The first book in the Irish Village Mystery series that I got to work on as a publicist was Murder in an Irish Pub, and I remember how much I enjoyed the ending and how Siobhan, the sleuth and protagonist of the series, figured out the locked-room mystery. I decided to go back and read the first three books in the series, starting with Murder in an Irish Village, and I devoured those first three books within days!
But it was the fifth book in the series, Murder in an Irish Cottage, that made me think: “Carlene O’Connor’s writing is next level, and she deserves to be seen.” The first chapter was so eerie I had chills going up and down my arms! And sure enough, she then received her first starred Publishers Weekly review.
The rest of the series has been just as entertaining, page-turning, and charming, with a hint of eeriness in each installment that gives the series a little more of an edge than the average cozy. Siobhan O’Sullivan is a little different than the usual cozy protagonist—while she starts out as an amateur sleuth, she realized how good she was at analyzing and solving crimes and decided to take her fate in her own hands and become a garda in her small County Cork village, Kilbane.
Murder at an Irish Bakeshop is the latest release in the Irish Village Mystery series, and deservedly received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal. The setting is almost entirely in and around a bakery that is located in an old, non-operational flour mill that is a little bit outside of Kilbane. The bakery has the best treats in the area, and so there is going to be a reality TV baking competition in the bakery. Siobhan is there for crowd control—and to stare longingly at the many sweets that she can’t eat—but when a protestor outside the bakery is murdered, Siobhan believes that something more sinister is afoot…and she’s right. The storyline is less cozy than her past books and with several contestants, two hosts, and the bakery owner all having something to hide, it’s an extremely puzzling mystery for readers to solve. There’s a lot of heightened emotions, nasty behavior, and possibly deadly secrets…It’s like Great British Bake Off gone bad—but in a very entertaining, good way.
I hope you enjoy Murder at an Irish Bakery and the rest of Carlene O’Connor’s Irish Village Mystery series as much as I do. Even if you aren’t a fan of mysteries, the small village setting, charming and humorous characters, and gorgeously described rolling hills will have you yearning to book the next flight out to Ireland!
Sr. Communications Manager
Hailed as “queen of the cozy police procedural” (Publishers Weekly), USA Today bestselling author Carlene O’Connor returns to County Cork in Ireland’s lush countryside, where locals are simmering with excitement over the reality TV baking contest coming to town —until someone serves up a show-stopping murder that only Garda Siobhan O’Sullivan can solve.
“Distinctive, captivating characters match a gripping plot full of surprises. O’Connor reinforces her place among the top rank of cozy writers.” – Publishers Weekly STARRED REVIEW
In Kilbane, opinions are plentiful and rarely in alignment. But there’s one thing everyone does agree on—the bakery in the old flour mill, just outside town, is the best in County Cork, well worth the short drive and the long lines. No wonder they’re about to be featured on a reality baking show.
All six contestants in the show are coming to Kilbane to participate, and the town is simmering with excitement. Aside from munching on free samples, the locals—including Siobhan—get a chance to appear in the opening shots. As for the competitors themselves, not all are as sweet as their confections. There are shenanigans on the first day of filming that put everyone on edge, but that’s nothing compared to day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie.
The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently . . .