cover image A Shocking Assassination

A Shocking Assassination

Cora Harrison. Severn, $29.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8596-8

Harrison does an even better job of integrating a fair-play mystery with the tensions of early 1920s Ireland in her second whodunit featuring the Reverend Mother Aquinas than she did in its predecessor, 2015’s A Shameful Murder. Mother Aquinas is shopping in a Cork market when a shot rings out and city engineer James Doyle drops dead. She spots journalist Sam O’Mahoney standing near Doyle’s corpse, holding a pistol. No one takes seriously the reporter’s claim that he just picked up the weapon after someone dropped it on his foot. And Sam had a strong motive for the killing: he was fired from his job after he wrote an article exposing waste and corruption in the city’s government that included allegations of wrongdoing on Doyle’s part. Sam’s distraught mother begs Mother Aquinas to exonerate him, and while the Cork convent head refuses to perjure herself, she vigorously pursues other suspects. Well-drawn characters, including a lead capable of sustaining a long series, complement the clever plot. [em]Agent: Peter Buckman, Ampersand Agency (U.K.). (Sept.) [/em]