Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I suppose that I have an advantage in that I live in the area about which I am writing, Jodi. I think that I would find it very hard to write about 16th century Canada. Once one knows the area, one can interpret a lot about daily life from such books as the Gill History series, and K.W. Nicholls: 'Gaelic and Gaelicized Ireland in the Middle Ages'. I find the books on the law and on its interpretations in books from the 'Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies' very useful. Also, though I think it's out of print, 'Dress in Ireland' by Mairead Dunleavy.
In fact, I have two shelves full of reference books, but I select those which deal with something pertinent to my area and my subjects. The Internet is of course, invaluable and perhaps Kenny's online bookshop in Galway might be useful also.

Fri Oct 2 08:33:21 2015

 
Jodi McIsaac writes from Canada
Hi Cora,
I've been reading your Burren series as research for my forthcoming novel set in 16th century Ireland (I should say I started reading them as research and am now reading for pleasure!). I'm wondering if you could share with me some of your sources for life in 16th century Ireland, as most of the sources I have found so far focus on the politics and not the everyday lives and customs. Thank you for any advice you can give.

Thu Oct 1 20:20:02 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
If you are an O'Brien, Jan, well, you've certainly got Irish ancestry and probably your forebears came from somewhere in the midwest of Ireland.
I hope you like the portrayal of Turlough O'Brien. He was a real person and there are a few mentions of him in the Annals of the Four Masters, a book which summarized previous historical works. He was very war-like and loved by all except the English! If you read my book, 'Verdict of the Court' you will get a description of one of the best preserved O'Brien castles.

Mon Sep 21 11:04:00 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Ellen. I think that I am lucky to be living so near to a still mainly unspoilt place like the Burren. It's very easy to go to places that probably still look just like they did in the sixteenth century. and up to fairly recently, certainly in the memory of the older men and women, farming practices would have differed very little. it is wonderful to watch someone build a drystone wall, no mortar, minimal use of tools, just instinctive skill, handed down through the generations. And the people here always dig the grave of a deceased neighbour which is something which goes right back to the Brehon laws.

Mon Sep 21 10:57:20 2015

 
Jan writes from United States
A friend of mine has been recommending your mysteries for years, but I only now picked up one of the Burren ones, and I was immediately charmed by the Brehon and all the details of Irish justice in the 1500s. I definitely want to read all of this series. My ancestry is mostly French, but my great-grandmother was an O'Brien, so that makes the stories particularly interesting to me!

Sun Sep 20 22:16:46 2015

 
Ellen Pye writes from Canada
Just to let you know how much I'm enjoying and appreciating your Burren Series. I had read most of the 'Sister Fidelma' books, which I found most illuminating, but in a very different way from yours, which describe how the Brehon law worked on the ground; less political. Together, they have made me yearn for a time in which that kind of true justice was practised, instead of the vindictive, combative system we're now stuck with. There is some hope in the emergence of restorative justice and mediation used now, but insufficiently and with inadequate judicial weight. I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

Sun Sep 20 00:18:22 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm delighted that the book has brought back happy memories, Judy. Oddly enough, as I am writing the books they bring back memories of happy days with family and friend and, above all, displaying the beauties of the Burren to those who have never seen it before.
Hope you enjoy the next twelve books!

Tue Sep 8 17:55:49 2015

 
Judy Matthews writes from Ontario, Canada
I have just finished my first Burren mystery and an hooked. Fourteen years ago we spent a week in Doolin hiking all over the Burren and now reading you describe the landscape and seascape is like being there again. Thank you so much.

Tue Sep 8 16:19:43 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Just finished book 2 about the city of Cork, Marlene. It will go to be edited next week and should come out some time in early 2016. They are tougher and harder than the Mara books and it's rather nice to be able to turn, as I will next week, from the harsh corrupt society of 1923 back to the last days of Celtic Ireland.

Thu Aug 27 09:50:26 2015

 
m writes from Ireland (North)
Thanks for your reply. I'll keep my eyes open for the new arrival.

I didn't think anything could rival The Burren Mysteries but your new series certainly gives them a run for their money.

Thanks again for many hours of pleasure.

Marlene

Thu Aug 27 08:52:09 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Judi.

Are you able to access amazon from New Zealand? I must confess that I buy everything from Amazon these days. It's not just the price, it's the choice that you have. Most bookshops seem to decide on a few 'bestsellers' and fill the shop with them.

Libraries are a great source, also. It's always worth asking for a book.

I've a new series out about Cork city in the 1920s. The detective is a young policeman who works with the assistance of an elderly nun who taught him as a child. So far it has been well-reviewed. You can read about it on the home page of this website. Your library might get a copy if you asked.

Wed Aug 19 10:27:16 2015

 
Judi Cleary Tomlinson writes from Christchurch New Zealand
I have been reading all your books about my Lady Judge, but they seem impossible to purchase here in NZ. They are fantastic books, very hard to put own once you start reading.
They keep you guessing right up to the end when Mara finds her suspect.
Many thanks for such wonderful reading matter.
My family came from Ireland ,so that is another reason why your books are so fascinatin g.
Blessings,
Judi

Tue Aug 18 23:52:48 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I've just seen the cover, Marlene, so it should be out in a month or so, I'd say.

It's called 'A Fatal Inheritance' and it deals with the affairs in a valley south of Fanore where 'Condemned to Death' was set.

I'm glad that you like my other series set in Cork in the 1920s.

Many thanks for writing.

Tue Aug 18 13:13:09 2015

 
marlene Hazlehurst writes from Ireland (North)
Hi

I've read every single Burren mystery and thoroughly enjoy them. I was wondering when the next one is due out.

at the moment I'm reading A Shameful murder and am really enjoying it.

Tue Aug 18 12:59:59 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you Anna. It's great to hear that you liked it and that you found the characters believable.

I have just finished writing the second one and have sent it off to my editor. Hope she likes it. My agent enjoyed it and he can be quite critical, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Mon Jul 13 16:23:57 2015

 
Anna matthews writes from wales
I have just read a" shameful murder" and thoroughly enjoyed it, I thought the characters were extremely believable and the story line was interesting and gripping. When is the next one coming out? I can't wait. Thank you for a good story.

Mon Jul 13 15:51:14 2015

 
Cora Harrsion writes from Ireland
Brenda: I hope you have a lovely time.


Elke: Sorry, no. I'm afraid that only books 1 & 2 have been translated into German.

Thu Jul 2 16:34:17 2015

 
ELKE writes from Deutschland


Sehr geehrte Frau Harrison,

ich habe die ersten beiden Bücher aus der Serie The Burren Mysteries gelesen. Werden die Bücher 3 bis 12 auch in deutscher Sprache erscheinen?

Freundliche Grüße
Elke Dellermann

Thu Jul 2 15:38:34 2015

 
Brenda writes from Canada
Cora
I have spent some time going over the trip itinerary and a trip to the Burren is going to be a last minute decision if I can make it happen. I am sorry I won't be able to meet you this trip but I am planning another in the near future. In the mean time I will continue to enjoy reading your Burren Mysteries as they are published, your new Reverend Mother Mysteries as they become available and I will enjoy touring your home country on my visit next month.
All the best to you Cora
Brenda

Tue Jun 30 21:27:38 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Anne:
'A Fatal Inheritance' will be coming out sometime in November, I think. This one is set about a mile further south of Fanore (the beach in 'Condemned to Death'). There's a marvellous stony valley there where the cliffs almost look like stone buildings and the area is riddled with caves and is supposed to be haunted by the ancient gods of Ireland. It's a very atmospheric place and I thoroughly enjoyed writing about it.
Hope you like it when you read the story.

Fri Jun 19 10:17:21 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Brenda,
Sorry not to have replied sooner. I've been away on a holiday on the coastline and islands of west Cork, without Internet access.
What part of Ireland are you visiting?
I think that Easons have the book in their branches.
If you are anywhere around the Burren I would love to meet you again.
Am feeling very much better now, thank you.
All the best,,
Cora.

Fri Jun 19 10:11:43 2015

 
Anne Dooling writes from USA
Just finished the last of the series, "Condemned to Death". Absolutely love the series, and hope there are more coming! Have been to the Burren, and Poulnabrone twice. Having read your series it made those visits so much more fun! Many thanks!

Sat Jun 13 18:58:15 2015

 
Brenda writes from Canada
Cora
I enjoyed reading the first chapter of your new Reverend Mother Series. I am hoping to purchase your latest books when I travel to Ireland this summer. Do you ever place autographed copies in any of the bookstores or for purchase on line. My friend Eileen's trip this summer is to celebrate her 70th birthday with two other generations of her family. She hopes to share some family history with them. If there is any chance to purchase an autographed copy of the first book in your new series please let me know, it would be a memorable gift.
I hope you are enjoying good health and good summer weather.
Brenda

Fri Jun 12 15:17:33 2015

 
Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Prish, for a wonderful review. Writing this book brought back memories of the stories told by my father and my mother and I am delighted that it appealed to you.
Many thanks.

Tue Jun 2 18:53:11 2015

 
Prish Hawkes


Dear Cora
I am putting a review for A Shameful Murder on your guestbook as I am such luddite I can't work out how to put it on your review page!
‘A Shameful Murder’ is the first mystery novel with Reverend Mother Aquinas. Set during the civil war that follows the establishment of the Free state in Ireland, the Reverend Mother finds a washed up body at the gate of the convent chapel. She asks the gardener to fetch Sergeant Patrick Cashman, a former pupil ,to come and investigate and then also turns to a friend, Dr Scher, to help unravel the truth about the dead girl , who looked like a drowned mermaid, and who killed her .....the suspense builds gradually with intricate details of the protagonists lives and character.Reverend Mother teases out the clues that lead her and her team to solve a mystery of double identity and blackmail and the killer of the dead girl.

The research into the period is impeccable and lends weight and depth to the development of story; then the turning point in the narrative:of the storm, flooding of the streets in the city of Cork and the republican raid on Cork station all come together with nail biting suspense and then the eventual unravelling of the mystery!!
I found it hard to put the book down ,even taking it with me in the car so I could snatch a few extra minutes to read ! Thank you for a great read Cora and here's to the next Reverend Mother Mystery.

Tue Jun 2 16:55:32 2015

 
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