Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Barich, Bill. A Pint of Plain (Bloomsbury $25 April).
"Here, with a sweet eye for detail and in a tone of genial longing, Barich's miscellany of the Irish grogosphere voices a reluctant farewell to the old Ireland, as the new Ireland hastily enters the great global mall culture beyond the seas."-Richard Ford

Black, Benjamin. Christine Falls ($14).
A reminder of the Edgar nominated first mystery from Booker Prize winner John Banville. 1950s Dublin pathologist Quirke follows the corpse of a mysterious woman into the heart of a conspiracy among the city's high Catholic society. Atmospheric, dark, haunting, and slightly exotic. Follow Quirke into The Silver Swan ($14) case.

Bowen, Rhys. In a Gilded Cage (St Martins $25 Signed March 24 hosted by Patrick, our Irishman).
New Molly in paperback: Tell Me Pretty Maiden ($6.99).

Bruen, Ken. guardsThe Guards ($14).

The first Jack Taylor novel begins as the Galway cop, stinging from his unceremonious ouster from the Garda Siochana and drinking it better, aspires to become Ireland's best private eye, no mean feat in a country "with a history so full of betrayal and espionage, it discourages any profession so closely related to informing." But in truth Jack is teetering on the brink of his life's sharpest edges, his memories of the past cutting deep, his prospects shallow. Then a dazzling woman walks into the bar with a strange request and a rumor about Jack's talent for finding things.... Brilliant. For other Bruens: email Patrick@poisonedpen.com.

Delaney, Frank. Shannon (Random $26).

A rousing tale of forbidden shannonlove, civil war, horrible death and other things Irish. Ireland-born novelist Delaney never met a turning point in the Emerald Isle's history that he didn't like. With this entry in his ongoing epic cycle of novels, he turns to a big one: the bloody strife that accompanied the birth of the Irish Free State in 1922 and '23. American priest Robert Shannon lands on Ireland's shore just as the bullets start flying, and bad luck for him: A former chaplain serving with the U.S. Marines in France during World War I, he suffers from a textbook case of shell shock... Morbid irritability being an Irish specialty, Shannon fits right in with the village folk he is called to serve... how Shannon manages to keep from cracking up in his war-torn adopted country [as he travels along the River Shannon] makes for a fine adventure in storytelling. A well-crafted, satisfying work of historical fiction, as are all of Delaney's novels; respectful of the facts while not cowed by them, and full of life," says Kirkus.

Greeley, Andrew M. Irish Tweed (Forge $25).
Nuala Anne McGrail and her daughter have taken up karate to fight off schoolyard bullies who are harassing the family, while their incredibly shy nanny, Julie, is courted by a new fellow. Dermot pores over a memoir of a famine refugee whose family died of a mysterious fever, looking for clues into the illness' real cause. New in paperback: Irish Tiger ($7.99).

Hughes, Declan. The Color of Blood; Wrong Kind of Blood ($7.99blood

Two modern-day Dublin PI novels-our hero has come home from a stint in LA-that work well alongside the Benjamin Blacks. Hughes has won the Shamus Award and a FMC Pick for his work.

McGilloway, Brian. Bleed a River Deep (Macmillan $32 Signed April-sorry!).
When a controversial American senator is attacked during the opening of a Donegal gold mine, Garda Inspector Benedict Devlin is blamed for a lapse in security. The shooting of an illegal immigrant in Belfast the same day leads Devlin to a vicious people-smuggling ring operating in the city. Then Leon Bradley, the young environmentalist who attacked the senator, is found murdered near the site of the mine. Devlin questions the group of itinerant travelers who have gathered around a nearby river hoping to strike gold themselves, and soon is becomes clear to Devlin that the mine is a front for something far more sinister.

The St Patrick's Day Murder ($6.99 reissue).

Not mansty people in Tinker's Cove, Maine, knew Old Dan Malone. The grizzled barkeep's social circle was limited to the rough-hewn lobstermen and other assorted toughs that frequented his bar, a derelict main street dive called, appropriately, the Bilge. But when his body is found bobbing in the town's icy harbor, Lucy Stone, ace reporter for the Pennysaver newspaper, makes getting to know more about Old Dan a priority. And apparently, there's lots to learn.

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