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Friday, June 18, 2021

Second Installment in U.S./Irish Mystery Series Just As Compelling As First

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Note:  While this review will not contain spoilers for A Distant Grave, it may inadvertently reveal plot surprises from its predecessor, The Mountains Wild.  As always, I recommend reading books in a series in order.

When a Dublin man is found murdered on a Long Island beach, Detective Maggie D'Arcy is called upon to help with the investigation.  Although her colleagues believe Gabriel Treacy was robbed and killed by a local gang, likely at random, Maggie's not so sure.  The old scars on the dead man's back say there's more to Gabriel's story than meets the eye.  What was he doing in New York?  Who made sure he'd never return to Ireland?  And why?  

Maggie is just about to leave for Ireland anyway, already having planned to travel there with her teenage daughter, who is still reeling after her father's suicide.  Anxious to see her boyfriend, Trinity professor Connor Kearney; let their children get to know each other; and help Lilly heal away from the place where her father died, Maggie decides to combine work with pleasure.  Flying off during an intense police investigation doesn't sit well with Maggie's superiors, but she knows she's the best person to look into Gabriel's death in his home country.  Working with her Garda friends is sure to produce some answers in what is becoming an increasingly puzzling case.  When another murder ups the ante, Maggie finds herself back in New York working frantically to solve the crime before she, too, ends up dead.

I'm always thrilled when I find a new crime series to love.  The Mountains Wild, the first book in the Maggie D'Arcy series by Sarah Stewart Taylor, pulled me in with its enticing blend of atmospheric setting, likable characters, and intriguing plot.  A Distant Grave (available June 22, 2021), the second installment, offers the same in another story that is just as engrossing, just as exciting as the first.  It's finely crafted, skillfully told, and wholly enjoyable.  Needless to say, I'm anxious for the next volume.  And the next and the next...

(Readalikes:  Reminds me of the Maeve Kerrigan series by Jane Casey and of Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad novels)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language, violence, blood/gore, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I received an e-ARC of A Distant Grave from the generous folks at St. Martin's Press via those at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!


  1. Thanks for the recommendation. Sounds like my kind of book. I’ll be checking these out!

  2. I'm so glad this mystery series continues to be so good!

  3. 2 good books in a series? Sign me up!

  4. I skimmed this because I already have the 1st on my TBR but I'm so glad to see this one held up. I can't wait to get started with this author.

  5. I haven't read the first in the series yet, I am looking forward to it.

  6. Sounds like a neat read! I like when there's a realistic reason for travel in murder mysteries - the movie versions at least seem to use the travel just as an excuse to add filming locations, with no plot reasons.

  7. This sounds good, especially the fact that the author is sustaining the quality of the series through multiple books. Lots of good stuff being set in Ireland these days, seems like. And I love the author's last name. For some reason, that surname always catches my eye.

  8. See, you had me at Jane Casey and Tana French! I actually own the first book in the series and haven't read it yet. Will make a note to try it and then go for this one. It sounds very good!


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