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The Death of an Irish Consul    by Bartholomew Gill order for
Death of an Irish Consul
by Bartholomew Gill
Order:  USA  Can
Avon, 2002 (1977)
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Bartholomew Gill wrote the wonderful Peter McGarr series, based in Ireland. McGarr, a heavy-drinking man who is not averse to the ladies' charms, is a Chief Superintendent of Police in Dublin. The Death of an Irish Consul was first published in 1977 and just re-released; a wise choice of the publisher. The New York Times wrote of this mystery, 'Very well plotted, very civilized, and very, very good.' Can't get better than that.

When a retired top-ranking officer of a London intelligence agency is murdered on the West Coast of Ireland, McGarr is dispatched to investigate. When another official meets the same fate, the trail of the murderer leads first to the oil fields of Scotland and then on to Tuscany. This is a convoluted tale that is plotted to perfection and definitely worth reading - if not for the mystery, then for the background of Ireland and Siena.

I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Ireland a number of times and love that country. So, in my mind, I rode the roads with McGarr through the Irish countryside. I've been to Siena once, but Gill brought my trip back to me by writing of the thrill of the Palio and the richness of the city and its people. Food also has a place in Gill's books, with a wonderful recipe for chicken in this one.

The Death of an Irish Consul is a fast-paced mystery with characters you can easily like - not without their faults, but regular people doing extraordinary jobs. The author has written a satisfactory number of volumes in this series. Unfortunately, Bartholomew Gill died in the summer of 2002, so there will be no more.

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