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A Turn for the Bad

County Cork Mystery Series #4
Narrated by: Amy Rubinate
Series: County Cork Mystery, Book 4
Length: 7 hrs and 14 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (198 ratings)

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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Debi
  • The Dalles , OR, USA
  • 12-28-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A Little Disappointing

This book is in the same vein as the first three of the series. Maura Donovan is a young woman who travels to Ireland after the death of her Grandmother. Maura has lived her entire life in Boston. When she arrives in Ireland she is shocked to learn she has inherited Sullivan's Pub.

This series of books describes her experiences in Ireland. She is an admirable young woman who is smart, but inexperienced in life. As I read I try to imagine how I would have fared in similar circumstances. I doubt I would have done as well as Maura has.

Though there is a mystery here, I believe the heart of the story is about Maura's experience and the other people who live in this small Irish village. That is a charming story.

The fours books in this series take place over a relatively short period on time. While I've enjoyed the series, I'm now ready to see Maura's story progress. Maybe the story can jump ahead 6 months or a year and some changes have taken place.

Narration by Amy Rubinate is superb.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 11-05-18

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Each book is unique!

I want to thank the author for writing a book that i feel i don't have to edit while I'm reading for pleasure!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I'm glad I didn't give up on this

I almost gave up on this one. The main character Maura is so difficult to see as a heroine. She apparently was so self absorbed growing up that she never bothered to learn anything about her poor Grandmother's prior and current life. She is rude, insensitive and doesn't think before she acts. By the end, she may be maturing!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable Story

A very enjoyable mystery and narration with believable characters. Good pace to the story. Look forward to more!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carmela
  • Walterboro, SC, USA
  • 07-09-16

Refreshingly original cozy

I love all the books in this series and this one in particular. All four of the stories in the series have been somewhat unconventional cozy mysteries but this one is even more so. Without any spoilers it is difficult to describe why this is not a typical cozy so I'll just say it's an interesting plot line that kept me riveted. Maura personal story also advances a little, plus we start and interesting side story about the painter Gillian who was introduced in the previous book.