Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore


daughter of ireland pomegranit

When I read The Girl in the Castle  I didn’t know it was book one in a trilogy.  That story ended well and didn’t leave you hanging.  Maybe one little mystery at the end but otherwise, it could have been a stand alone novel.  It was quite a treat to find two more books were planned as I very much enjoyed the characters and plot.

The next book is titled Daughters of Ireland and picks up where book one left off.  The little mystery  at the end of book one explains who bought Castle Deverill.

The main setting is in West Cork Ireland with part of the story set in London and New York City.  We pick up the story of Bridie Doyle, Kitty Deverill and Celia Deverill Mayberry, their paths going different ways but eventually crossing back again.  In childhood they were loving and devoted friends but tragedy stirs up a mess of emotional baggage.  Love, revenge, fear and determination are a constant in this book.

This second book has me screaming for more.  So many story lines weaving together, leaving the reader with great anticipation about what happens next.  The main characters are all about to collide and I expect many fireworks in book three.

If you are a fan of family saga type books you will love this series.  It’s a touch of Downton Abbey along with rural hard living families spanning a time period of 1925 to 1938 (book 2).

Food and drinks are mentioned here and there.  I wanted to represent both social economic divisions so I brought a Pomegranate Martini which would appeal to the Deverill family and Scones with cream and jam for the Doyle and O’Leary families.


Pomegranate Martini

2oz Vodka
1oz Pomegranate Juice
Splash of Cointreau

Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker full of ice and shake. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Likeness by Tana French

LikenessThe Likeness is Tana French’s second book in the Dublin Murder Squad series.

Working in the Undercover Unit years before, Cassie established the fake identity of Lexie Madison. She worked under the supervision of Detective Frank Mackey (I really like Mackey) and stayed in the undercover position until she was stabbed. She recovered and moved to the Murder Squad (Book 1 – Into the Woods) retiring the identity of Lexie Madison.

Fast forward years later……Cassie gets a call from her old boss Frank Mackey asking her to come to a field and make sure she isn’t seen. He won’t tell her what it’s about. Once she arrives she’s hustled into the abandoned famine cottage where Mackey and O’Neill show her the body of a young woman. The woman is the spitting image of Cassie and lo and behold, her identity is Lexie Madison. Frank sees a great chance to have Cassie assume that identity again and use her as bait to get the murderer. But first of all – Frank has to convince Cassie to go undercover again. She isn’t champing at the bit to do this but eventually she acquiesces.

Frank plans to tell the man who discovered the body that he actually saved the young woman’s life, that she was in a coma and only appeared dead. They plan to tell her five housemates the same thing and not allow them to visit while she’s in a coma. This gives Frank and Cassie a chance to study up on the deceased woman so Cassie can seamlessly slip into her life. Frank has gathered the housemates phones and there are videos of the six interacting with one another. They can watch “Lexie” laugh, how she walks, the cadence of her speech and see if she is affectionate or standoffish with any of the room mates. You are left to wonder who the murdered young woman was and how she came about getting the false identity of Lexie Madison. Will Cassie fit in with the tight little group of roommates? Will the murderer find her before she figures out who he or she is?

So far I have read three of her books and all are fantastic. What I like is how French introduces us to Rob Ryan and Cassie Maddox in the first book and then focuses on Cassie, Sam and Cassie’s old boss from her undercover job, Frank Mackey, in this book. Book three then focuses on getting to know Frank Mackey.

I love the police procedural writings of Tana French and look forward to all of the books upcoming.

Normal People by Sally Rooney

  The beginning of the story unfolds in Carricklea, Sligo in western Ireland. Our main characters are Connell and Marianne and they are you...