Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Linda,

I think that 'Verdict of the Court' is only just properly out in the UK and won't be out in the rest of the world until late summer.

It's interesting that I have a date for King Turlough's death - 1528, but no details as to whether he died of disease or of a wound. I don't think that he was killed in battle as 'The Annals of the Four Masters' (where I got that information) would have mentioned that, I'd say.

My next book that I am just about to write is going to be set in 1523 in the month of Mara's fiftieth birthday.

And after that - well, I'm not sure...

Tue Apr 15 09:04:30 2014

Linda Pelan writes from Canada
Dear Cora, wow, thanks so much for the Burren series, and I hope you keep writing about Mara, the school, the King and what becomes of them with the anglican invasion, if of course its in their time line.

Thanks also for bringing a touch of Ireland alive, I have enjoyed the books immensely and hope that you continue to write. I've looked for the book Verdict of The Court, but I do not see it available yet on KOBO - good news though, my local library does carry some of your books. So far I have all the Burren series and want to keep reading and reading.

You've given lots of choices so onto Jane Austin !! Thanks, Linda, aka Lindie

Tue Apr 15 02:55:20 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Judy,
I am delighted that you liked 'Verdict of the Court' - Bunratty is a hugely interesting castle, and was, of course, the principal residence of Turlough Donn O'Brien.

It's interesting that you should mention Dromineer, which I do think was a possession of a relation of Turlough Donn - probably a son-in-law. I must go and see it.

I've just finished Mara book 12 and sent it off to my editor - hope that she likes it.

I'm sorry to hear about your dog. We had an ancient (rescued) German shepherd who might well have been about fourteen years old and we've just had the the trauma of having him put to sleep as he was no longer able to walk properly and seemed to be in pain.

Dogs give you so much and at least we can give them the ultimate kindness, no matter how heart-rending to ourselves.

Thanks for your very nice remarks - it is wonderful to hear that you liked my latest book.

Tue Apr 8 17:15:44 2014

Judy Ball writes from England
Dear Cora,
Just finished Verdict of the Court last night and loved it as all of the Burren books. This one especially as I have visited Ireland every year for the last 12 and the Bunratty area is well known to me. Also you mentioned Lough Derg and we stay near Dromineer with friends. Sadly probably won't make it this year as my travelling companion, 12 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel isn't in good health, but will re-read all the Mara books and pretend I'm back there. I know it's far from the Burren but what about including a mention of the castle at Dromineer? One of our favourite walks. Hope there is another Burren Mystery soon, keeps my brain going as I never guess the ending.

Tue Apr 8 13:18:46 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm sorry, Maria, I'm afraid that I don't - pressure of work and old age!

However, if the children have any questions on the book I would be delighted if they would send them the the children's message board and I will answer them as soon as possible.

Mon Mar 24 15:48:18 2014

Maria king writes from Ireland
Hi Cora ,
I am currently studying your book "The Famine Secret at Drumshee" with my class and I am just wondering if you still do school visits ?

Mon Mar 24 15:34:42 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Your letter is bitter-sweet, Ceridwin - lovely that you like the series so much, but sad that I can't help about getting you some paperback editions of the last six or so books. I do get so many requests, but I am in the hands of my publishers. They are certainly considering new editions of the books which have completely sold out, but in this market they are cautious.

Have you ever considered getting a Kindle? All of my books are available on that. I must say that I was reluctant originally, but now it's a precious possession as so many out-of-print and rare books have been re-issued in that format. And, of course, even if the physical machine wears out or is damaged, the books still remain in your 'virtual' library and are accessible from a new Kindle.

Fri Mar 21 08:02:12 2014

Ceridwen Collins-West writes from Canada
I adore your Burren Mystery series, & have the first 4 books of the series in pbk. I've tried to order more of the series in pbk, but no luck. I cannot order them from my local bookstores, nor even from TaraBooks in Eire, because they are not available. are asking prices that are for secondhand books at antique prices - meaning $$$$. I would love to get the rest of the series in pbk; do you know how I can do that?

Before leaving, I'd like to say I adore your Burren Mysteries so very much, and you portray your main character Mara, as though she lives and breathes in you. Thankyou for the hours of enjoyment I've had, reading the series thus far.

Thu Mar 20 23:09:16 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Lizzy,
You have a very Jane Austen name - I'm sure that the heroine of 'Pride & Prejudice' was called Lizzie as much as Elizabeth.
I was reading an interesting book recently which was the story of 'Pride & Prejudice', but written from the point of view of one of the housemaids, who had her own romance 'downstairs' while the young ladies 'upstairs' were falling in love with Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy.

I must say that I would love to write a third Jane Austen book and it would be such an interesting project. Hopefully, it will come about.

Thu Mar 20 20:31:57 2014

Lizzy writes from London
Hi Cora,

I love all the Jane Austen books. I was just wondering if there was going to be a next book prior to the Jane Austen books. I would love if there was. I would read it without a doubt.

Thu Mar 20 16:31:58 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Jeanne, for that lovely message. I, too, have favourite books that I read when I can't sleep and you cannot believe how wonderful it is to me that you feel like that about one of my books. I am so delighted to have heard from you and hope that you continue to enjoy my books.
With very best wishes from a grateful author!

Thu Mar 6 19:50:53 2014

Jeanne Pletcher writes from USA
I have truly enjoyed all of the Burren mysteries. So much, that as I was searching for a new theme for my Windows 8 computer, under the "With Custom Sounds" category, I found "Ireland" with 17 images. My favorite: the one entitled: "Poulnabrone Dolmen in the Burren, County Clare, Ireland" What an awesome image. Many of these images of the landscape bring your stories more to life for me. I really thank the person who created this theme, as I continue to read "Deed of Murder" (I've been staying up late reading, until 2 am, -or if I wake up at 4 am and cannot sleep- with my book light, because I cannot put them down and do not want to wake up my husband.

Thu Mar 6 19:20:42 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
i must say, Michael, that I am enjoying having a new set of scholars to write about. Life does move on and these books, unlike the Agatha Christie ones where Poirot and Miss Marple are always the same age, are written to give the last years of semi-freedom from the threat of England, before Elizabeth I of England began a determined effort to change the way of life, the laws and the religion of the Irish people.
Since I am in my 75th year I have to skip a few years here and there if I am going to brig the story right up to the days when Domhnall O'Davoren got his scholars to copy out the Brehon laws - a document which is now in the British Library under the name of Egerton 88.
re the 'errors': the men were patrolling the boundaries, rather than standing outside the church because as I say in the book: 'The rights of sanctuary allow the man to leave the church in order “to take the air, to visit the lavabo and for the relieving of his necessities”'
The rope had to be held away from the flames coming from the window slits in the round tower.
Ardal's child, and the child's mother (he never married her) live in North Galway, in Connemara, quite a distance from the city.
re Grace - all that Mara knows initially is that the girl is terribly scarred - I think that is all that is needed.
re the 2/3 & 4/5 mistakes, well, I'm sorry, but these things do occur!

Mon Mar 3 08:41:27 2014

Michael Stewart writes from USA
Dear Cora,
I have read all of the Burren mysteries. I also am disappointed in skipping all of the years and losing the students except for Fachtnan. You gave the students so much character that I want to follow each one for a book or two. You have a never-ending source of stories.

There are a few errors in Cross of Vengeance that should be corrected before a reissue. On page 23 you have Father MacMahon talking to Hans, but Hans had already left to go "check his luggage."

After Hans is killed and Art is sent home, you still reference five boys one time instead of four.

When Fachtnan first shows up you say that he is the father of three girls, but all later references to the girls show that there are only two.

I looked but I must have missed an explanation of Grace being injured in a fire. That fact comes out in an oblique way.

Doesn't Ardal, who often visits Galway, have a "wife" and child in Galway?

I was not really sure why the guards were not watching the church and, instead, were looking down the road so they didn't see Hans leave the church.

It was hard to understand how the rope did not allow Cormac and then Mara to drop directly instead of being held up and lowered.

I hope you will write some more Burren mysteries, but that you will catch us up on the lives of the students that came before.

Thu Feb 27 20:29:59 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It's always great to meet fans and if you tell me where you are staying - is it near to Ballyvaughan - then I'd be delighted to meet you on a day that is convenient to you.

Sun Feb 23 19:23:02 2014

Christine McDonnell writes from USA
Dear Cora Harrison, I have enjoyed your books so much that I am coming to the Burren for a week in April, along with two friends who are also fans. We are staying south of Galway in an old house that abuts the Burren. Any chance you'll be making an appearance April 19-26? We would love to meet you.
Egerly awaiting the next Burren mystery!

Sun Feb 23 18:18:35 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Just one of my stupid mistakes, Bill. My only excuse is that I was writing five books a year that time and was rushing too much (and am a naturally careless person)

But it's great that you liked it so much. I was so intrigued by the story, and by the still remaining glimpses, of medieval Galway that it inspired the book.

Mon Feb 10 07:38:01 2014

Bill Donahoe writes from United States
Dear Cora I just finished reading 'Laws in conflict". I loved the story but on page 181 I was thrown by the line Margaret Lynch ,born a Burke. Did I miss something earlier. i thought she was Valentine Blake's sister. The book was fantastic.
Bill Donahoe at

Mon Feb 10 00:40:24 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you for the lovely message - yes, I would love to meet you and answer any questions if you send me note of where you are staying a bit nearer the time. I usually go away in June, but should certainly be at home in July.
It's worth planning a visit to the Burren, as it is a rather nebulous place, with many of its treasures, such as Mullaghmore Mountain (above) located in remote and difficult to access places. I would be pleased to help you to plan your trip if you tell me where you will be staying and for how long.

Sat Feb 1 19:28:55 2014

Kate & Mary & Garah Duffy writes from USA
Dear Ms. Harrison,
We are deeply involved reading and loving the Burren Mysteries. We feel your stories and writing could come to life for many more people if they were made into a mini-series for TV.

We will be traveling to Ireland in early July - specifically in your area around July 11. Are you participating in any book reviews or signings around that time? We have never really visited the Burren. Would it be possible to meet you?

Your writing is so captivating, we cannot put the books down once we begin reading. I am the grandmother, Garah is a daughter in law and Kate a grand daughter. We hope you continue adding to this series. Sincerely, Mary Duffy

Sat Feb 1 18:03:43 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Peter. I think of the Burren as one of the most beautiful places in the world. We are lucky to live here within easy reach of such scenery

Wed Jan 29 08:28:48 2014

peter curtin writes from lisdoonvarna , co clare ireland
love the photos of the burren. your weaving of irish/burren history through your books is magic, well done.

Tue Jan 28 23:43:41 2014

Cora Harrison
Dear Valerie,
What happened to them is what happens to all of the pupils of teachers - they grow up - go off into the world and start to make their own way.
'The Cross of Vengeance' you will notice, takes place a number of years after 'Chain of Evidence'. Cormac, Mara's son, was only a baby there, but now he is nine years old - it is almost ten years since his birth in 'Scales of Retribution'.
I was anxious to get on with the story of Mara and the Brehon Law before the final catastrophe, and was, I must confess, seduced by a possible story involving the two-armed Cross on the gable end of gable end of Kilnaboy Church and the possible involvement in a Lutheran disciple in the destroying of the round tower which is reputed to have held a relic of the true cross.
However, the next book, out in March, 'Verdict of the Court' re-visits the story of Enda, one of Mara's former pupils and talks about Shane, also. I hope that you enjoy it.

Mon Jan 27 19:54:32 2014

Valerie writes from England
Hello Cora,

I have enjoyed all the books about Mara.
I opened "Cross Of Vengeance",eagerly, and was puzzled.
What had happened to Hugh,Shane,Fiona,Aidan and
Moylan?No mention of them.

I thought that I had missed a book.Then thought I had missed a clue in "Chain Of I reread it.Nothing.

What happened in those missing six years?

Mon Jan 27 19:35:46 2014

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland

Hello again Cora,

Rights have let me know that there is no publication date set yet for Jane Austin Stole My Boyfriend in Brazil, but as soon as they do have confirmation they will let our rights team know and I will pass on this news.

I'm sorry not to have a more definitive answer but hopefully we'll have one soon.

Wed Jan 22 20:52:15 2014

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