Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly – a review

A pretty good mystery and I really liked the setting…

I’ve wanted to try the County Cork series by Sheila Connolly for a while, so I was happy to receive a review copy of Fatal Roots.    And although I was a little worried that it might be confusing to start with the eighth and most recent title in the series, Connolly does a good job of sneaking the necessary backstory into the book in bits and pieces, without just reciting it.  Although a few details were missing (how did Maura start getting involved with Mick???), enough background was provided so I could get a sense of the situation and enjoy the current mystery.  Still, I suspect I might have enjoyed this a bit more if I had read some of the earlier titles.

I also definitely tend to be fond of archeological mysteries, so I was happy to see a bit of archeology in Fatal Roots, although I was, in fact, a bit disappointed when, at one point, Maura says that she’s sort of bored with the “fairy fort” that is featured early in the story.   In the end, though, both the murder and its underpinnings were more recent – rooted in the decades old (but not archeologically old) tensions and divides of Ireland’s religious and cultural clashes.  And there are also close ties to Maura’s own family history, both in the present, with the arrival of her previously-estranged mother and previously-unmet half-sister, and in the past – but telling more would be a spoiler!

Overall, the story was a bit slow to develop, but since I very much liked the descriptions of Ireland and Maura’s village (and fairy forts!), I didn’t really mind.  And in the end, I enjoyed Fatal Roots enough to start keeping an eye out for some of the earlier titles in the series.

My thanks go to Croooked Lane Books and NetGalley for the review copy.  And also please keep in mind that I try to fight “star-inflation” a little bit, so I reserve 5 stars for a very few of my most favorite books, ones I’m likely to read and reread time-and-again, and 4 stars is a great rating from me. 

NOTE: I’m sad to add that shortly after I wrote this review, I learned that Sheila Connolly had passed away. So there won’t be any more Maura and Mick books…

Buy: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Canada | Kobo US | Kobo UK | Kobo Canada

1 thought on “Fatal Roots by Sheila Connolly – a review”

  1. Fatal Roots is on sale in the US ($1.99), Canada (CAD$1.99), and the UK (£1.50) right now. The links in the OP are still good…

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