Friday, March 22, 2019

Review - St. Patrick's Day Murder

Author:  Leslie Meier 
Series:  Lucy Stone Mystery #14
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Kensington Books
Format:  Kindle
No. of pages:  256
Published:  2008
My Rating:  4 Stars


Not many people in Tinker's Cove, Maine, knew Old Dan Malone. The grizzled barkeep's social circle was limited to the rough-hewn lobstermen and other assorted toughs that frequented his bar, a derelict main street dive called, appropriately, the Bilge. But when his body is found bobbing in the town's icy harbor, Lucy Stone, ace reporter for the Pennysaver newspaper, makes getting to know more about Old Dan a priority. And apparently, there's lots to learn. 

Like the fact that local musician Dave Reilly insists Old Dan conned a winning lottery ticket worth five grand from him. And that handyman Brian Donohue claims that Old Dan stiffed him for repair work he'd done at the bar. There are even whispers about some connection to the Irish Republican Army. The confusion surrounding the death is only compounded by the arrival of actor Dylan Malone, Old Dan's brother and a prominent, if fading, attraction of the Dublin stage. Dylan has come to direct the production of "Finian's Rainbow," the featured event at Our Lady of Hope's annual St. Patrick's Day extravaganza. He's also come to help his brother renovate the Bilge, turning the dingy tavern into an authentic--if decidedly upscale--Irish pub.

Was Old Dan killed by someone he'd cheated, someone he'd loved, or someone who just couldn't stand the idea of losing their favorite watering hole? While Lucy can't be sure, one thing is abundantly clear--the stage is set for a murder mystery with a killer ending! 


Lucy Stone is at it again. His name was Old Dan Malone. In Tinker's Cove, Maine, when the barkeep's body was found in the harbor, Lucy made it her aim to discover what happened. But, as usual when it comes to Lucy, a wife, mother, reporter and affable amateur sleuth, she discovers that more than a murder has taken place.

What else is going on? For starters, the town's local musician Dave Reilly claims that he was conned by Old Dan and thus lost a winning lottery ticket. Then another man said that the victim stiffed him while doing a handyman job. Others have similar complaints. Then there is a visitor in town from Ireland, in the person of Dylan Malone, none other than the brother of Old Dan.

The ever-busy Lucy is attending town's meetings, writing articles, is about to be a first-time grandmother, and has just joined a chorus. One of the newest chorus members is Moira, Dylan Malone's wife. Lucy also meets Moira's daughter Deidre, a fanciful little girl who adores fantasy, and becomes a new friend to Lucy and husband Bill's youngest daughter, Zoe.

Having read all of the previous stories in the series to-date, I looked forward to reading St. Patrick's Day Murder. As always, there was a multi-layered murder mystery, along with the strong sense of family when it came to Lucy. 

This case is particularly gruesome, as the body was missing something critical. As Lucy dug deeper, the sense of danger rose. There was even some involvement with the children in this story. There was also a bit of lore in this book, as the story centered around St. Patrick's Day, which actually made it a timely read at this time. This was an engaging read that I was able to complete in one sitting. I am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, Mother's Day Murder.


I started writing in the late ‘80s when I was attending graduate classes at Bridgewater State College. I wanted to become certified to teach high school English and one of the required courses was Writing and the Teaching of Writing. My professor suggested that one of the papers I wrote for that course was good enough to be published and I sent it off to Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine’s Department of First Stories. I got $100 for the story and I’ve been writing ever since. The teaching, however, didn’t work out.

My books draw heavily on my experience as a mother of three and my work as a reporter for various weekly newspapers on Cape  . My heroine, Lucy Stone, is a reporter in the fictional town of Tinker’s Cove, Maine, where she lives in an old farmhouse (quite similar to mine on Cape Cod!) with her restoration carpenter husband Bill and four children. As the series has progressed the kids have grown older, roughly paralleling my own family. We seem to have reached a point beyond which Lucy cannot age–my editor seems to want her to remain forty-something forever, though I have to admit I personally am dying to write “Menopause is Murder!”

I usually write one Lucy Stone mystery every year and as you can tell, my editor likes me to feature the holidays in my books. Of course Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year and my newest mystery “Eggnog Murder,” is included in an anthology with two other Christmas novellas by Barbara Ross and Lee Hollis. I’ve long been a fan of the classic English country house mystery, and was a faithful watcher of “Downton Abbey,” so I couldn’t resist trying to write one. I think I succeeded rather well, if I do say so myself, with “British Manor Murder,” which came out in October, 2016.

My books are classified as “cozies” but a good friend insists they are really “comedies of manners” and I do enjoy expressing my view of contemporary American life.

Now that the kids are grown — we have five fabulous grandchildren — my husband and I are enjoying dividing our time between Braintree and Cape Cod, along with our cat, Sylvester.

Find Her:  Goodreads / Twitter / Web 

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