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Scandal in Skibbereen: A County Cork Mystery    by Sheila Connolly Amazon.com order for
Scandal in Skibbereen
by Sheila Connolly
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2014 (2014)
Paperback, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

As the new owner of Sullivan's Pub in the village of Leap in the County of Cork, Ireland, Maura Donovan hears all the neighborhood gossip. She is a recent transplant, a Southie from Boston who inherited the pub as well as a wee house.

She is slowly adjusting to her new position in life as the summer tourist season rolls in. Thankfully, an influx of travelers is helping to keep the neighborhood watering hole alive. However, she is unprepared for American Althea Melville, who is rude and demanding, when she bursts into the pub looking for a lost Van Dyke painting worth a great deal of money. A very great deal.

Slowly Althea draws Maura and Gillian, a local artist, into her scheme to track down this long-lost portrait of a local landowner in the 1600s. This painting could be worth millions but uppermost in Althea's mind is the boost her career would get in finding this work of art. A commission for her work wouldn't go amiss, however.

Althea believes the high-priced portrait resides in a local manor house. She asks Maura to help her gain admittance to this large but slowly decaying home. Unfortunately, the handicapped gardener is found murdered on the front lawn of the mansion.

Now the local gardai, the police, are involved! One thing leads to another and the clues become more and more tangled.

Scandal in Skibbereen is a delightful read. A well-planned plot, believable characters. Would love to meet Billy, the resident sage of Sullivan's. Having been to Ireland any number of times, I truly enjoyed the Irishisms lavishly sprinkled throughout. Fun read.

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