Sunday, May 27, 2018
A Shocking Assassination by Cora Harrison
The convent's gardener is dying of tuberculosis, a disease that wipes out scores of people in the wet, fog-ridden city of Cork. Reverend Mother, feeling a little guilty that she didn't recognize the man's illness, is at the English Market to buy fresh eggs. The city engineer, James Doyle, is making a speech about his plans to rebuild the burned out city when the lights go out. A shot rings out, and when the gas lights come back on, Doyle is dead, and an unemployed journalist is standing by his mother's stall with a gun in his hand and a confused look on his face. Although everyone sees Sam O'Mahoney with the gun, no one saw the actual shooting. Sam is arrested, while his horrified mother protests that he's innocent.
Mrs. Mahoney isn't the only one who thinks Sam is innocent. Reverend Mother and two of her former students are doubtful as well. While Inspector Patrick Cashman was forced to arrest the young man, he doesn't believe he's guilty. But, he'll hang for the assassination unless Patrick can prove otherwise. And, Eileen, now an active member of the Republican Army, is sure it was one of that group that killed Doyle.
Once again, Reverend Mother listens and asks questions. In a town torn by its recent history and violence, everyone is afraid to speak. But, the small group Reverend Mother trusts is willing to search for the truth.
The second in the Reverend Mother series, and the third I've read, continues to impress me. The solutions to the murders are surprising and ingenious. They are also appropriate, not answers that don't seem to fit. The core cast of characters is believable, while Reverend Mother, even in her seventies, continues to grow and develop. It's fascinating to watch her train of thought and her clever manipulation of community members.
A Shocking Assassination is another intriguing historical mystery in this appealing series.
Cora Harrison's website is www.coraharrison.com
A Shocking Assassination by Cora Harrison. Severn House, 2016. ISBN 9780727885968 (hardcover), 244p.
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