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Death at Whitewater Church: An Inishowen Mystery

Review

Death at Whitewater Church: An Inishowen Mystery

What starts as a metaphoric soothing tea served in exquisite porcelain ends with the kick of a brandy-laced double espresso.

Benedicta (“thanks to my parents’ fondness for an obscure fifth-century Italian saint”) O’Keeffe prefers to be called Ben. That moniker initially causes confusion, especially when it becomes evident that Ben is attracted to handsome top-cop, Sergeant Tom Molloy.

Ben, though, has an urgent need to contact Molloy. As a realty (conveyance) attorney, she and a surveyor discover a blanket-wrapped skeleton in the crypt of a deconsecrated and abandoned church, pending sale to a British couple.

"What starts as a metaphoric soothing tea served in exquisite porcelain ends with the kick of a brandy-laced double espresso."

Given “the level of decomposition,” gossipy residents of this Irish seaside village assume that the remains are those of Conor Devitt, who vanished almost seven years ago --- the day before his wedding. Now, the former fiancée learns she can’t have Conor declared legally dead for a few months.

Reclusive younger brother Danny Devitt anxiously badgers Ben for the skeleton’s former identity. But this isn’t TV forensics revealing DNA analyses after a commercial break. Danny never learns that identity; he dies after a suspicious accident, village wag-tongues claiming that alcohol did him in. But did it? “He was sober when he crashed.”

In a complex tapestry of suspense and intrigue, Ben shares “the nightmares that would follow for years to come.” She has left Dublin and a troubled past, for the solitude of Ireland’s coast. Memories “started to trickle back into my consciousness, like a faulty tap with its insistent, insanity-inducing drip.” Like the body in the church, what secrets lie buried in Ben’s psyche? Perhaps County Donegal (northwest Ireland) suits Ben. Each denizen is an enigma, harboring secrets dark as the crypt.

The fictional centuries-old Whitewater Church survived, because it was built on a solid foundation. Andrea Carter has constructed the Inishowen Mystery series on an equally sound substructure. Like her character’s namesake, Georgia O’Keeffe, Carter constructs an intense and complex painting of an Irish maritime village.

Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy on September 7, 2018

Death at Whitewater Church: An Inishowen Mystery
by Andrea Carter

  • Publication Date: September 4, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 1608093026
  • ISBN-13: 9781608093021