Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Nina Meyer writes from USA
Dear Ms Howard,

I just finished your STING OF JUSTICE. It was such a delightful book with a twist at the end. I have added your books to the list of must have books. Thank you for you wonderful writing and the hours of enjoyment I got reading it.


Wed May 12 12:21:40 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Jackie: I'm about quarter of the way through 'Summons to Labour' and it's going well! It should be out in the UK in September. US is always a few months later, I think.

Larry: I'm glad you said that about writing well about young people. These bits just write themselves. I think that those six boys are as real to me as kids that I have actually taught.
A year or so ago I actually saw, in the British Library, the manuscript of Brehon Laws written at Cahermacnaghten. It was compiled by Domhnall O'Davoren and his scholars. They seemed a very bright sparky crew - complaining in marginalia about their master and the food and joking about Semus and the drink.
At the moment I am struggling with what to do about Enda. I like him very much but he has just passed his final examinations and really should go out into the world. I am so sorry to part with him as he is a great favourite of mine.

Shauna: Yes, I did send to that address - but I have re-sent so hopefully it should arrive. I think emails are a bit strange at the moment with all this volcanic dust over Ireland.

Wed May 12 10:51:38 2010 writes from Larry Mitchell - Canada
Just finished A SECRET AND UNLAWFUL KILLING and enjoyed it very much. You write beautifully with a deep understanding of children and the young. I was charmed from the get-go and look forward to reading the rest in the Mara series.
I am requesting my library to track down some of your childrens books. Even tho I am 64 I love to read quality childrens literature.
From some of what I've read hear it may be difficult finding some of your books here in Western Canada. However, there is always Amazon and I understand much of your stuff is available there.
Thank you so much for the great pleasure you have given me.
Warm regards,

Tue May 11 04:28:04 2010

Jackie Wallace writes from USA

Just finished your last book Eye of the Law and have read all six so far. I pray you are writing another as I need to know if Mara has her baby or not. Wonderful writing. My friends are enthralled with your books also and can hardly wait for me to finish each book so they can read them.

Tue May 11 00:02:01 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Morag: I agree with you about Amazon. I spend a lot of my money there. Living as I do in the remote west of Ireland it is hard tofind any much other than the latest bestseller in bookshops. Once you have found out about a book you can get it on Amazon.
I'm so pleased that you like my 'Mara' book. I am just writing book 6 at the moemnt and am pleased to find that it flows along and almost writes itself. More often than not it is some one of the Brehon laws that triggers a book. In book 5 it was the law that said a woman on her death bed must be believed when she names the true father of her child.
intersting about Saxon law. I must confess I know nothing about it. I must look it up.

Sheena: I have listened to the auido edition of the first two books and thought they was very well done. The reader got advice from Galway university - and that's great.

Shauna: I hope that map of places was ok and that you could open the file. It would be wonderful to have a real map on my website.

Sun May 9 20:31:24 2010

Sheena Rennie writes from Yorkshire
I am SO pleased to find your web-site - but even more happy to have found "My Lady Judge" on my library shelves. For information to Eileen McCarthy Burbage who wrote earlier - I found it first as a talking book, read by a very authentic-souding Irish voice which gives some hints at pronounciation. I have now listened to that twice and read the paper copy twice thinking I might have to wait years before finding another story!
I, along with many of your other correspondents, feel that Brehon Law seemed so much more humane and sensible! Bring it back!! Interestingly my brother-in-law tells me that in fact English law prior to the landing of the Normans was similar.
I look forward to meeting with Mara again soon. Thank you for all.

Sun May 9 18:14:19 2010

Morag Rothwell writes from Milton Keynes England
Dear Ms Harrison,

I discovered your "Burren" books about a month ago in my library, they are fantastic! I'll now be buying them to read again and again! Your descriptions of the law and the land and the people have awakened an interest in me to find out more. It's such a shame that a "conquering" people have to try and stamp out things they look down on or feel are "outdated and simple". The Brehon laws sound so much more practical and logical, as you say, what is the point in putting some one in prison for what was really no crime at all. I'm looking forward to reading your London books as soon as I find them. Thank goodness for Amazon! My daughter now knows exactly what to get me for birthdays etc. Thank you!

Sat May 8 19:17:45 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Mr Hornbeck,

Thank you for the nice compliment.

The first three books in the Burren series were published by Pan Macmillan. Through them I signed a hundred copies at Goldsburo books shop in Cecil Court, Covent Garden, London and I think subsequently these appeared on the Internet.

The hardback books 4,5,6,7 are now being published By Severn House who have an Internet and Amazon presence, but do not seem to have much of a shop presence. I have not been asked to sign any copies of 'Writ in Stone'.

Have you tried the online bookshop, Kennys of Galway? If they have any or could be persuaded to stock some then I would be very happy to go across to Galway and sign them there.

Tue May 4 09:15:25 2010

Ron Hornbeck writes from Charleston, South Carolina
Good afternoon, Ms. Harrison,

I'm trying to find a signed copy of Writ in Stone. I have purchased signed copies of all of the earlier titles in the Burren series, which I really enjoy! I collect modern medieval fiction writers and other historical fiction writers dealing with Anglo-Irish topics. I have tried all of my usual sources but cannot locate a signed edition of Writ in Stone. Can you help by mentioning some of the bookstores in the British Isles or the US where you have signed copies? Or, have you not signed many copies?

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Mon May 3 18:57:29 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Shauna,

It would be fantastic if you could do this. Would you be willing to send me your email adddress (it would not go on the website) and I will send you something that I roughed out when Macmillan were interested in putting a map in the books.

Who knows but sales might pick up as I hear there is a film producer interested in making a series. That would be so wonderful!

Mon May 3 08:43:13 2010

Shauna McKain-Storey writes from United States

Yes, I heard from some bookshop people there that your books were "not in fashion" now. But maybe if enough pesky Americans ask for them, they'll realize they are missing some sales opportunities. Maybe the Irish feel the weight of their history a bit too much still, and aren't as willing to mix it with entertainment. Yet.
I wish that more Americans would take history a bit more seriously. And be more informed.
I think making a map would be fun. I'll give it a try. I'll let you know when I'm done and you can tell me if you'd like me to email it to you.

Cheers, Shauna

Mon May 3 04:22:56 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
These people at Caher Connell are always being told that they should stock my book - mostly by Americans! They write it down and then do nothing.
Oddly enough the books seem to sell badly in Ireland. It's much easier to get them in Britain.
Perhaps the Irish are not interested in their past.
re the map, I was told by my publishers that they were not willing to pay anyone to do it, and it would seem too much to ask anyone to do it free of charge. i would love to have a semi-pictorial one with little pictures of tower houses etc. but alas...
I'm so sorry that you were ill during your trip. How miserable!

Sun May 2 21:57:16 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Eileen: There are quite a few pronunciation guides on the Internet - one in particular called Guide to Gaelic Pronunciation for Beginners.
It sounds a bit feeble that I don't produce one myself, but I am not very good at Gaelic, though fascinated by it, and I am not a linguist so may lead people astray.

Sun May 2 21:54:16 2010

Eileen McCarthy Burbage writes from USA
I was wondering if there was a pronounciation guide to the Gaelic words used in the book. My grandparents who were both born in Kerry and my dad who lived in Ireland as a boy are not here to help me with the pronounciation. Can you point me to somewhere that I can find the correct pronounciation?
Thank you,

Eileen McCarthy Burbage

Fri Apr 30 05:14:11 2010

Shauna McKain-Storey writes from United States

Yes, we had great weather in the Burren. I asked for your books all over Ireland, but only found Dha Chorp and one of the Drumshee books. The 1st will take me a while, but I enjoyed the 2nd (Secret of 1798, I think.) My group enjoyed the Caher Connell site (I think it was entirely covered in brambles when we saw it last,) and I told the people there that they really should stock your Burren mysteries in the shop, since the fort figures in them so prominently. They wrote your name down, so maybe they will!
I was wondering if there was any progress on posting a map on your website. I'm an artist, as may be others of your fans, and maybe one of us could help.
Glad you got a break, and hope you enjoyed it even more than I did mine (I got a bit sick while there.)

Cheers! Shauna from Oregon

Thu Apr 29 19:39:39 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Hope you had a lovely holiday, Shauna. I was taking an Easter break myself at that time and the weather could not have been better. When you come to Ireland again, try to make it May as there are carpets of tiny, intensely blue gentians everywhere then. This is a very late spring so they may be late this year, but I look forward to them every year.

Thanks, Anne, glad you enjoy the books. I hope your library manages to get the books for you. They are all available on Amazon - though I wouldn't know about shops in the US.

Mon Apr 26 06:24:18 2010

Anne writes from United States
What phenomenal books you write! My Lady Judge was wonderful; I didn't know who the murderer was until late in the book and the same thing with A Secret and Unlawful Killing.

I'm planning to read the other three in the series, even tho my library can only get them via InterLibrary Loan.

Please please keep writing books for these series; they are informative and sooooooooooooo enjoyable.

Wed Apr 21 15:29:38 2010

Shauna McKain-Storey writes from United States

I just wanted to say how happy I am that I found your Burren mysteries in time to read the first three before my upcoming trip to Counties Galway and Clare. I love the descriptions of the Burren and of Brehon law. Your books have added 3 words to my vocabulary: brehon, clint and gryke! I love new words! I hope to explore the burren again this trip and see some of the wondrous double landscapes I remember. I mean those places where the grykes are so deep that trees are growing in them between the stony grey clints and it looks like there are 2 worlds: the surface one and a lusher one just a few feet down.

I have been recommending your books all around, which goes further than you might think because I work in a library. I haven't posted about them on or yet, but I will. I've been studying Irish and hope to find your teen mysteries in Irish while there. They sound like fun. Will you be speaking or making an appearance anywhere April 17 - 24? That's when I'll be staying in a cottage in Kinvarra.

Anyway, thanks for creating these books and sharing your love and knowledge of Ireland's history and landscapes. This reader appreciates you very much.

Mon Apr 12 07:49:23 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Aisling,

I would so love 'I Was Jane Austen's Best Friend' to be made into a film! Have you seen the US cover? It looks like a still from a film!

I like Eliza. I read a book of her letters and I thought she came across as really nice. I also liked the way that she was so proud of her disabled son.

A follow-up to Jane & Jenny in Steventon will be published - this is about Jane & Jenny in Bath and deals with Jane's love affairs. Eliza is very much in that, also.

Fri Apr 9 09:27:09 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Barbara,

Thanks for writing. I'm delighted you like my 'Mara' books.

There are 5 books out at the moment. This is the sequence: 1. MY LADY JUDGE, 2 MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE (A SECRET & UNLAWFUL KILLING), 3 STING OF JUSTICE, 4. WRIT IN STONE, 5. EYE OF THE LAW. I'm not sure when the next one will come out.

All of these are available on as well as
- I think that they are all available from Barnes & Noble as well.

Have you ever seen the Burren in May when the gentians are in bloom? It's incredibly beautiful then.

Best wishes,


Fri Apr 9 09:17:49 2010

Aisling writes from Ireland
Dear Cora, I read my first one of your books "I was Jane Austens Best Friend" and I think it was fantastic. I really lived it and you made all the charectars brilliantly. I am a great fan of Jane Austen and I think I was born in the wrong era! I hope you can write some sort of follow-up! It was really an inspiring novel. I hope it is made into a film sometime, perhaps you should send it to a film corporation?? I would love it!
Thanks so much!
Love, Aisling

P.S. I really loved Cousin Eliza, even though she was a terrible flirt!

Thu Apr 8 23:43:32 2010

Barbara writes from U.S.A.
Dear Cora: After reading your first Mara book, I was totally hooked. Your beautiful descriptions remind me so much of all the places I visited in Ireland. I am taken back to the burren that I loved so much.
Your books are not easy to get here; but I finally learned to order from the U.K. for them. Please keep me informed of your next one so I can order again.
Thank you for an entertaining, romantic and suspenseful series. I love the books.
Please email me at

Wed Apr 7 03:39:26 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Jackie,

Thanks for your message. It's lovely to hear that you liked the books. I, too, am fascinated by Brehon law and its community-based aspects. Wouldn't it be wonderful if communities came together and enforced good behaviour on its members without the use of prison?

I think that all of my books are available on Amazon UK - you will probably have to wait for 'Eye of the Law' on, but it should soon be available.

Please don't look for 'Michaelmas Tribute'. It's the same book as 'A Secret & Unlawful Killing'. For some reason the American publisher thought 'Michaelmas' would be an unfamiliar word for the American public. Many Americans have written to me expressing annoyance at this decision and its implications!

Fri Apr 2 07:59:28 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Prish,

Many thanks for your kind words.

The research is a pleasure to me - it is so interesting to plough through the Brehon laws and to decide how matters could have been handled.

I wish there were more written accounts of Ireland at the time, but there is very little. One has to wait for the Elizabethan era for this - and it is very biased against the 'native Irish'. Unfortunately, virtually nothing, other than legends and Brehon laws have survived from the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries.

Fri Apr 2 07:57:42 2010

Jackie Wallace (nee Concannon) writes from USA
Dear Cora:

I have just finished My Lady Judge, Sting of Justice and A Secret and Unlawful Killing. I found it hard to put any of them down and am so pleased that you have a new book coming out in March. I hope I will be able to obtain it over here.

I have always been interested in the Brehon laws and your attention to detail is wonderful let alone, I think I have figured out who did what and where but usually am wrong. I have not read Eye of the Law, Write in Stone or Michaelmas Tribute but will certainly try to obtain them.

Thank you again for your wonderful books

Fri Apr 2 00:18:46 2010

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