Thursday, February 2, 2023

Murder At An Irish Castle by Ellie Brannigan Book Review

About the Book:

Rodeo Drive bridalwear designer Rayne McGrath expected her thirtieth birthday to start with a power lunch and end with champagne, lobster, and a diamond engagement ring from her fiancĂ©. Instead, flat-broke and busted, she’s on a plane to Ireland where she discovers that she’s inherited a run-down family castle. Uncle Nevin’s will contains a few caveats—for example, if Rayne doesn’t turn McGrath Castle around within a year, the entire village will be financially destroyed.

With the fate of the town in her hands, and rumors that Rayne’s uncle’s death wasn’t actually an accident, she can’t possibly go back to her old life in L.A. As the devastating truth about her uncle dawns on Rayne, it’s not just her reputation that’s on the line, it’s her life.

Featuring a sharp and endearing protagonist, a colorful and quirky locale, and replete with twists and turns befitting an old Irish village, the first in Brannigan's mystery series transports us to a milieu as romantic as it is deadly.

My Review:

This is an enjoyable novel that is more of a venture into the life of one woman than it is a cozy mystery. There is a mystery but it takes a back seat to family drama and Rayne, the heroine, getting used to life owning a castle in Ireland. There is a good assortment of characters, the most antagonistic to Rayne being Ciara. While she is a daughter of the owner of the castle who has been murdered, she was conceived out of wedlock and does not inherit the castle. She starts out hating Rayne and that provides lots of family drama.

The strength of this novel is not found in the mystery but rather information about a boutique wedding dress business and the culture of Ireland. I learned much about specially designed wedding dresses. I also learned about life in a small Irish village and the castle landowner responsible for keeping the village alive.

I would not recommend this novel for the mystery. I am not sure it works very well, especially the supposed disabling of the tractor. While there are plenty of suspects, the revelation of the guilty party comes from information revealed near the end so there is no opportunity to gather clues and identify the person ahead of time. Rayne's story is good and I found that entertaining enough.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Ellie Brannigan
, who also writes as Traci Hall, has lived in South Florida for the last twenty years. She loves the ocean and any food dish with shrimp. When she's not creating new fictional worlds, she reads and travels and eats. You can find out more at

Crooked Lane Books, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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