Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Shocking Assassination by Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison's Reverend Mother series is my favorite series discovery this year. I'm addicted to these mysteries set in the 1920s in Cork, Ireland, a city still torn by violence and politics.A Shocking Assassination puts Reverend Mother Aquinas right on the scene of a murder.

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

A Shocking Assassination by Cora Harrison. Severn House, 2016. ISBN 9780727885968 (hardcover), 244p.

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Netteanne said...

Based on your enthusiastic recommendation I put the first in this series on hold and look forward to reading it. You are a great resource for new authors and interesting books and characters. And quite frankly I do not need new authors but do get pulled in by many you recommend. Thank you.

Kay said...

So glad to hear that your time with this series is proving good. I have the first book and will try to read it soon. I'm kind of enjoying a bit of historical mystery reading right now. Saw several panels at Malice that were made up of those type of authors and I was very intrigued by what they said about their research, etc. Anyway, my reading does at times take me down paths that I haven't visited for a bit. This series would fit right in. ;-)

Lesa said...

Right there with you, Netteanne. I don't need new authors either, but I'm hooked on this one.

Lesa said...

I hope you like the series, Kay. I've been reading a number of historical mystery series lately as well. I like the meatiness of some of them. And, I find myself drifting off to look things up when I'm reading them.

Gram said...

Sounds like a series I want to read so I pu A Shameful Murder on my library list. Thanks.

Lesa said...

You're welcome, Gram! I hope you enjoy it.