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An Early Wake by Sheila Connolly
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Maura Donovan, late of Boston, is struggling to make a go of the pub she inherited in County Cork. The numbers aren't looking good for Sullivan's Pub until a Trinity student from Dublin arrives, looking to research a period in the pub's past when it was a center for Irish musicians. Overnight, legendary musicians begin to show up, bringing the music alive again. Murder, mystery and romance follow closely behind. ( )
  cfk | May 16, 2016 |
I've enjoyed reading this series and watching Maura become accustomed to her new home in the tiny village of Leap in County Cork. I like Maura even though her personality and mine are miles apart. She's an American who's come to Ireland to live, and she hasn't wasted any time in bemoaning the fact that the Irish don't do things the way they do in the good old U.S. of A. Instead she's worked hard to become accepted; getting to know her neighbors, her employees, and the people who come into her pub.

She's got a good head on her shoulders, and something tells me she's going to make a success of Sullivan's, even though she seems to be taking a long time to learn the ins and outs of running it-- like taxes, licenses, and the like. Maura's not the only character in town; the supporting cast is an interesting bunch, but the individuals do need to be fleshed out more.

The music sessions in An Early Wake are brilliant, and I could easily see and hear them in my mind as I read. Those scenes alone are worth the price of admission-- which is a good thing because there's really not much of a mystery in the book.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last book in the series. There's no first chapter of the next book in the back to tempt us, and the last pages seemed to be tying up loose ends. If this is the case and I've read my last County Cork mystery, I will bid Maura a fond farewell. This is an enjoyable three-book series. ( )
  cathyskye | Jul 30, 2015 |
Maura Donovan has a lot to learn about Sullivan’s Pub, which she recently inherited. In An Early Wake, she learns that the pub was once a gathering spot for musicians who play traditional Irish songs – and many of those musicians are quite famous. A university student doing research on the pub, and Billy Sheahan, the pub’s elderly “mascot,” start the ball rolling and within days the musicians are back.

A night of Irish music draws a huge crowd – the largest since Maura became owner of the pub – and she’s happy about that. Maura is not happy when she comes back the next morning and finds one of the musicians dead in the back room. Whether it’s a murder or not, no one is certain. But, once again, Maura finds herself in the midst of a police investigation.

But there’s more for Maura to contend with … all of a sudden two men are interested in her romantically. Not the romantic type at all, Maura deals with it in the same way she deals with everything else in life: head -on and no-nonsense.

This “County Cork Mystery” series is a definite winner and I hope it doesn’t end anytime soon. The author has found just the right balance of light and dark, and has developed great characters and concocted wonderful stories. What’s for a fan of cozy mysteries not to like? ( )
  NewsieQ | Jun 6, 2015 |
In Connolly’s mystery novel, pub owner Maura Donovan is determined to keep her newly inherited business, Sullivan’s Pub, profitable especially now that the tourist season is over in County Cork, Ireland. Unexpectedly, she learns that once upon a time, her pub was the place to be if you wanted to hear good music. Is it possible to resurrect those days? After conversations with local patrons, the word is out and soon legendary musicians show up on her doorstep which in turn brings in the patrons. After one fabulous night of music, Maura comes in early to clean-up only to find a dead musician in her back room. Slapping on her sleuth hat, she works with the local officials to find a killer before he strikes again.

Another winner in the A County Cork Mystery series. ( )
  debbieaheaton | Apr 4, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425252531, Mass Market Paperback)

Pub owner Maura Donovan may have Irish kin, but she doesn’t seem to have the luck of the Irish. Who could have foreseen that bringing live music back to Sullivan’s Pub would lead to a dead musician?

Summer is ending in County Cork, Ireland, and with it the tourist season. Expat Maura Donovan is determined to keep Sullivan’s Pub in the black as the days grow shorter—but how? When she hears that the place was once a hot spot for Irish musicians who’d come play in the back room, she wonders if bringing back live music might be Sullivan’s salvation.

As word gets out, legendary musicians begin to appear at the pub, and the first impromptu jam session brings in scores of music lovers. But things hit a sour note when Maura finds a dead musician in the back room the next morning. With a slew of potential suspects, it’s going to take more than a pint and a good think to force a murderer to face the music.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:36 -0400)

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