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A Shameful Murder: A Mystery Set in 1920's Ireland

A Reverend Mother Mystery
Narrated by: Rosalyn Landor
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Summary

An unforgettable new female detective bursts onto the audio scene in this historical mystery series set in 1920’s Ireland, featuring the Reverend Mother Aquinas. Read by Audie award-winning narrator Rosalyn Landor.

A dead body washed up after a flood dressed in evening finery is not a sight often seen in the slums of Cork city, Ireland.

When Reverend Mother Aquinas discovers the body at the gate of the convent chapel she teams up with former pupil, Police Sergeant Patrick Cashman and Dr Sher, a physician and friend to find out who the woman was - and who killed her.

©2015 Cora Harrison (P)2019 Alison Larkin Presents

Critic reviews

"Compassionate and wise, the Reverend Mother is a strong and distinctive character, who works among the poor and understands their plight. Recommended for (those) who enjoy M.C. Beaton and Carol Higgins Clark" (Library Journal)

"Harrison combines a savvy detective and a setting fraught with intrigue and tension for another winner" (Publishers Weekly

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The lawyer the doctor and the man who needed money

Early 1920s Cork, in Ireland, shortly after partition and politics still divides the population. But the greater rift is between rich and poor, the few wealthy families with everything and the greater majority without sufficient clothing, food, jobs or hope. Dead bodies are not An infrequent sight as, set over several waterways, the city floods after heavy rains, drowning the occasional destiture.
One morning, Reverend Mother Aquinus finds a body washed up at the convent gate and calls for the police but not before noticing that this body is that of an elegantly dressed young woman, not the usual poorly clothed wretch, and in her bag was both a ten pound note - a huge sum of money then - and a first class ticket to England. She also had bruising on her throat. Both the Reverend Mother and Patrick, the young policeman and the Reverend Mother's former pupil, suspect that the girl had been murdered and set out to determine the truth despite authority opposition: who was she and how did she die?

The murder mystery is intriguing but so too is the main protagonist, Reverend Mother Aquinus. Now in her seventies and still acting as teacher to some of the poverty stricken youngsters of the city, she has seen both sides of the divide between rich and poor, having grown up amongst the privileged families of the wealthy merchant class, and still maintains occasional contact, mostly via her cousin, Lucy. Her background is slowly also teased out as the story progresses. Other characters are sketched in more lightly, though enough to give them substance and life, including the turbulent nature of the City of Cork itself. Narrator, Rosalyn Landor, further enriches the protagonists existence, giving each separate and appropriate voice with remarkable ability and the text is beautifully read in a lilting, gentle Irish accent. She is a pleasure to hear. The only false note is her reading of the brief Latin quotation at the commencement of each chapter: almost without exception of is expressed as unconnected individual words or otherwise jarring: a fluency here should have been rehearsed in advance. Otherwise, a fine performance.

I really enjoyed A Shameful Murder, the first in a new series of Reverend Mother mysteries, and would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone enjoying historically set crime stories. Initially freely gifted with a complimentary download copy by the rights holder, at my request - thank you so much - I decided to purchase The Audible edition for ease of repeat access. The main characters are good, solid and real people, the nosy nun uses her personal connections and knowledge of the city's social elite families to further her enquiries, piece by little piece (shades of Agatha Christie's Miss Marple) and the setting of Cork itself forms a vivid and ever present backdrop. I personally look forward to further encounters with the Reverend Mother

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Profile Image for Mary Katherine Worth
  • Mary Katherine Worth
  • 01-06-19

A wonderful new mystery series! I loved it!

This is absolutely wonderful! Rosalyn Landor's performance is as good as ever - she is a fantastic narrator - has won numerous awards including the Audie award and this story was absolutely fascinating. I am a huge fan of murder mysteries and I LOVE Irish history. It's a delight from start to finish. High quality production. And a wonderful story. Could not stop listening until the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful