"Fatal Roots" A County Cork series By Sheila Connolly: Review/Giveaway

by Sandra Murphy

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and links to purchase it.

Maura Donovan went to Ireland to fulfill her grandmother’s dying wish. Now it’s a year later and Maura owns an authentic Irish pub, a cottage, land, and has acquired Mick, a boyfriend of sorts. She’s also met her birth mother for the first time. It’s all a little overwhelming.

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Image Source Crooked Lane Books
Curiosity about her past and her surroundings is taken in small bites. The pub, from open until close, takes up most of her time. Of course, there’s an occasional murder to help Garda Sean Murphy solve.

It starts innocently enough this time. Three grad students approach Maura about exploring her land to research fairy forts. Large circles of dirt and brambles with no known purpose, there are legends that claim they’re home to fairies who don’t like to be disturbed. Tamper with or destroy the forts at your own risk.

When one of the students disappears, Maura and Mick check the fort for clues and instead, find a body, long buried. The man has no identification. The 60s were a tumultuous time in Irish history. People left the country, moved away, or just plain disappeared and weren’t reported missing. It’s unlikely they’ll discover his name.

In her personal life, the pub’s kitchen is being remodeled so they can serve food as well as drink. Rose, a young woman who practically grew up in the bar, is a student at a nearby cooking school. She’ll be in charge of the kitchen. Maura’s mother has popped up again—with no warning—and brought along Maura’s half-sister.

This is book nine in the series. Never having had options before, Maura hasn’t been aware of what life can offer, much less what she wants of it. Now, instead of letting life happen to her, she’s making choices, although reluctantly. Readers will continue to see more growth for Maura as she explores the life she’s inherited.

With a murder that happened so far off the page, Connolly has the opportunity to inject bits of Irish history into the present-day tale without diluting the mystery. Like Maura, I had never heard of fairy forts and while intrigued, have the same thought—“but what do they do?”

Connolly writes five series—the Victorian Village mysteries (2), the Orchard books (12), the Museum series (7), and the Relatively Dead series (6). I’ve read all the books in four of the series (missing Relatively Dead) and have to say, the County Cork books are my favorite, followed closely by the Museum series. It’s like a visit home to a place I’ve never lived.

To enter to win a copy of Fatal Roots, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "roots,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen March 14, 2020. US residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode goes up next week.

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds very intriguing and I’d like to read it. Thank you for the chance.

  2. Not a whole lot of St. Patrick's Day mysteries! Count me in!

  3. I am reading the first book in the series and I am absolutely loving it. I can't wait to dive farther into the series. Thank you for the chance.
    lilyanngill56(at)gmail (dot)com

  4. This sounds really good. Legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  5. This book sounds interesting and fun to read. Fairies are intriguing to me. What fun! I make fairy gardens. So much fun! I'd love to read this book soon.

  6. Taylor R. WilliamsMarch 6, 2020 at 6:27 PM

    This series has been on my tbr list since there were only three books in it - sure would love to own one - thanks for the chance - trwilliams69(at)msn(dot)com

  7. I heard about this book when it first came out and it sounded interesting then, no less so now. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Fatal Roots. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  8. I've been hearing a lot about this one, new series for me! Sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  9. I've not yet read from this series but would like to. Thank you for the opportunity! jeaniedannheim (at) ymail (dot) com

  10. Love reading about Ireland. Would really like to read.

  11. A fun series. I have some catching up to do.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

  13. I would love to win and read/review this book...it looks amazing! bentleyboy22(at)comcast(dot)net

  14. This sounds like an interesting twist on some of the cozies I have read. I would love to read this book.
    quilting lady 2 at comcast dot net


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