In Andrea Carter’s wonderful Ireland-set cozy mystery The Well of Ice, murder comes to town over one memorable Christmas week.
Sarah Benedicta O’Keeffe—Ben, for short––has lived in Donegal for only a short time. She serves as the coastal community’s resident solicitor. She came to town to escape the haunting death of her sister, who died under mysterious circumstances involving Luke Kirby.
Luke was sent to prison, but while she’s Christmas shopping, Ben spots Luke at the mall. She knows that he is dangerous, and she wants nothing to do with him. Then Donegal’s beloved Oak Pub burns to the ground and the act is traced to arson. The mystery deepens when the pub’s barmaid goes missing. Ben can’t leave the situation be.
With a flavor of knowing wit, the story metes out its hints through bits of gossip delivered over tea, because of chance meetings in town, and through overheard conversations. Donegal proves to be full of delightful, colorful characters, including an angry hairstylist and a gossipy bookstore owner.
Ben is not alone in her hunt for answers: Malloy, a Donegal policeman and her boyfriend, has his own agenda. But when others prove willing to talk to Ben, though they are reluctant to share with him, Malloy becomes distant. The couple’s slow-simmering romance results in additional drama—especially after Ben spots Malloy’s ex in town under strange circumstances. With Luke also in town and the clues not adding up, Ben’s investigation raises questions about her neighbors’ motives and hidden agendas.
Well of Ice is a delightful Christmas murder mystery set on the Irish coast in which it takes a village to solve a murder.
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