The Lost Traveller
by Sheila Connolly
I was delighted to have an opportunity to get my first taste of Sheila Connolly’s mysteries as she has a number of books and series to her credit. I don’t usually start a series this far in (#7), but Connolly does a good job of introducing her characters. She starts The Lost Traveller off with a nervous American family, first time travelers abroad, visiting Sullivan’s Pub, giving the author a natural opportunity to explore the setting with the reader and present Maura, the American owner of the pub. The pace continues briskly as Maura, on lunch break, spots what appears to be a trash bag down a ravine on her property. It isn’t trash caught by a bridge pier, however, but something more ominous. Next we are introduced to the local gardaí (police). The plot pace moderates as Maura struggles with various types of issues—relationship, crime, business, and legal. It picks up again at the end with the resolution of some of those problems.
I enjoyed the Irish brogue and sprinkling of Irish words and names throughout. I learned more about Ireland and the Travellers, a sort of Irish version of gypsies, but they are not Romani. More information about the Travellers would have been welcome along with some character development of Peter, the father of the Traveller family that Maura meets. In fact, character development is a weak link in the book. For example, there are a group of men who frequent the pub and try to help Maura discover the identity of the victim and who murdered him. This group stands as a Greek chorus, with little revealed about any of them. They serve to reflect Maura’s progress involving the murder mystery. Although I am not thoroughly taken by the book, I enjoyed the intricacies of the plot well enough to try another book in the series.
I would like to extend my thanks to netgalley.com and to Crooked Lane Books for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Notes: #7 in the County Cork Mysteries, but works as a standalone.
Publication: January 8, 2019—Crooked Lane Books
Was she getting soft? She’d always been independent, mostly out of necessity. She hated to ask people for help, much less emotional support. Now she had someone in her life who offered both, although cautiously.
This was ridiculous: she was being bossed around by a child. Well, one who could definitely cook, and who knew more about computers than she did.
What had Ireland done to her? She’d gone soft. And, she realized, she kind of liked it.