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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!

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