cover image Chips in a Bag: Classy Mr. Murray

Chips in a Bag: Classy Mr. Murray

Margaret Kelleher. Prodigy Gold, $28 (314p) ISBN 978-1-939665-36-2

Plot surprises and a plethora of characters saturate Kelleher’s meandering romance set in Cork, Ireland. Three decades after teen Clodagh Kenny first danced with James Murray at beautiful Brandon Lodge, she returns to the town. Now 50, Clodagh has plans to open a yarn shop in the hotel. Unbeknownst to her, James is also living there. Time has changed the place and caught the players in a tangled web of love triangles, but their love for each other remains. The premise for Clodagh and James’s love story is promising, with mature characters and a romantic setting. However, the sentimental moments are infrequent, underdeveloped, and protracted, diluted by the multitude of drawn-out subplots featuring Clodagh and James’s peers and all their children. The story is also riddled with wordy dialogue, confusing segues, and jarring shifts in time and point of view. Though the execution is lacking, the subplots brim with misunderstandings, secrets, and requited and unrequited love, creating the framework for a rich family saga. Agent: Orla Kelly, Orla Kelly Publishing Services (Ireland). (June)