Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I hope you have a lovely visit.
The little church is well worth a visit, as is the castle - and, of course, the law school at Cahermacnaghten on the road between Liosdoonvarna and the Ballyvaughen.

Sat Apr 20 18:24:57 2013

John writes from USA
Cora, Thanks very much for the help. I just finished Eye of the Law last night and I enjoy being able to associate the places in the story with places on the map. We are getting excited about seeing them in person. Just a little over two weeks! John

Sat Apr 20 18:00:03 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Nick: I'm delighted that you like them and, no, i don't mind comparisons with Peter Tremayne to be any problem. I didn't actually know about his books when I started to write mine and when I found out about them I deliberately decided not to read them in case I was over-influenced one way or another.

Of course, the two series are very different. My Mara is a professional - it's her job to solve crimes, whereas Sister Fidelma is more of the 'Miss Marple' type of detective - crimes occur wherever she goes and then she solves them.

Also, of course, my series is set in the last days of Brehon law and I hope there is a certain 'fin de siecle' feeling about them - Mara knows that the laws will not survive English rule.

The London Murder Mysteries were written for children (though lots of adults seems to enjoy them) and are my tribute to Dickens, an author that I love.

Wed Apr 17 18:45:07 2013

nick roberts writes from huntingdon uk
I was lucky enough to find a copy of your first Burren mystery and thoroughly enjoyed everything about it. I am expecting to be laid up for a short while after a back op and have the remainder in the series to look forward to. It is great when you label them "first ,second " etc as the reader gets a complete picture. I am looking forward to starting on your London mysteries series and wonder if these too should be read in order. I expect you find comparison with Sister Fidelma rather odious but I have to say I really enjoyed the character of Mara as much and the sections about Irish law and daily life in Ireland more. I hope you feel inspired to pick up your quill and write some more. Many thanks

Wed Apr 17 17:32:33 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
John: There is no problem about parking on the road. Everyone does it -the farmers around are all very welcoming. The route up the mountain is now very well signposted with alternate routes - depending on your level of fitness. I am very unfit and elderly, but managed fine. Go past the lake, right up almost to the end of the road before the turn and park there where the notice board is, on your left - plenty of room to turn afterwards, or you can go ahead and come out by Carron, passing Castletown.

Yes, they are the same - you do get such a lot of different spellings of place names because they were written down at different times by people who didn't speak Gaelic (bh in Gaelic is pronounced like a v in English - generally the h is a substitute for a dot over the letter - something which either mutes the letter or turns it into a v sound - or something else - very complicated language!

Yes, indeed, the abbey is the one that I wrote about in 'Writ in Stone'. I didn't use the word 'Corcomroe' because I don't know why it is called that - it's in the kingdom of the Burren, not Corcomroe. Do go and see it and look at the carved 'harebells' - some guidebooks call them bluebells, but they are not - bluebells don't grow wild on the Burren, but harebells are everywhere and are incredibly beautiful. I love that abbey.

Sorry not to have replied earlier - have just returned from the London Book Fair.

Wed Apr 17 10:20:47 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I look forward to seeing you and your friends, Brenda - if all goes well. I do go away quite a lot, but hopefully will be around then.

Wed Apr 17 10:03:42 2013

John writes from USA
Sorry to bother you again. So I did a bunch of searching on Mullaghmore Mountain. I got the impression that there was no real place to park except on the side of the road and without knowing what I am doing I wouldn't want to offend someone by trespassing or parking illegally. I found information on guided walking tours but all of the ones I found need to be arranged in advance and I am concerned that I really don't know our timing for everything that well. Am I making things harder than I need to? We also came across a guided walking tour at "the Burren center". It leaves at a specific time each day but I wouldn't feel bad if I missed that if I got lost or something. Do you know anything about that? I really appreciate your help. I finished off "Writ in Stone" this morning and I should have the next book by Tuesday. Regards, John

Mon Apr 15 00:37:50 2013

John writes from USA
Thanks Cora. I got my copy of the map "The Burren" a couple of days ago. I also got the OSI map #51 which covers the same area. I have a couple of questions though. I find a mountain Cappanawalla but I haven't found Cappanabhaile. Are they just different names for the same place? I have just started Writ in Stone and I was wondering if the Abbey mentioned is based on the Cistercian Abbey Corcomroe that I find on the maps? We will be staying near Doolin when we visit. Hope all is well with you, regards, John

Sat Apr 13 00:28:11 2013

Brenda McDonald writes from Ontario, Canada
Thank you for posting a response Cora. We will be driving from Mallow to Ballyvaughn on September 13th. If you are available the 13th or 14th we would love to meet you.

Thu Apr 4 21:39:11 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Brenda: I haven't scheduled anything but let me know when you are visiting the Burren and we will meet somewhere. Do try to make time to see Mullaghmore mountain - it is unbelievably beautiful.

Wed Apr 3 19:13:42 2013

Brenda writes from Ontario, Canada
I have enjoyed reading your Burren mysteries. I have shared my love of the books with a few friends. We are all retired teachers and have planned a trip to Ireland in September. Do you have any book signing or readings scheduled for the last 2 weeks of September?

Tue Apr 2 21:15:02 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks for your message, Liyla - what lucky younger sisters you have - that's a serious amount of reading!

Have you tried 'Debutantes'? I think you might like it.

I hope that I will write a third Jane Austen book, but not just yet. I have to do a second 'Debutantes' book - 'Debutantes: In Love' first of all.

Sun Mar 31 10:40:07 2013

Liyla writes from Ireland
Ms Harrison,
I've read your Jane Austen series to my younger sisters,
The three of us have ENJOYED them immensely and were wondering if you were thinking of writing more, or similar books?
Your three biggest fans,
Rosie, Jane and Liyla

Sat Mar 30 23:34:42 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
After Fergus Kelly, there is Daniel Binchy - unfortunately he translated them all into Latin, which wasn't terribly helpful for most people. The book, even if you decide to have a go, is about 500 to buy - unless your university library can be persuaded to purchase it.

Sat Mar 23 18:18:29 2013

Una writes from Berkshire
Thanks Cora. My university has them - which is a bonus!

Sat Mar 23 18:13:43 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Una: Professor Fergus Kelly of the School of Celtic Studies has written two very good books (in English) - A GUIDE TO EARLY IRISH LAW & EARLY IRISH FARMING

You can get them from the online bookshop for THE DUBLIN INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDIES.

There are some other books but I think I would recommend you to start with the first book and see how you get on.

Good luck.

Sat Mar 23 08:41:39 2013

Una writes from Berkshire
Hi Cora

I absolutely love your Burren Mysteries, so much so that I would like to do a dissertion on Brehon Law. The problem is I would find it hard to read modern Irish, never mind medieval Irish. Is there some where it is all translated?



Sat Mar 23 08:30:33 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That's wonderful news to have first thing in the morning (over here in Ireland).

I'd say that The Montgomery Murder - first book of the London Murder Mysteries - might be rather too young for your thirteen-year-old. However, it is all about London in the time of Charles Dickens so if he is interested in history he might enjoy that.

And, though I say it myself, it has a very good dog in it.

Thu Mar 21 07:55:53 2013

Frances Vincent writes from USA
Dear Cora,
Your books are absolutely wonderful! I am on book 2 of the Burren series and can't wait to get to the ninth book! I was wondering if you write books for teenage boys in the range of 13 yrs. and up. If so, could you write back to me. I was looking at The Montgomery Murder, but I could not tell if it was a series that was old enough for a 13 year old.
Thank you,

Wed Mar 20 19:42:16 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thelma: Thanks for the message - I'm just finishing off Mara 10 - it's called 'The Cross of Vengeance' and is about a church in the south-eastern corner of the Burren called Kilnaboy and it is thought that this church, which has an unusual four-armed cross built into the gable, used to house a relic of the true cross. I have imagined a false pilgrim, a disciple of Martin Luther, coming to destroy that cross...

John: The best possible map for you to get before your visit is the one done by Tim Robinson. It's just called 'Map of the Burren' and it's available from Amazon. It's superb and I use it all the time when I am writing - in fact I've worn two of them to shreds!

May is a lovely month for the Burren. Do make sure that you find your way to Mullaghmore Mountain - and you will pass the church of Kilnaboy on your way to there - and as you climb - very easy climb, even I, in my seventies. can manage about half of it - on your way up you will see thousands of tiny dark blue gentians. They are so minute that it is easy to miss them, but once you see the first ones then you just keep on spotting them.

Mon Mar 18 08:51:20 2013

John John writes from USA
We are traveling to Ireland in May and are planning on spending a day and evening in the area of the Burren. Our thought was to do some hiking. I was wondering if you had a map of the places that inspired your series of books that takes place there. I was thinking that it would be fascinating to visit them. We have books on the area and I think we can find at least one Dolmen from them that looks like the one in your photos. We would be thrilled with any suggestions. I would also understand if you thought this too much of an imposition given your busy schedule. Thanks

Mon Mar 18 08:40:00 2013

Thelma Simpson writes from Australia
Hi Cora, Thank you so much for your series on early Ireland and Brehon Mara. I have only a couple to go and I have read them all (and lovd them all). Please write some more! I find the mix of history, culture and human interest fascinating. Thank you again, Thelma

Mon Mar 18 07:10:51 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I must say that although i enjoyed the two books, I think Hilary Mantel rather skated over the less attractive parts of Thomas Cromwell's personality and actions. I'm not sure that one should falsify history to that extent.

I felt the same about Ford Madox Ford's book 'The Fifth Queen' about Katharine Howard - my agent, Peter Buckman, thinks it's the best historical novel written, but I really can't take such a reversion of what we know of Katharine Howard - I can't see any justification for his portrayal of her.

Wed Feb 27 15:25:45 2013

Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Yes I read the first 2 books about Cromwell and, I think.. The Giant, O'Brien. If that's how the mind works, for someone guiding the English ship of state - what confidence may we have?

Wed Feb 27 00:35:34 2013

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
have you read Hilary Mantel's books I'm rereading at the moment Bring up the Bodies is my favourite.

Thu Feb 14 18:23:30 2013

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