Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Book Review: Buried in a Bog by Sheila Connolly (County Cork Mysteries #1)

Stars: 2 out of 5
Pros: Setting comes alive, enjoyable characters
Cons: Mystery is almost forgotten for much of the book
The Bottom Line:
Maura discovers
Her Irish roots as we wait
For plot to begin

If I’d Known This was Chick Lit Instead of a Mystery….

One of my rules is never buy more than one book from an author until I know whether I like the author or not.  It seems like every time I don’t listen to myself, when I try the author, I don’t wind up liking their books.  Yet, I’ve now bought the first in each of Sheila Connelly’s three series and just now am reading my first book written by her.  Buried in a Bog is the first in her newest series set in County Cork, Ireland.  Sadly, it was very disappointing.

Maura Donovan is fulfilling a promise to her Gran to visit the part of Ireland where Gran lived before she immigrated to Boston.  Maura has never been outside of the Boston area, so this is a very new experience for her.  She quickly connects with a couple of Gran’s friends from before Gran immigrated to America and begins to enjoy learning about Gran’s early life.  She even manages to get a job at the local pub.

However, the first morning she is there, a body is found in a local bog.  Just after Maura potentially stumbles on a clue to the dead man’s identity, a much more modern corpse appears.  What is happening in this corner of Ireland?

I wanted to like this book.  And there was stuff to like about it.  I’ve never visited Ireland (although I’d love to go someday).  Yet, while reading this book, I felt like I was right there with Maura.  Her adventures learning to drive a stick and on the wrong side of the road at the same time were also relatable.

Likewise, I liked the cast of characters.  Some seemed a bit prickly at the beginning, but by the time it was over, I had really come to care for all of them.

So where did the book go wrong?  It was the plot.  If this had been advertised as chick lit, it would have been accurate.  This book is about a young early twenties woman figuring out what to do next in her life while she learns about her family tree.  The mystery is a sub-plot and even then not a very well developed one.  I got to the point where I started skimming the book until the mystery came back into the picture again.  Since the book advertised itself as a mystery, that is what I was expecting.

The author herself is Irish and has visited the part of that country where this book is set since her own relatives come from there.  I felt when I read the book that she wanted to make us love that part of the world as much as she does.  That desire out shown anything else happening in the book and caused the mystery to take a back seat.

I know that the author has plenty of fans, so I will certainly give the first in her two earlier series a try.  However, it will take a lot for me to return to Ireland and find out what happens to Maura after Buried in a Bog.


  1. I agree with you, I also try to just buy one book from an author new to me. Hopefully the other books you have by this author will be higher rating.

    1. The author has so many fans that I'm hoping this was just a one time deal.


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