Cruel Winter

A County Cork Mystery, #5

Maura Donovan inherited Sullivan's, a local pub in County Cork. She's been in Ireland for nine months and this is home to her. Maura never had any friends nor family and now she feels that she's finally got both. Just a small Irish village but home it is. Everyone has been preparing for the predicted winter storm. Waiting out the storm at the pub, Maura waits for the road to be cleared. But this storm is a bad one. People are getting stuck on the roads and going to the pub for warmth from the storm. One person who had been accused of murder twenty years prior comes in the door. Maura doesn't know who she is or what she's done. So, to pass the time, everyone tells their version of the story and they play detectives and try to solve the unsolved County Cork murder. Believe it or not, they solve it but they can't prove it. So how do they come up with proof to free Diane of the dark cloud that has hung over her for years.

The author gives you characters that you watch grow as the story progresses. Each character in the tavern has their own personalities and they grow in amazing ways. The author also gives the reader a plot that puts you right there in the pub trying to find answers to a long ongoing suspicion of Diane's part in a murder. My problem with the book was that it was easy to solve the murder mystery. A little more suspense would have been nice. It's a good quick read if you like cozy books. Easy to read. The book is book 5 of the series and you can read it alone, but you get much more background if you start with book one.

Book Blurb for Cruel Winter

Snow is a rarity in Maura Donovan's small village in County Cork, Ireland, so she wasn't sure what to expect when a major snowstorm rolled in around Sullivan's pub. But now she's stranded in a bar full of patrons--and a suspected killer in a long-ago murder.

Maura’s been in Ireland less than a year and hasn't heard about the decades-old unsolved crime that took place nearby, let alone the infamous suspect, Diane Caldwell. But the locals have, and they're not happy to be trapped with her. Diane, meanwhile, seeks to set the record straight, asserting her innocence after all this time. And since no one is going anywhere in the storm, Maura encourages Diane to share her side of the story, which she’d never had a chance to do in court.

Over the next few hours, the informal court in Sullivan’s reviews the facts and theories about the case--and comes to some surprising conclusions. But is it enough to convince the police to take a new look at an old case? A clever spin on the classic locked room mystery, Cruel Winter, the fifth in New York Times bestselling author Sheila Connolly's series, will delight fans of the Emerald Isle.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2016 3.00