Book Notes “Murder At An Irish Castle”


Murder At An Irish Castle  
An Irish Castle Mystery

By Ellie Brannigan

Crooked Lane Books

Publisher’s description of Murder At an Irish Castle

Fans of Hannah Dennison and Carlene O’Connor’s mysteries are in for a treat with Ellie Brannigan’s captivating debut cozy mystery, complete with a sharp and endearing protagonist.

Rodeo Drive bridalwear designer Rayne McGrath expected her thirtieth birthday to start with a power lunch and end with champagne, lobster, and a diamond engagement ring from her fiancé. Instead, flat-broke and busted, she’s on a plane to Ireland where she discovers that she’s inherited a run-down family castle. Uncle Nevin’s will contains a few caveats—for example, if Rayne doesn’t turn McGrath Castle around within a year, the entire village will be financially destroyed.

With the fate of the town in her hands, and rumors that Rayne’s uncle’s death wasn’t actually an accident, she can’t possibly go back to her old life in L.A. As the devastating truth about her uncle dawns on Rayne, it’s not just her reputation that’s on the line, it’s her life.

Featuring a sharp and endearing protagonist, a colorful and quirky locale, and replete with twists and turns befitting an old Irish village, the first in Brannigan’s mystery series transports us to a milieu as romantic as it is deadly.

Notes on Murder In An Irish Castle

At first I had my doubts about this book; I wasn’t connecting with the main character, wedding dress designer Rayne McGrath. This detachment kept up when Rayne met her Irish cousin Ciara Smith. Ciara seemed over-the-top unfriendly. However, I wasn’t ready to give up on this book yet. And I’m glad I didn’t.
As the story unfolds, Rayne finds her feet and begins to take control of the future she hadn’t asked for or wanted—a rundown castle she hasn’t visited since childhood and the future of the village that comes with said castle. It’s a long way from her wedding gown boutique on Rodeo Drive to Grathton Village, from a luxury condo in LA to a rundown castle with no functional internet, and freeways known for their horrible traffic to small country roads where rush hour is defined by flocks of sheep blocking the way. Rayne is out of her element in many ways-starting with the wardrobe that isn’t made for the Irish countryside-but that is where her character begins to come into her own. She begins the transformation from victim to a woman starting to take charge of her life. Her responsibilities shift from pampered brides to the village attached to the castle-a village whose future is in doubt, mainly because the younger people are moving away because of the lack of jobs. Oh, and she also has the mystery of her uncle’s death to solve.
Ciera has her suspicions about Uncle Nevin’s death, and she’s voiced them to Garda Williams. He’s investigating, but Rayne isn’t satisfied with the pace the investigation is taking. She takes matters into her own hands and slowly works out the identity of the killer. But working out the identity of the killer and bringing them to justice are different things, and getting justice is something Rayne may not be able to do.

Publishing Information

Paperback | $18.99
Published by Crooked Lane Books
Feb 07, 2023
320 Pages
5-1/2 x 8-1/4
ISBN 9781639102587