Saturday, November 11, 2023

 Dear Great Book Guru, I was at the Sea Cliff Civic Association’s annual Progressive Dinner last week and we had such a great time.  We started out at one house for appetizers with about twenty-five people and then we moved on to dinner with eight people. Afterwards, we went to dessert at the Sea Cliff Yacht Club with all the participants, about one hundred forty.  While at dessert someone mentioned a favorite series of mysteries set in Ireland in the 1920’s.  Does it sound familiar?  A Delighted Diner

Dear Delighted Diner, Cora Harrison writes Irish historical mysteries, and my favorite is the Mother Aquinas series. Set in Cork, Ireland in the years immediately following the Irish war for independence, these books are a fascinating look into a world filled with violence, passion, and humor.   Mother Aquinas is the head of a convent school and the characters that inhabit her world are the children and their families, the nuns, the local police officers, and the rebel forces. In the first of the ten-book series, A SHAMEFUL MURDER, we meet the cast of recurring characters: Mother Aquinas; Carolyn, her wealthy cousin who represents the Cork elite; Patrick Cashman, a graduate of the school who is now a police inspector; Eileen Sheehy, another former student who is part of the rebel faction; and Dr. Scher, a friend and local physician. While there is usually a murder or two in each of the books, the main attraction is the gentle humor and detailed look into a locale and time, foreign but fascinating to many of us. A highly recommended piece of historical fiction!

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