Thursday, February 6, 2014

Long-Lost Relatives

Scandal in Skibbereen (County Cork Mystery #2) by Sheila Connolly (Berkley Prime Crime mass market, 4 February 2014).

Maura Donovan has been the proprietor of Sullivan's Pub for just a few months, but her first experience with tourist season is at hand.

One of her first American visitors is a woman, obviously from New York City, named Althea Melville.  She's wearing an expensive-looking business suit and asking probing questions about the area's gentry.  After some time, Maura finally learns that Althea works for a small art gallery, and is looking for a portrait that might not even exist (though she's certain it does), painted by Flemish master Anthony van Dyck, who apparently spent some time in the area during the early 1600s.

Thus begins a search made more complicated by Althea's New York forthrightness, which offends some of the locals, who are accustomed to taking a rather easygoing approach to problems.

This is a charming story, with a bit of  humor thanks to Althea's interaction with the residents of Leap and area.  It's wonderful to see Maura becoming more comfortable in her "new" home, and there's even a possibility of  romance with a handsome Irishman!

FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy of the book.

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