Published: February 5, 2013
Genre: Cozy Mystery, Women’s Fiction
Obtained via: Publisher
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Still mourning the death of her beloved grandmother, Maura Donovan journeys to Ireland to tell the people of her grans former village that she has passed. For Maura to go to Ireland has long been a dream of her grandmother’s and she now finds herself on the Emerald Isle to honor that last request. What the finds when she arrives is a warm and welcoming group of people—people who remembered or who had heard stories of her grandmother. Not one to let the grass grow beneath her feet or to turn her back on those in need, no sooner has Maura arrived and she finds herself working at Sullivan’s, the local pub. There she meets even more people who knew or knew of her gran including Bridget Nolan, a woman who knew Maura’s gran as a child. On her way back to town from visiting Bridget, Maura comes across a police officer directing traffic away from a bog. She learns that they have uncovered a body from the bog. Since no one has recently been reported missing the discovery of the body is a bit of a mystery. Before the police can solve who the body in the bog was, a local resident is killed. At the same time an unknown suspect tries to run Maura off the road. And to top it off, Maura finds what could be a clue to who the body in the bog was. She keeps telling herself that all of these incidents couldn’t possibly be related—but if they’re not, why is someone trying to kill her?
When I first started reading Sheila Connolly’s Buried in a Bog I thought it was one of the most depressing stories I’d ever read. I didn’t particularly care for Maura and what came across as an “oh poor me” attitude. As I got deeper into the story it began to read more like women’s fiction than a cozy mystery – but very good women’s fiction. The story became more about Maura’s journey to self-discovery—who she is in the scheme of things and what she really wants from life. She has a wonderful resiliency that she learned from how she and her grandmother struggled to make ends meet as well as her own inner sense of self. I began to like Maura very much, especially as she became part of the community in Leap, the town where much of the story takes place.
There were layers of mysteries in the story—what Maura’s connection to Leap was, the man in the bog, who killed the local (Brad) and several other threads. Connolly did a great job of weaving them into one nicely done package.
Connolly’s research on Ireland seemed true. I enjoyed how she wove that research into Maura’s character in the scenes where Maura thinks or speaks about the Irish she met while living in Boston.
As I said, BURIED IN A BOG reads more like women’s fiction than a cozy mystery, but don’t let that put you off if you are looking for a mystery. The mystery is in there, there are just more elements to the story which make it all the better.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.