Saturday, January 25, 2014

Get Me Out of Here!

Coming out February 4th!
By Althea Melville, from Sheila Connolly's Scandal in Skibbereen (County Cork Mystery #2)

What the heck am I doing in this hind-end-of-nowhere town in Ireland? It’s called Leap because some idiot jumped over a stream (well, his horse did the jumping) a century or two ago when he was running from somebody or other (there’s this plaque in the lunch place that explains it all, except I don’t care), and instead of naming this village after him, they name it Leap because he didn’t break his neck doing it, although he should have.

Can you tell I don’t want to be here? I’m Althea Melville, and I work at a major museum in New York City, and the only reason I’m here is to find this important painting and drag it back to New York to put it in this exhibit I’m organizing. Except nobody knows where the painting is, or if it even exists. On the other hand, if I don’t bring it back, that’s the end of my job—the museum’s money for my position has run out, and only this hail-Mary  touchdown will save me.

And this is the last place I can think of to look—I’ve tried all the rest in Ireland. Most of the people in this soggy country have been ignorant peasants forever, ruled by a small group of rich English people. All those rich English people liked to hang big fancy oil paintings on the walls of their big important manor houses, in case those starving peasants hadn’t figure out who was boss.

Leap has the last manor house that might fit—it’s old enough, and the family who’s lived here since sixteen-whatever had the right connections. So here I am, and all I need is to get inside the manor house and look for the thing.

Except there have been a few problems. First I ticked off the lady of the manor, some dotty old woman who was about a hundred and ten.  And then somebody killed the gardener. Who was the only person who work there apart from a kind of dim couple who live somewhere in the back and take care of feeding the old lady and making sure the building doesn’t fall down. Talk about end of the line!

But the murder is making it really hard for me to find that painting, and I think they might even suspect me of killing the gardener.  Ridiculous, isn’t it? So not my style. At least some of the other people around here have been willing to help me, like the woman who runs the pub, Maura whatever her name is—but she’s American, so I’d expect her to help. But she has this artist friend Gillian who might actually have talent, and Gillian has a boyfriend from Dublin who is seriously hot, and who just happens to be the nephew of the dotty old lady of the manor…so maybe there’s a way to get in there after all.

I really, really hope that painting is there, because I want to get out of here, with that painting!


  1. Good luck, Althea. Maybe if you just chill out for awhile and enjoy the marvelous scenery, it will all come together! On the other hand, hope your lawyer is on speed dial. Just saying!