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Publisher's Summary

Bostonian Maura is beginning to feel settled in her new Irish home, just in time for summer tourist season to bring fresh business to her pub. But the first traveler to arrive is thirsty for more than just a pint of Guinness. Althea Melville is hot on the trail of a long-lost Van Dyck painting. Maura agrees to help Althea meet with the residents at the local manor house, the most likely location of the missing art. But when the manor's gardener is found murdered, Maura wonders what Althea's real motives are. Now, to solve the secret of the lost portrait and catch a killer, Maura will have to practice her Irish gift of gab and hunt down some local history-before someone else is out of the picture...

©2014 Sheila Connolly (P)2014 Tantor

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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A Gentler World

From time to time when I want a break from the harshness of the "real world" I listen to the next book in this series. Reading these stories reminds me that human beings can be kind and sensible. When I finish the books I feel hopeful, in spite of the discouraging events that are reported in the news.

I like Maura Donovan, the main character in this series. She is a down to earth young woman whose life has changed drastically, and for the better. She has moved from South Boston to a very small village in Ireland. That story is told in the first book of the series. I would strongly recommend reading this series in order. Maura is intelligent and resourceful.

The pace of these stories is moderate, but steady. There is an interesting cast of characters. There is no graphic language, sex or violence. The mystery is of more of a puzzle than a "who dunit".

Narrator Amy Rubinate is excellent. I am from the north central United States, so I have no idea if the accents are "accurate". And I've never been to Ireland. What is important to me is that I could easily understand every word that was said, and I could picture the locations in my mind.

This has become one of my favorite "cozy" series. I intend to listen to all the books in this series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 05-21-14

This is a great series

I really enjoyed listening to this book. Shiela Connolly has a talent for blending the past and present together without being confusing or uninteresting. The pace is good and the characters are developing realistically. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Gets better with each read.

I absolutely loved this story. This is my third listen, and I find myself not wanting to stop listening. Did I mention this was my third listen? The storyline is smooth, the characters are very personable and the narrator is spot on. She keeps the story vibrant and believable. Love, love, love this book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Murder over Art

In <strong>Scandal in Skibbereen</strong> by Sheila Connolly, Maura Donovan has owned Mick's pub about three months when Althea Melville, an art specialist from New York, walks in. A woman has brought a small painting to an appraisal event that Althea has identified as a preliminary drawing for a large painting by the famous artist Van Dyck. Since Jane Deasy, the owner of the piece, inherited her copy from her great- aunt who came from Ireland, Althea has come to Leap in a personal quest to find the large painting. A talk with the old man who sits in the pub makes Althea believe it must be in Mycroft House in nearby Skibbereen, occupied for life by the nonagenarian Eveline Townsend and owned by her nephew, Harry. Then Althea gets turned away at the door by Florence O'Brien, who, with her husband, Tom, manages Eveline's home. The next morning, Seamus Daly, a mentally challenged man who has worked as their gardener, is found murdered on the grounds.

Still determined to get into the manor house, Althea attempts to sleep her way in with Harry, who has come to Leap because of the murder. But she gets spotted by both Eveline and Florence and thoroughly banned from the estate. Maura decides to step in and help Althea despite the rudeness and abrasiveness of the latter woman, so she enlists local artist Jillian, who grew up with Harry, to help find the painting. But who was responsible for Seamus's murder?

<strong>Scandal in Skibbereen</strong> proved to be a fun, delightful book with a great mystery. Even though there were quite a few characters in the book, I had no trouble keeping them straight. Each has a unique set of characteristics, making me feel that I would recognize them if I ran into them. I found myself cheering on Maura for her empathy for those around her and scorning Althea for her bad attitude. The mystery was clever, with many interesting twists. I appreciated the way it incorporated both the Irish culture and the art world in its approach.

Amy Rubinate performs the audio edition of this book. She especially does a good job of working with the various accents required for this role, including many old and young Irish characters, the Bostonian Maura, and the New Yorker Althea. Rubinate gives a strong performance of this book and makes the book all the more effective.

<strong>Scandal in Skibbereen</strong> turned out to be a fantastic listening experience. The book was creative and exciting, and it kept me eagerly awaiting the rest of the book. Now I am eagerly awaiting my chance to listen to the next book. I give it five stars.

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The Duo has done it again!!

Amy Rubinstein handled the story to the max!!
Of course Sheila Connolly did her part with her excellent book!!! The combo of these two women are excellent!! Now to start the third book!! Ready for the 7th book to be done sometime this year. I'll be ready by the end of the year or sometime in the Spring of 2019!

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  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 05-22-18

Pints in the Pub, Paintings, and Polite Police

The second book in the County Cork series is just as good as the first, finding Maura Donovan running her small Irish pub which she recently inherited, through a friend of her deceased Gran's. I am enjoying getting to know all of the locals even more, and finding them fascinating. When an American, Althea Melville, shows up at the pub, looking for a long lost Van Dyck painting, Maura is at first turned off by her behavior and attitude . . . and so is everyone else. Eventually agreeing to help Althea track down the owners of the painting and locate the last of the only rich estate owners in the area, Maura taps into the sources at hand . . . Old Billy, in his comfortable chair at the fireplace at Sullivan's and her Gran's old friend, Bridget, who is now Maura's neighbor. Soon they discover the old estate . . . as well as a dead gardener . . . and the search is on . . . both for a killer and a painting . . . I would never expected the many twists and turns the story would take . . . but I thoroughly enjoyed them all . . . good clean fun, it was, too!!!

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I loved this book!

Great plot that just kept winding its way along and kept me guessing. I love the colorful characters. The reader did a fantastic job with all of the various voices.

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Scandal in skibbereen

I really enjoyed this story and I am enjoying the series! Ready to read the next ine

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I really like this series

Everything good about this one. I love the accents and the descriptions of the places. I really like how Maura has matured since she arrived in Ireland. The mystery was good and the characters even better.

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interesting Story

WIth enjoyable and interesting story and good narration. Well worth the time to give it a listen!