Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Sharron Hall writes from Australia

Hi Cora,
I'm reading "My Lady Judge" as my treat over the Easter weekend here in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. Our families came here from Ireland in the 1850s and 1870s. I've learned a great deal of history about the world of the Haynes family that I didn't know about before. The Neylons came from Clare and the house they built here was named St Clare. The book has been very enjoyable. Sharron

Sat Apr 11 12:02:30 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks for this, Suzanne.
I'm glad you read MY LADY JUDGE before book 2 as I think it paints the background to the stories. I am now on book 6 (books 3 STING OF JUSTICE & 4 WRIT IN STONE will come out this year and, hopefully, books 5 & 6 next year) and I have to keep reminding myself to put in the background and not to assume that my reader already knows it all.
A lot of people do make this point about the pronunciation of Gaelic - I'm not too good on it myself but I just feel that it adds a nice background. I really must persuade my publishers that it would be worthwhile. Another thing that that I would like is to have a map of the Burren - it's only 100 square miles so it can be quite a large scale - and mark in the various castles etc. I always have a map open on the floor beside me while I write.
Taoiseach is pronounced teeshock and the a in tánaiste is pronounced like aw in awful.
Derbh fine I'm not too sure about but think it is darve fine (two syllables in fine with a short e - if that makes sense.

Fri Mar 20 08:21:26 2009

Suzanne writes from USA
I ran across "A Secret and Unlawful Killing" and immediately picked it up as I am a big fan of historical mysteries, and was very interested in the rather feminist and humane Brehon judicial system after reading the Sister Fidelma mysteries. However, I quickly discovered it was not the first book, so I had to put it down and run off and get "My Lady Judge", which I very much enjoyed, and now I'm back to the second book.

Although I hate it when American publishers rename books, I must say the typesetting of the US edition is quite good. They even use chapter heads from the underappreciated Jeremy Tankard. (I don't suppose you know what typeface is used for the Brehon law excerpts?).

For those of us with no Gaelic heritage, it would be useful to have a small phonetic pronunciation guide at the beginning, for the names and common phrases (not for Gaelic in general - that would be too complicated). I can handle things like Samhain and caermacnaghten, but taoiseach and tánaiste are not common on this side of the Atlantic, and I'm sure many American readers are stumbling or mentally slaughtering them. was a big help, but doesn't have everything. Derbhfine? (Dair-veen??)

[Please forgive me and just delete if this message is a duplicate; I lost my connection in the middle of posting.]

Fri Mar 20 06:36:59 2009

Keira writes from Ireland
hi Cora I love your books I've read them all.P.S sorry about the spelling im still young!

Mon Mar 9 20:34:40 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
There is a quite a bit about the city of Galway and its relationship with independent Gaelic kingships, such as the Burren, in 'My Lady Judge' so I hope that you enjoy that, Patrick, when you read it.
I'm delighted and relieved to see that book 2 can be read and enjoyed by someone who has not read book 1. Many thanks for taking the trouble to write.

Sat Mar 7 10:16:12 2009

Patrick McGuire writes from USA
I just ran across at the library, and read, _A Secret and Unlawful Killing_. I greatly enjoyed it: Sympathetic characters and what at least sounds like accurate depiction of the period, not that I have much depth in that time and place. I've reserved _My Lady Judge_ and look forward to the subsequent volumes. I have to date only managed to visit Galway once and nothing else in the West, but if I get back that way, I will look at the region with your books in mind.

Fri Mar 6 22:04:22 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Many thanks, Edna - the place is beautiful, anyway!

Wed Mar 4 16:29:38 2009 writes from USA
Re: "My Lady Judge" What a beautiful book.

Wed Mar 4 16:22:06 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks for the message, Tony & Mary. There's a Burke in the next book, 'Sting of Justice' which will be coming out in the UK at the begininng of May and will probably be in Australia a couple of weeks later.
I have a brother in Sydney, so it's nice to hear from Australia - I think you are my first fans from there!

Sun Feb 22 11:41:34 2009

Tony & Mary Bourke(nee McNamar writes from Australia
As you can see we have strong Irish ties and have visited Ireland and the Burren in recent years. My McNamara ancesters came to Australia in 1876. My husband picked up a copy of My Lady Judge quite by accident, and we both read and thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't get hold of the A Secret and Unlawful Killing fast enough. We really liked the characters and also to learn of the rather sophisticated form of justice the Gaelic culture had. We are both looking forward to your next publication. Many thanks. Mary

Sun Feb 22 11:15:47 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That was a lovely message, Mari. You can't belive how much pleasure it gives me to hear that people like my books.

I hope that you can see from the photographs on this website - all taken by my son-in-law on a few frosty days after Christmas a couple of years ago - that the Burren is even more beautiful than I managed to put into words.

Book three, 'Sting of Justice' will come out in May in the UK and Ireland and in the following September in the US. Hopefully, by September 2009, also, book four, 'Writ in Stone' will be out in the UK, but I'm not sure about America for this one.

Sun Jan 18 11:25:23 2009

Mari Bonomi writes from USA
I have just finished back-to-back reading of your first two Mara the Brehon novels. (Took me about 3 1/2 days!)

What a joy! I have long wished to visit Ireland, but now I have such images in my head of the land, the sky - I must see them for myself to see if the word-pictures you painted are accurate!

I do hope there is another Mara novel coming (or lots more, actually!). The last line of the second novel (and I agree: Michaelmas Tribute would have been just fine; we hist-myst readers are thoroughly familiar with British nomenclature) was such that it could be a "closing benediction" on Mara or a hint of another novel with many changes coming.

I have recommended your novels to CrimeThruTime discussion group at Yahoo; we're a listserv community of hist-myst readers and writers who love to share what we're reading and what we think of it. I think you might enjoy it :)

Again, thank you for the pleasure I took in your novels :)

Sat Jan 17 18:36:35 2009

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
You must tell your husband, Sue, that the Burren is still carpeted with orchids in the spring and summer. They grow on the mountain sides, in the valleys, in the grykes between the paving stones, under the hedges and along the roadside. I think that he would love to see them - there are some very rare varieties.

Tue Dec 30 13:43:19 2008

Sue Cosner writes from USA
I agree with everyone who has written. I have long been a fan of Sister Fidelma mysteries, but also in any and all "medieval" mysteries - Crowner John being a particular favorite also. I also agree that the name for the second book should not have to have been changed - we all who read these books have some semblance of undrstanding of the terminology. I have visited Great Britain but have not been able to visit Ireland yet - thank you for the wonderful descriptions - my husband, who raises orchids, was especially impressed with your frequent mentions of orchids and other flora. Thank you again, I cannot wait for my copy of A Secret and Unlawful Killing to arrive (my Christmas present to myself!)

Sat Dec 27 00:23:47 2008

Andrew Kenkel writes from USA
You're very welcome. I began the sequence out of order and began with book two. Today I picked up the first book at the library and will be starting it once I finish my "to do" list. It is my reward for finishing the list and can't wait to get started. To my frustration I have not been to Ireland yet. I used to work with two siblings from Ireland, they left for Canada in '60s and then moved to the US a few years after that. He lived in England in the '90s so I was able to visit England and Wales, but always seemed to run out of time and budget before we got to Ireland or Scotland. Well, you can tell that I tend to "prattle" on, so I will close with best wishes to you for the Holiday season.

Mon Dec 15 05:21:01 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Andrew, for such a nice message. Which of the books did you read?
I've just driven through the Burren, back from County Sligo. It was very misty, but still magical.
Do you ever visit Ireland?

Sat Dec 13 16:07:33 2008

Andrew Kenkel writes from USA
Thank you for such a wonderful read. From cover to cover I was engaged and had a hard time putting it down. I so thoroughly enjoy historical fiction (I hope that is the correct term), and your novel was one of the best. Keep up the good work, and a big heart-felt thank you from a country boy who felt he was in Ireland the past few days enjoying the beauty you describe so well.

Thu Dec 11 20:41:01 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Carole: Michaemas was felt to be a term that Americans would be unfamiliar with so my American publishers decided to change it.
I'd be interested to know what you think.

Thu Dec 4 20:31:20 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry to have been a while in replying, Carole; I've been in London for a few days, visiting publishers, literary agent, doing some Christmas shopping and some sightseeing.
I'm delighted that you like the books and the characters. I must confess that I am rather fond of Mara - and Turlough, of course! And I do enjoy a detective story myself and find that I equally enjoy plotting the red herrings etc. in my own book.
What part of Ireland did your mother come from?

Thu Dec 4 20:25:15 2008

Carole Hacker writes from USA
Love your books! I have been a long time Sister Fidelma fan so I can now add another new favorite, Brehon Mara. Once I started the books I can hardly put them down and then the sad part - it ends. You detail the characters so well that they seem to come to life. My mother was pure Irish so I also enjoy all of the Celtic history mixed with the mystery. Looking forward to your new books.
One question - Why did they change the name of your second book here in the USA?

Sun Nov 30 23:29:58 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Capturing the atmosphere of the Burren was my dearest ambition when I began to write this series and I'm delighted that you think that I managed that, Denise.

Fri Nov 21 16:10:55 2008

Denise writes from USA
I just finished My Lady Judge and enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, whatever the titles. You might want to tell your publishers (gently, it wouldn't do to startle them) that quite a lot of Americans have access to dictionaries, Google, wikipedia etc. And readers that are willing to try a book that takes place in a different culture & era are comfortable with looking up the odd word or two.
Thank you for the pictures of the Burren. I was there about 3 years ago and was amazed at the beauty of the place. Your book captured the atmosphere perfectly.

Fri Nov 21 02:04:03 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks for your message, Marilyn. I'm glad you enjoyed the books.

The problem with judgement/judgment is that the original script is as published in England and people in America may find the odd discrepancy with American spelling as in grey/gray.

Wed Oct 29 10:02:55 2008

Marilyn Schmitz writes from USA
I've very much enjoyed your books but where, or where is your proof-reader? "Judgment" has only one "e", not two.

Tue Oct 28 22:32:55 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Kathleen,
The third is just being typeset and I have finished books five and six.
I have such a clear vision of how this series is to go and what I want to do is to concentrate on people of the Burren. Though not wanting to make a soap opera out of it, I just visualize various characters moving in and out of the focus of the story. Garrett MacNamara, taoiseach of the MacNamara clan, is mentioned a few times in book one, but then plays a starring role in book two. The bard, Rory, is one of four young lovers in book one, has a couple of mentions in book two, and then becomes a murder suspect in book three. Ardal O’Lochlainn, taoiseach, is prominent from the start, but in book five, when a young man, claiming to be his son, arrives from the Aran Islands, Ardal is the focus of the story.

Mon Sep 22 17:58:13 2008

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