Narrator: Traci Odom
Series: Irish Castle Mystery #1
Published by Dreamscape Media on February 7, 2023
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 9 hrs 17 mins
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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 fiancé. 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.
I wanted to love Murder at an Irish Castle. On her 30th birthday, Rayne’s boyfriend leaves her, taking all of her money and the wedding dresses she’s made with him. As the police search for him, Rayne heads to Ireland for her uncle’s funeral and finds out she’s inherited a castle, but with stipulations. And the uncle’s death was murder.
Rayne was fine enough as a character on paper, kind of a fish out of water, but creative and determined. I just never really connected to her. Why didn’t she check the weather before she packed for Ireland? Why does she not have any normal clothes? Yes, I get that she loves fashion and comes from Hollywood, but it’s no wonder her cousin, Ciare, calls her princess. Ciare thought she was going to inherit the castle and is angry that Rayne got it instead. But Ciare is angry and mean and prickly almost the entire book. It’s a bit too much. She and Rayne need to work together, I don’t understand why she would be just so constantly irritating. The castle and town are full of quirky characters, including of course a love interest for Rayne.
The mystery was good. We had several suspects, a few good clues, and several red herrings.
I listened to the audio and enjoyed the narrator’s accents. The narration was smooth and she did a good job distinguishing between characters.
Overall, this is a fun, light cozy. I loved the Irish castle setting and will probably read the second in the series when it comes out just to see how Rayne’s ideas turn out. And hopefully the cousins will get along better after this first bumpy meeting.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
The Irish castle setting is a good one; it’s too bad the rest of it wasn’t a bit better.
I did love the setting. It had a lot of potential, just didn’t quite work.