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Monday, April 26, 2021

The Mountains Wild An Atmospheric, Engrossing Opener to a Promising New Mystery Series

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Maggie D'Arcy never planned on becoming a cop.  Not until her 23-year-old cousin, Erin Flaherty, went missing two decades ago in Ireland, never to be seen again.  Her amateur investigation then fueled her passion for solving mysteries, leading to her career as a homicide detective in New York.  Now 45, Maggie is a divorced single mom, who's passionate about her daughter and her work.  Still haunted by Erin's disappearance, she can't stop thinking about her still-missing cousin.

When Maggie receives a phone call from Dublin, informing her that Erin's scarf has been found and that it might be a clue to a current missing persons case, Maggie flies to Ireland to help local police with their investigation.  The disappearance of a Galway schoolteacher is just as confounding as Erin's case.  Are the two connected?  As she retraces her cousin's steps, interviewing those who were close to Erin, and searching for clues, Maggie becomes increasingly frustrated.  She's especially confused by her growing attraction to Conor Kearney, a former co-worker of Erin's who's now an associate professor at Trinity College.  The man seems to know more than he's saying.  Did he have something to do with Erin's disappearance?  If he didn't, who did?  Maggie is determined to find out what happened to the missing teacher and to solve Erin's case, once and for all.  Even if it means putting herself in a killer's crosshairs.  

I always dig an atmospheric mystery and The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor is certainly that.  The first in a series starring capable, determined Maggie D'Arcy, it's an engaging, compelling novel that moves slowly but surely toward a resolution I didn't see coming.  The characters are sympathetic and likable, the Irish backdrop is vivid and immersive, and the plot is engrossing and twisty.  Even though its pace is more measured than other thrillers, The Mountains Wild kept me eagerly turning pages.  I enjoyed it enough that I immediately downloaded the next book in the series (A Distant Grave, available June 21, 2021) from NetGalley.  Needless to say, I'm excited to see where the series goes.  It's always exciting to find a new one to love!

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of books by Tana French, Dervla McTiernan, Tessa Wegert, and Jane Casey)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, disturbing subject matter, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find


  1. Sounds like this one ticks all the right boxes! :D

  2. The Irish backdrop to this one sounds wonderful.

  3. This sounds like a good addition to the mystery/thriller books that I enjoy. Thanks for the review and for bringing it to my attention.

  4. This one looks so much like something I'd enjoy I'm kind of kicking myself for only learning about it here for the first time! Adding to my TBR!

  5. My husband is currently reading this book. We had both read all of the author's book in her first mystery series (about a specialist in gravestone art). I am glad to hear you liked it. He is enjoying it.


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