Friday, February 12, 2016

Review and Giveaway: A Turn for the Bad

A Turn for the Bad (County Cork Mystery - Book 4) by Sheila Connolly

Publication Date: 02/02/2016
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 304

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Sheila Connolly on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

County Cork Mystery

1. Buried In a Bog
2. Scandal in Skibbereen
3. An Early Wake
4. A Turn for the Bad

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from A Turn for the Bad, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


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...


Sheila Connolly's latest book in the County Cork Mystery series, A Turn for the Bad is an example of what a good cozy should be. The author chooses Ireland for the setting of this series and readers are not only hot on the  heels of a mystery but also immersed in the culture and history of the country. Connolly proves why she is a New York Times Bestseller with an intriguing look into smuggling and Irish Whiskey. This is a very good addition to this unique cozy mystery series!

What I liked:

Shelia Connolly knows how to set a scene. When she first came out with the County Cork series, I wasn't too sold on the idea until I started reading. Most cozies are generally set in the US but I hope the change of local is something that will become a trend because I think Connolly shows that it can be very interesting for the reader. Ireland is one of those countries that has such a old world feel to it. The pacing of life is different and what matters to these characters might seem uncommon or unusual to us. That gives the series a rare sort of atmosphere that is addictive.

In A Turn for the Bad readers are introduced to the idea of smuggling and how it is being played out on the Irish coast. I thought this was a really unique premise for a cozy and Connolly does a wonderful job with it. Makes me think of pirates and the like... lol! As the clues began to turn up and Maura begins to investigate the reader will become more and more intrigued. I wasn't sure that Maura had a real reason to investigate this one since she didn't know the missing farmer personally. But she started piecing it together a little at a time and just couldn't stop herself. It made for a different kind of cozy that I liked a lot.

Sullivan's Pub might as well be a character unto itself. This is a great gathering place for this tight knit Irish community and liked seeing all of the interactions between the characters in this setting. It's basically the local hang out and it was perfect for lots of jigsawing about what was going on in this mystery. Wish we had a place like this around here. Maura meets several new characters in this book, that I hope will become regulars at the pub. It's always great adding new faces to the guest list.

What I didn't like:

This one has a bit of a slow start. Readers who are looking for that murder right off that bat, will have to wait a bit for the scenarios to play out. I would definitely not say the beginning was boring, it was just slow to heat up. It didn't bother me but it could turn some readers off. When the action does get going, it takes off like wildfire.

Bottom Line:

This is a great series. It's unique. It's different and Connolly goes the extra mile to make it authentic and credible, right down to the whiskey. It started out a little slow but that's not a deal breaker. It certainly made up for it in the end. Maura is a great cozy heroine and I can't wait to see what she gets into next.

A Turn for the Bad is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag.

About the Author:

Sheila Connolly is the New York Times bestselling author and Agatha Award-nominated writer of the Museum Mysteries, the Orchard Mysteries, and the County Cork Mysteries. She has taught art history, structured and marketed municipal bonds for major cities, worked as a staff member on two statewide political campaigns, and served as a fundraiser for several nonprofit organizations. She also managed her own consulting company, providing genealogical research services. In addition to genealogy, Sheila loves restoring old houses, visiting cemeteries, and traveling. Now a full-time writer, she thinks writing mysteries is a lot more fun than any of her previous occupations. She is married and has one daughter and three cats.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of A Turn for the Bad by Sheila Connolly.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, February 25th.

1. Read any good books about smuggling? If so tell us about them. If not what do you think of smuggling as a mystery theme?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Linda Kish said...

I haven't read anything with smuggling in them. It seems like an okay theme as long as it is merchandise and not people.

holdenj said...

I haven't read any books about smuggling, but I think it's a great theme for a mystery. Love these County Cork mysteries, thanks for the chance to win!

traveler said...

Frenchman's Creek by Daphne DuMaurier. Yes, novels about smuggling are captivating. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Monniehamilton5 said...

The Restoration by Marylu Tyndall.

Angela Holland said...

I have not read any books about smuggling but I think it would fit a mystery series fine. I like this series as the setting is one of my favorites. bookaunt at outlook dot com

Debbie S said...

I'm sure I've read a book our two about smuggling but I can't recall the titles. An old historical years ago I think had rum runners. I think recently a Leighann Dobbs book dealt with smuggling. There are so many forms of smuggling that I'm sure many mysteries can be created around it.

Rita said...

I think smuggling would be a very intriguing theme.

Wendy Newcomb said...

I think smuggling would make an interesting mystery.

wfnren at aol dot com

Sue Farrell said...

I haven't read any recent books about smuggling, but it would definitely be great in a mystery.

Nancy Luebke said...

They can be very interesting types of cozies. I haven't read any lately but they can involve secret tunnels, involve innocent looking people. All kinds of things.

Karen B said...

I haven't read anything involving smuggling for many years but they can be so exciting.

Anonymous said...

It is fine with me as long as it is not people being smuggled.
Karen T.

Michelle F. said...

Death at Rottingdean by Robin Paige, a historical mystery, had a plot about smuggling. I think caves were involved and Rudyard Kipling was a guest character in the book. So it's an interesting and different topic.

Meg C. said...

I think anything I've read with smuggling mentioned in it (Lilian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who series, J.D. Robb's In Death, for example) had the actual act of smuggling as part of the person's or town's history, I don't think it wasn't part of their present. I could be wrong about that though. Most of it had to do with alcohol and Prohibition. I think as a whole, it can add a little color to the story, but there are some lines about what, where, how, and why the smuggling is happening that just shouldn't be crossed. Thanks for the chance to win.

bn100 said...

no; could be interesting

Anonymous said...

Have not read any books about smuggling.