Scandal in Skibbereen
by Sheila Connolly
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Released: February 4, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Bostonian Maura is beginning to feel settled in her new Irish home, just in time for summer tourist season to bring fresh business to her pub. But the first traveler to arrive is thirsty for more than just a pint of Guinness. Althea Melville is hot on the trail of a long-lost Van Dyck painting.
Maura agrees to help Althea meet with the residents at the local manor house, the most likely location of the missing art. But when the manor’s gardener is found murdered, Maura wonders what Althea’s real motives are. Now, to solve the secret of the lost portrait and catch a killer, Maura will have to practice her Irish gift of gab and hunt down some local history.
Scandal in Skibbereen is a cozy mystery. It's the second in a series, but you don't need to read the previous books to understand this one, and this book didn't spoil the whodunit of the previous novels.
There were two mysteries in this book: one about a painting and one about a murder. The main focus was on finding and authenticating a painting. To this end, Maura helped connect Althea to the people who would know the answers to her questions and then played mediator to get them to talk with pushy Althea.
Maura believes that the murder has something to do with Althea's search for the painting, but all she can do is feed information relating to the painting to the police. Little information is uncovered about the murder until vital clues are confessed to the police at the end. However, the reader could guess from the clues about the story of the painting and how it might be connected to the murder.
The characters were interesting and nice enough, but the main draw of the story for me was the description of Ireland and the interesting story that unfolds about the two paintings.
There were no sex scenes. There was some explicit bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this interesting mystery to those interested in Ireland or paintings.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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