Murder at an Irish Wedding is the second book in the Irish Village Mystery series. I absolutely loved the first book, Murder in an Irish Village, when I read it a few years ago. I wanted to continue the series but my local library only had the subsequent novels as mass market paperbacks. I have lupus and its most enduring gift is perpetual hand pain, so I simply can’t hand open mass market paperbacks. Anyway, I was thrilled to discover the entire Irish Village Mystery series on Hoopla a few weeks ago.
In the first book, Siobhán O’Sullivan’s parents have recently died, leaving her and her older brother, James, as guardians of their younger siblings Gráinne, Ann, Cairán, and Eoin. As if that weren’t enough, they also run their parents’ restaurant, Naomi’s Bistro, in their hometown of Kildane, Ireland. A dead body is found, Siobhán ends up investigating, and falling in love with the local Garda (police officer), Macdara Flannery.
Murder at an Irish Wedding has Siobhán attending the wedding of one of Macdara’s college buddies. The best man is found dead moments after Siobhán arrives. Siobhán is itching to investigate, and when she finds out Macdara cannot since he is part of the wedding party, she enthusiastically volunteers. Hijinks ensue, there are twists and turns, and eventually the murderer is caught.
I found this book disappointing. I’m sure part of the problem was that my expectations were too high. Around 40% of the way through the book, I was so frustrated by how unbelievably stupid Siobhán was being, I considered giving up. I checked out reviews on Goodreads to see if it would improve, and one review mentioned it picked up around 45%. So I kept reading and it did get better. At the end, the author revealed an interesting development for Siobhán’s character, which I look forward to in the third book.
Part of my disappointment with this book wasn’t just the main character acting ridiculous. The first book was mostly about Siobhán and her family trying to figure out life after their parents died. We learn a lot about Siobhán and her siblings, meet the residents of Kilbane, and we have the start of Siobhán and Macdara’s romance. There was a murder, but it didn’t seem like the bulk of the novel focused on it. The murder was part of how we learned about Siobhán and the village. This book was the exact opposite. The murder takes center stage and we hardly see Siobhán’s family or the villagers. We learn a lot about the wedding party, but they’re not very likeable characters.
It was a cute book and the reveal at the end has left me interested in the third installment. We’ll see how it pans out.