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Publisher's Summary

After calling Ireland home for six months, Boston expat Maura Donovan still has a lot to learn about Irish ways - and Sullivan's Pub is her classroom. Maura didn't only inherit a business, she inherited a tight-knit community. And when a tragedy strikes, it's the talk of the pub.

A local farmer, out for a stroll on the beach with his young son, has mysteriously disappeared. Did he drown? Kill himself? The child can say only that he saw a boat. Everyone from the local Gardaí to the Coast Guard is scouring the Cork coast, but when a body is finally brought ashore, it's the wrong man. An accidental drowning or something more sinister?

Trusting the words of the boy and listening to the suspicions of her employee, Mick, that the missing farmer might have run afoul of smugglers, Maura decides to investigate the deserted coves and isolated inlets for herself. But this time she may be getting in over her head....

©2016 Sheila Connolly (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Infused with Irish color and history, as well as richly drawn characters, Connolly's latest offers a diverting armchair excursion to the Emerald Isle and a loving affirmation of Ireland's charm." ( Richmond Times-Dispatch)

What listeners say about A Turn for the Bad

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointing!

I've enjoyed the first couple books in this series, mostly because I love that part of Ireland. This one was just plain bad. Moira, the main character, was not at all likeable, and her heroics and vanity are rather ridiculous. I'm not sure I can read another. Maybe it is partly the narrator, whose voice for Moira is a bit snobby, and not at all sympathetic. But the story, also, was just too simplistic and far-fetched. Moira snaps at the two men who care about her over stupid things, and it's a stretch to imagine why any man would like her, at least in this book.

7 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 09-23-19

I’m not sure how to rate this series...

I’ve never been in this situation before. I love the books but find myself seriously disliking the main character. I won’t go into specifics but how can someone have so few interests and insights? I love the other characters and the plots.

3 people found this helpful

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  • GC
  • 04-10-20

Disappointed in this book

I really enjoyed the first two books in this series and was looking forward to the rest. The third book was ok but not as good as the first two. However, the 4th book , A Turn For The Bad, was very disappointing. It was the story itself that fell short. I got so frustrated I almost stopped listening, but I did want to know what happened even though I thought I knew very early on. This book was not well written. The author had Maura - who previously showed great insight when evaluating circumstances surrounding a crime, suddenly lose half of her IQ. I thought in the beginning of the series, she would ultimately become a Garda as she thought like a detective and was able to solve crimes the police were not. In this book, so much of the time she was coming up with such ridiculous scenarios that it became frustrating. More than that, the author had her repeating the same scenarios over and over - almost as if the author had to fill more pages - but nothing was added to the story. I figured out what probably happened to the missing farmer within a very short time - yet I estimate almost 2/3rds of the book was just going in meaningless - and worse - idiotic circles. The beginning and the last hour and a half ( where Maura's IQ went back to normal ) were worth listening to but the rest wasn't. Perhaps the author was rushed to meet a publishing deadline, because she definitely has the talent to write a good story. I'm returning it, I'd advise you skip this one and move on to the next.

2 people found this helpful

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The end...

This is the last of the books in the series that I plan on listening to. First, they read less like mysteries and more like scripts for a drama. Second, Maura is just not all that likable. She's not very trusting and emotionally closed off, which makes her less believable as a popular owner of a pub. She gets snarky and rude with people who are trying to help her out with things she is trying to learn, and doesn't seem to learn from her behavioral mistakes, which seems to be a standard for Connolly's characters. Two of the three employees at the pub also have personality issues that make them less-than-appealing as people you want to root for. Rose is the exception. Also, if it wasn't for Old Billy, then the pub wouldn't be interesting at all.

2 people found this helpful

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Missing Man, Watery Grave, Bad Choices

The fourth in the County Cork Mysteries finds the town looking for John Tully, a dairy farmer, the missing father of a young boy. Its the talk of the pub and owner, Maura Donovan is just as worried as the rest about the man. I've loved this series so far, and still do . . . but the lines are getting more blurred as some of the choices made become more unsettling . . . and the justifications at times just don't set well. At about the same time a body washes up on the beach, a man that nobody recognizes. Besides the missing dairyman and the washed up corpse, Maura's artist friend, Gillian is back in town, even though its the off season . . . and she needs Maura's help and support. All the familiar folks are still in the picture, including Old Billy, one of my favorites. Sean and Mick are still competing for Maura's affections, but that all takes a back burner as the search for John Tully and another more sinister plot comes to light. The intrigue is ramped up to warp speed near the end, with a most unexpected and satisfying conclusion to this unusual story.

1 person found this helpful

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A Lot of Filler Material

What was most disappointing about Sheila Connolly’s story?

Several times the main character in the book went over the story as if to remind the reader what had happened so far. She either told the story to herself or to others. As a reader, I wanted the plot to move forward not to rehash what I've already heard.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointed

I listened to the first three loved them. Why does she make Maura such a cantankerous character. She acts like a prude, and yet she owns a pub in Ireland; barely gets by. Now she plays cop, judge, and detective all in one snob! I liked Jillian better. Maura is a bitch .

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I absolutely love this series

These books are so much fun I will hate it when I get to book 7

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Great story line!

I really enjoyed the story line - different from the “run of the mill” cozy mysteries. However with the main character doing so much ‘head talk’💬 it gets a bit draggy in spots. I also wish the relationships and friendships would move ahead - they seem to have stalled instead of growing over the time period. That said i will continue the series hoping for things to start moving forward & another good mystery!

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High drama over a missing man in Ireland

In A Turn for the Bad by Sheila Connolly, American Maura Donovan is settling into her ownership of Sullivan's Pub when tragedy hits her Irish town of Leap. A toddler boy was discovered on the beach, and his farmer father, John Tully, has disappeared. The guardai and the local Coast Guard scour the beach to look for John Tully without success. Then the body of a strange man turns up on the beach. In a conversation with her employee Mick, the man clues Maura in to the fact that the area is popular among smugglers of many things from cigarettes to illegal drugs. They begin to wonder if perhaps John Tully might have gotten caught in the midst of a delivery of goods, but why has his body not been found? Could he still be alive? Maura does her own investigating and determines to do her part to try to find and rescue Tully, assuming him to be alive. After being riveted by ther first two books in the County Cork Mystery series, I was disappointed in book three, An Early Wake, so I was pleased to find A Turn for the Bad to be highly enjoyable. It kept my attention strongly and drew me intensely to the story. The characters do not have much depth to them, but they are still fun to get to know. Amy Rubinate performs the audio version of this book. She continues to do an excellent job of bringing the books in this series to life, helping the readers to experience the anxiety of everyone as they search for the missing John Tully. I enjoyed listening to A Turn for the Bad, especially after my disappointment with the previous book in the series. It had a dramatic plot with strong personal connections, drawing the readers into the story. I give the book four stars.