**3.5-stars rounded up**
When Jessica is asked to fill-in for a friend who is unable to attend a book conference at which she was set to speak, Jess graciously accepts, because that’s the type of woman Jessica Fletcher is. She’s helpful to her friends.
That’s why where her long-time Cabot Cove neighbor, Maeve O’Bannon, asks her to do her a favor while attending said conference, Jess agrees to that too.
The conference is in Belfast, Northern Ireland, very close to the village Maeve’s family hails from, Bushmills.
Maeve has in her possession some beautiful landscapes her Grandfather painted of Bushmills. As Maeve nears the final chapter of her life, and with no family stateside to bequeath the paintings to, she asks Jessica to take them and present them to her remaining family members in Bushmills.
In Belfast, Jessica attends the book event, then is picked-up by an O’Bannon family friend and escorted the rest of the way to Bushmills.
The O’Bannon family is well-known and well-off as owners of a very successful skincare/cosmetics line. Their company is currently in negotiations to merge with a similar French company. They have a lot going on.
The friendly family greets Jessica with kindness and welcomes her whole-heartedly, inviting her along to parties and other family gatherings.
The morning after one of these gatherings, as Jessica is taking a solo-tour of the village via bicycle, she comes across a vehicle, parked in a strange location with a man slumped over the steering wheel.
It turns out it is Michael O’Bannon, one of Maeve’s cousins, a local doctor. He is dead!
Of course this is before Jessica has had a chance to present the paintings to the family and now it would be in ill-taste to do so. They’ve got more important things to worry about now, having just lost a loved one.
Jessica agrees to stay on in Bushmills until the matter is settled. While she’s there, she might as well solve the murder. This is Book #56, people. You know how Jessica is.
Y’all, this was exactly the kind of cozy, simple, nostalgic mystery I needed right now. The holidays can get stressful. It felt so nice sitting and getting swept into this story.
It was comforting to be reunited with Jessica and I loved going along with her as she explored the beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland.
While this wasn’t the most captivating Murder, She Wrote mystery that I have ever read, I still really enjoyed it.
I loved the setting and the idea of the O’Bannon family and their business. It was also pleasing to see Jessica get along with and aiding local law enforcement.
Additionally, Jessica met a bit of a protege in this one. A girl named Maggie, who worked at the Inn where Jessica stayed in Bushmills.
I loved Maggie. She was gungho to help Jessica look into Michael’s death and she was good at it. I would love to see her again in a future installment. That would be so fun!
I’m really pleased with this series in the hands of Terrie Farley Moran. I think she has done a great job channeling the original tone of the series. I hope she continues on with it for a long time to come.
Murder, She Wrote is my number one comfort series and I will continue to pick them up as long as they are published! Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley, for providing me with a copy to read and review.
Murder, She Wrote: Death on the Emerald Isle is releasing on Tuesday, January 3, 2023.