Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Death at Christy Burke's

Finished November 6
Death at Christy Burke's by Anne Emery
This novel is part of the Collins-Burke mystery series featuring Father Brennan Burke and lawyer Monty Collins of Halifax. Here, the adventures take place in Ireland, mostly in Dublin.
Monsignor Michael O'Flaherty, Burke's boss, is on vacation in Ireland, a place where he regularly brings Canadian pilgrims touring holy sites. He has just seen off a tour group and is looking forward to relaxing and spending time with friends. Burke and Collins are both here on vacation as well and Michael spends a good deal of time with them. Burke's uncle Finn runs a local named Christy Burke's and it has been targeted lately by unpleasant graffiti. Finn asks them to keep an ear and eye open for anything that may help figure out who did the vandalism. Michael decides to look into the background of the bar's regulars and his search leads him around Ireland, into Northern Ireland, and across to England as well. Burke gets drawn into family intrigues, some of which he isn't that comfortable with. Collins is less active in this mystery, helping with some information but also preoccupied with his own family issues.
The Irish conflict figures large in this book, and we get history as well as the present day goings on. I think it is this aspect that made the book dense for a mystery, the detail of information relevant, yet requiring concentration. There are many good characters here, with backgrounds more complex that they seem at first. An interesting story.

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