they’re talking about, but nobody will tell me.

Maybe whatever is going on is not quite legal? But I can’t prove that. All I can do is try to help find the missing guy, and the best way for me to do that is to listen to the people who come into Sullivan’s, because I can promise you, someone knows something about it.


A Turn for the Bad is the 4th book in the County Cork Mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, February 2016.

The New York Times bestselling author of An Early Wake returns to Ireland where Sullivan’s Pub owner Maura Donovan gets mixed up with smugglers.

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.

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
Sheila Connolly, Agatha and Anthony award nominee and New York Times bestseller, writes the Orchard Mysteries, the Museum Mysteries and the County Cork Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. In addition, she publishes the e-book paranormal romance series Relatively Dead through Beyond the Page Press, most recently Watch for the Dead. Her short stories have been included in Level Best Books’ anthologies, and other e-stories have been published by Berkley Prime Crime and Beyond the Page.

Visit Sheila at www.sheilaconnolly.com and Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen where she blogs.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of A Turn for the Bad. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end February 19, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

39 responses to “A Day in the Life of Maura Donovan by Sheila Connolly

  1. MaryAnn Forbes

    I would love to win A Turn for the Bad! I’m crazy for anything Irish.
    Our family goal is to visit Ireland, until then I just visit in books. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  2. I’ve read the other 3 books in this series and would to add this one.My grandmother was a first generation Irish lass, her name was Mary Alice Kelly.

  3. Valerie Consoer

    This is a great series and I look forward to reading the latest!

  4. Looks like a good series to get started. Thank you for the chance.

  5. I love this series. Looking forward to this one.

  6. This is a great series – I love the setting – thank you for sharing

  7. The book sounds interesting. Thanks for an opportunity to win.

  8. Boats, Ireland, pubs, mysterious disappearances, what’s not to love?

  9. Hi Sheila, I love your post reminding me of Ireland and look forward to reading your books. We’re very Irish (except for a few Scots and other interlopers who slipped in) so I’ll love being there through your books.
    Nancy G West

  10. Sounds like a great read.

  11. I really need to get started on this series, I’ve read so many good things about it. Considering I love her other series, I’m sure it’s as good as I’ve heard. Thanks for the chance to win this one.

  12. This series looks very interesting. Thank you for the review. Ireland has been on my bucket list and with this book I can feel like I’m there. robeader53@yahoo.com

  13. Need to start this series!-would be a good way! Love the Orchard series!!

  14. Wonderful series and great giveaway which I would enjoy. Thanks.

  15. Don’t enter me in the contest for a free copy. Just wanted to let you know I am ordering this, and probably the whole series. It sounds intriguing! I am Irish, and have visited Cork, so I’m really looking forward to diving into this series! Thanks for telling us about it, Dru!

  16. Sounds like a great series, one that I would love.

  17. It’s time to get reading this series! Her other series are excellent so this one should be no different.

    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

  18. New series to me, but it sounds great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  19. A dairy farmer lost at sea on the rock coast of Ireland – I’m going to have to read this book! Thanks so much for the giveaway, Dru! 🙂

  20. It sounds very interesting.

  21. Love this author, have read the 1st 2, now Im running behind, but would love to win, ty for the chance

  22. Half way through with the library copy – eager to see how it all plays out.

  23. These stories are so delightful!
    I want to open the page and step in.

  24. Sheila is among my favorite writers. I love reading about Ireland. It’s my way of travel these days.

  25. I am reading it now and enjoyed it so far. I have to read one of Sheila Connolly”s book I haven’t enjoyed.

  26. Sounds like my type of series,

  27. This sounds like a great new cozy!

    wfnren at aol dot com

  28. I would love to go to Ireland so this is just as close as i will ever get,lol, thanks for a chance to win a copy.
    Rosie

  29. Thanks for the chance to win a great book in a great series.

  30. Thank you all for stopping by today and leaving a comment. Ireland is just the way it’s described–small towns, lovely views, nice friendly people. And, yes, there are rainbows. I love to write about it, which means I have to visit there. I’m so glad that I can help other people to see the place the way I do.

  31. Thanks for the great review and the chance to win.

  32. This is a great review….thanks for the opportunity to win!

  33. Great series!

  34. I’ve read all of the previous books in this series and they’ve been great. I’m looking forward to this one as well.

  35. Sounds like a great series. Thanks for the giveaway.

  36. I love these mysteries set in Ireland—I can almost feel like I’m there when I read them. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

  37. I love this series.

  38. Cheryl Corbitt

    I’ve enjoyed Sheila’s Orchard Series and have the first two books in her County Cork series sitting in my TBR stack. Here’s hoping I can add to the stack!! Thanks for the chance.

  39. Sheila is one of my favorite authors, but that only makes me ashamed to admit that I’ve fallen behind in reading this series. *hangs head* Bad Meg. Can’t wait to get caught up and enjoy this latest goodie. Thanks for the chance to win.