Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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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

Prish Hawkes writes from England
Dear Cora
I have just finished reading the Eye of the Law which I enjoyed very much indeed. It is not just the unravelling of the mystery of the murders but the meticulous research that delivers such a vivid picture of the 1500s and the beautifully written descriptive passages about the Burren .
Thank you Cora...when is the next book out!!

Wed Mar 31 13:00:02 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Nancy,

I'm glad that you found 'My Lady Judge' interesting. I hoped to be able to convey a sense of respect for this rather community-based way of life - and also perhaps a sadness that it was soon to come to an end when defeated by a superior power - fully armed with the belief that they were doing God's work!
I think the similarities between ending of the Celtic Brehon-Law society and the American Indian society are plain.

Thanks for your nice message,

Sat Mar 27 12:03:27 2010

nancy todero writes from usa
dear cora,
I am almost done with 'my lady judge'.
Somehow I got lucky enough to find the first of the burren books. I am looking forward to reading the next 4 books!!
Thanks for sticking with your passion of story-telling!!
Your AWESOME at this!! I've always been drawn towards anything and everything Irish & Native American. Very similar beliefs, religions and communitiy lives. I have found some roots in the county (farnanaugh)? Still investigating this!
It's great reading, keep up the indulging stories.

~~peace & blessings~~ nancy~~

Fri Mar 26 18:41:02 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
How nice you are! In fact, though one shouldn't generalise, I think all Americans are extremely nice.

I don't think there are any plans to have me do a book door of the States - i shouldn't think that my books sell well enough for that, but if you do come to Ireland, let me know and I'll show you my favourite parts of the Burren.

Have you read 'My Lady Judge'? I think you would enjoy that as it is the first in the series.

Tue Mar 23 14:56:37 2010

Sharon Davis writes from Tidewater VA USA
My husband and had the wonderful pleasure of visiting Ireland a few years ago and briefly saw the Burren and fell in the love with whole of Ireland. We can't wait to come back for another visit.

I just found your book "THE STING OF JUSTICE" and am having a very hard time putting it down. It contains many of my favorite topics: Ireland, the Law and a well written mystery. The next time I am at a bookstore I will be looking for more of your books.
Is there any chance that you might do a book tour of the US? I promise I will be in line for a chance to meet you in person.
Please keep writing and giving us such pleasure.

Tue Mar 23 14:31:55 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry not to have got back to you before now, Donna, - I'm so busy writing that I forget to answer my mail sometimes.

Thank you so much for your lovely message. I do love to write about the Burren five hundred years ago and it's wonderful to think that others enjoy my stories. The characters are very real to me. Mara is my own creation (though there were women Brehons), but King Turlough Donn O'Brien was a real person, although there are only a few sentences on record about him.

I must confess that, although I can read and understand simple Gaelic, I would be very unreliable as to pronunciation. I must see if I can get someone to do a 'cheat sheet' for me!

Have you read 'Eye of the Law'? It will soon be out.

Thanks again for a lovely message.


Sun Mar 14 19:35:28 2010

Donna Blessing writes from USA-Chalottesville, V A
Dear Ms Harison

Gosh, I love the characters you have created and the setting of the Burrens. The majority of my heritage is from County Cork; not exactly near the Burren, but the flavor is present.

I must thank you for taking heart in hand together with your creativity and love of the Burren and gifting people like me a chance to go back in time to a place of wildness, beauty, hardship and integrity. I am fascinated with your characters, Mara, Turlough and the different clans, customs and daily life.

Will you ever include a cheat sheet on how to pronounce the ancient Irish names?

Please don't stop writing about these ancient, yet vitally alive, people.

Donna Blessing

Tue Mar 9 15:19:12 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
At Kinvarra you will be very near to the Burren.
Perhaps we could meet and have a coffee.
The only problem is that I will be going away in early June or late May so I'll let you know when that is finalized - otherwise it would be great to meet you.
Don't forget to visit Mullaghmore (pictured above). It's a nice easy climb to the summit. My six-year-old grandson did it last summer!

Sun Mar 7 16:07:07 2010 writes from USA
Dear Ms. Harrison,
I, along with a dear friend, both of us living on the Western Slope of Colorado, high in the mountains, am a great fan of your Burren books and am now excited to see that you have written about other subjects. I will be in Ireland in mid to late May, initially studying fiction writing with Irene Graham, and then visiting Kinvara, the ancestral home of the matrilinial side of my family. I intend to visit and walk on the Burren as part of my adventuring.
Will you be speaking or teaching or anything of the sort? Is there anything I can bring you from Colorado? Thank you for the wonderful character of Mara and the unfolding of her adventures.
I have stayed up late many a night because I could not put these books down. Sincerely, Masa Holle

Sun Mar 7 15:23:15 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It's so lovely to get a message like that!

I do hope that you enjoy 'Eye of the Law'. It's got a fascinating piece of quite strange Brehon law in it. I wonder what you will think when you read it...
Enjoy your book!

Sat Mar 6 16:46:12 2010

Marlene Hazlehurst
Just purchased Eye of The Law and can't wait to read it. Am going on a weeks hols in 3 weeks time. It's supposed to come with me - what are the chances of it lasting that long??
Love the characters and stories - totally addicted - thanks for the pleasure your books bring - keep writing

Fri Mar 5 20:15:44 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Yes, I did promise to see about a map. It seems very complicated to actually copy a map and put it on - and my efforts at drawing one look rather pathetic. Google is, I suppose, the best solution, though I was a bit put off by the number of misspellings and omissions when I did look at the Burren in Google.

Tue Feb 23 17:22:25 2010

pauline writes from england
Interesting looking back to see the rewuest for a map as I like to know where I am! Lucky enough to have visited - briefly - and bought book of maps, but there is a good interactive map on the Burren website

Mon Feb 22 21:44:35 2010

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Here is what I discovered re forks.

Ireland, of course, in those days, was much more influenced by Spain and the continent than by England,

'The fork as an eating utensil was introduced in the Middle East before the year 1000. First introduced to Europe in the 10th century by Theophanu, Byzantine wife of Emperor Otto II, the table fork had, by the 11th century made its way to Italy. The fork's arrival in northern Europe was more difficult. For many years it was viewed as an unmanly Italian affectation. The Roman Catholic Church expressly disapproved of its use: "God in his wisdom has provided man with natural forks his fingers. Therefore it is an insult to Him to substitute artificial metallic forks for them when eating." It was not until the 18th century that the fork became commonly used in Great Britain.'

Mon Jan 11 13:57:03 2010

Rose writes from Wales
You mention on page 29 of 'The Sting of Justice' that Lawyer Bodkin in 1509 'placed his fork with mathematical precision in the centre of his empty plate ...'. As it is generally accepted that forks were not common in GB until the 18th century, was Ireland two centuries ahead of England at this time, is it an anachronism or is there another explanation?

Mon Jan 11 13:34:21 2010

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