Back Home with Belfast McGrath by Maggie McConnon

Wedding Bel BluesI once heard someone say “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” In my case, the saying is more like “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother, and your father, and that brother, and that brother and that brother and still that brother.” My name is Belfast McGrath – yes, like the city in Ireland – and if you haven’t gotten the message yet, let me just say that I come from a big, Irish family and what they lack in decorum, they make up for in musical talent and fierce familial protectiveness. My brothers and I form what is the core staff at Shamrock Manor, my parents’ wedding catering hall, with the “boys” – as they will be forever known – being our house band and me being our chef. It wasn’t always that way; I once had a great career as a chef in a trendy New York City restaurant. But now, I’m home and surrounded by a bunch of people with secrets to keep and stories to tell.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

I never planned on coming back to Foster’s Landing, nestled next to the river in the Hudson Valley. But fate had other plans for me and they included a stop back home. That and the wedding of my cousin, Caleigh McHugh, put me smack in the middle of my family’s usual drama and one other thing I hadn’t counted on: murder. The poor dead guy was a wedding crasher, sure, and had gotten cheeky with the bride, most definitely, but did he deserve to die? How would I know?

No one’s talking.

But when they do utter a few words, every one is a lie.

As luck would have it, the love of my life, one Detective Kevin Hanson, is on the case. He is now one of Foster’s Landing’s finest even if I never saw that as his true calling. He’s doing great here in the Landing with his fancy job and devoted girlfriend but he doesn’t look all that happy to see me and I’m not sure why.

Lots to unpack, both emotionally and physically, and not a lot of time. Why?

I’ve got a wedding to cook for.

You won’t meet me officially until 5/31/16 but three lucky commenters – chosen at random – will receive an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Wedding Bel Blues, the debut in a new series featuring Chef Belfast McGrath.


Wedding Bel Blues is the first book in the NEW Bel McGrath mystery series, published by St. Martin’s Press, May 2016.

Are they tying the knot?
Belfast McGrath has spent the last fifteen years avoiding her big, bustling, brash Irish family. But when her five-star culinary career goes up in flames, she retreats to Foster’s Landing―where she’s immediately tapped as her cousin Caleigh’s maid-of-honor. It’s a perfect recipe for disaster. . .especially when Bel learns that the wedding preparations included Caleigh having one last one-night stand.

Or the noose?
When Caleigh’s lover plunges from the second-floor balcony during the reception, Bel can’t help but think his death was no accident. Soon Detective Kevin Hanson, who just happens to be Bel’s long-ago love, arrives on the scene―looking hotter than ever. Heartbreak and homicide hardly help Bel to feel more at home, but if she is going to make a new beginning for herself, including putting the past behind her, she must first steer clear of a cold-hearted killer.

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About the author
Maggie McConnon grew up in New York immersed in Irish culture and tradition. A former Irish stepdancer, she was surrounded by a family of Irish musicians who still play at family gatherings. She credits her Irish grandparents with providing the stories of their homeland and their extended families as the basis for the stories she tells in her Belfast McGrath novels.

Flash Giveaway: US entries only, please. The giveaway will end May 25, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

40 responses to “Back Home with Belfast McGrath by Maggie McConnon

  1. MarilynDenler

    I’d love to meet Bel and her family.

  2. A new series and it sounds delightful!

  3. This sounds like a hoot! What better backdrop for a story than a bunch of protective brothers and a police detective boyfriend! My daughter and son-in-law are chefs so I can definitely relate to that part. Sounds like a rollicking good time in an Irish family!

  4. Heartbreak and homicide — just my cup of tea.

  5. I love Irish cozies!!!

  6. Brian Frauenknecht

    This book sounds wonderful and is definitely the kind of cozy mystery I absolutely love to read. Thank you for the chance Dru!!

  7. What a fun sounding series.

  8. Doward Wilson

    Sounds like a great new series. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Barbara Jones

    This sounds really good and I’m looking forward to reading a new series

  10. I love the lead character and the story line. Please toss my name into your magic hat Dru. I’m in it, to win it!

  11. This sounds like a fun new series. Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Barbara Hackel

    Yikes! All those brothers alone would make my head spin. 😉 Add in everything else, and this sounds like an excellent opportunity to enjoy a new author for me. Thank you Dru for the introduction! And thank you Maggie for the opportunity to win a copy!

  13. Margaret A. Barbieri

    Thanks, everyone. I had a ball writing about Belfast. Maggie (Barbieri) McConnon

  14. Such a unique name for a woman. That draws me to check out the book. Thanks Dru for including this on your blog. I’m sure I will be checking it out at our library. robeader53@yahoo.com

  15. elainehroberson

    Sounds like a great book to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  16. There’s always high drama at most weddings, so murder and mayhem seems to fit right in. Looking forward to this.

  17. I always like a first in a series and this sounds like a book I’d enjoy. Big family, music. wedding, food and a woman chef, what’s not to like.

  18. Celia Fowler

    This book sounds so great — I would love to win a copy. Thanks for the giveaway!

  19. love 1st in series and this sounds like a great new series, would love to win and of course read. yea

  20. Rita Quante

    Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! This is going to be a great series, I know; so looking forward to it! Thank you for the chance to win!

  21. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

  22. new to me author/series….sounds right up my alley….thanks for the chance

  23. Thanks so much for the introduction. Hadn’t met Maggie McKinnon before but will rectify this! Thanks for the chance!

  24. This sounds like a great read!! Looking forward to giving it a try. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy of Wedding Bel Blues.

  25. Donna Gantt

    This book sounds like a winner! Thanks for a chance to win.

  26. You have to love those big Irish families!

  27. So exciting to see a new series with murder AND family drama!

  28. Sounds like a wonderful series. Thanks for the chance to win. I cant wait to read it either way.

  29. Janet Senk

    I would love to read and win this wedding book. Thanks for the offer.

  30. Mary Jane H.

    How awesome to be able to start a new series. Thanks for the chance.

  31. Oh yummy. Family drama. Wedding drama. And an old love. All mixed together into an explosive plot. I can’t wait.

  32. Linda Herold

    I love finding new books to read! This one sounds good! Thanks for the chance to win!

  33. Looking forward to meeting Bel and her family.

  34. Vicki Highley

    Thanks for the chance to win a copy of this very interesting book.

  35. Linda Kerestes

    This book sounds like a wonderful read. I love books with an old love! Thanks for the chance to win.

  36. LOL This sounds awesome. Thanks for the chance.

  37. This sounds like a fun read. Belfast and her family sound very amusing. Looking forward to reading.

  38. Margaret A. Barbieri

    Thanks, everyone, for these wonderful and positive comments. They make my day! Maggie

  39. If this isn’t closed I would like to enter.
    Marilyn ewatvess@yahoo.com