cover image A Shameful Murder

A Shameful Murder

Cora Harrison. Severn, $28.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8511-1

Set in 1923, this stellar first in a new Irish series from Harrison (Condemned to Death, her latest Burren mystery set in 16th-century Ireland) introduces Reverend Mother Aquinas, who finds the corpse of a young woman near the gateway to the chapel of her Cork convent. Mother Aquinas summons a former charge, Sgt. Patrick Cashman, to the crime scene, where they note that the dead girl is dressed in fancy clothes and find her handbag contains a large amount of money, as well as a dance card for the Merchants’ Annual Ball. When Mother Aquinas notes bruise marks on the cadaver’s throat, she suspects foul play (“Cork, in its first year of independence, simmered in the heat of a deadly civil war and the resolution of political differences was often murder”). The body is soon identified as that of Angelina Fitzsimon, a respected tea merchant’s daughter, who was about to turn 21 and gain access to a fortune. Harrison combines a savvy detective and a setting fraught with intrigue and tension for another winner. (Sept.)