Carlene O'Connor books in order
Carlene O'Connor is a USA Today bestselling author of cozy mystery books.
A descendant of a long lineage of Irish storytellers, her great-grandmother moved from Ireland to the United States many years ago, with tales that have stood the test of time.
Of all of the places that she has visited, none has stolen her heart quite like the tiny, picturesque walled town in County Limerick that was the inspiration behind the town of Kilbane, County Cork–which features heavily in her writing.
Carlene spends most of her time either in New York or Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
Genres: Cozy Mystery, Mystery
County Kerry Mystery
- No Strangers Here (2022)
- Some of Us Are Looking (2023)
Home to Ireland Mystery
- Murder in Galway (2020)
- Murder in Connemara (2021)
Irish Village Mystery
- Murder in an Irish Village (2016)
- Murder at an Irish Wedding (2017)
- Murder in an Irish Churchyard (2018)
- Murder in an Irish Pub (2019)
- Murder in an Irish Cottage (2020)
- Murder at an Irish Christmas (2020)
- Murder in an Irish Bookshop (2021)
- Murder on an Irish Farm (2022)
- Murder at an Irish Bakery (2023)
- Christmas Cocoa Murder (2019)
- Christmas Scarf Murder (2022)
- Halloween Cupcake Murder (2023)
Detailed book overview
County Kerry Mystery
On a rocky beach in the southwest of Ireland, the body of Jimmy O’Reilly, sixty-nine years old and dressed in a suit and his dancing shoes, is propped on a boulder, staring sightlessly out to sea. A cryptic message is spelled out next to the body with sixty-nine polished black stones and a discarded vial of deadly veterinarian medication lies nearby.
Jimmy was a wealthy racehorse owner, known far and wide as The Dancing Man. In a town like Dingle, everyone knows a little something about everyone else. But dig a bit deeper, and there’s always much more to find. And when Detective Inspector Cormac O'Brien is dispatched out of Killarney to lead the murder inquiry, he's determined to unearth every last buried secret.
Dimpna Wilde hasn’t been home in years. As picturesque as Dingle may be for tourists in search of their roots and the perfect jumper, to her it means family drama and personal complications. In fairness, Dublin hasn’t worked out quite as she hoped either. Faced with a triple bombshell—her mother rumored to be in a relationship with Jimmy, her father’s dementia is escalating, and her brother is avoiding her calls—Dimpna moves back to clear her family of suspicion.
Despite plenty of other suspects, the guards are crawling over the Wildes. But the horse business can be a brutal one, and as Dimpna becomes more involved with her old acquaintances and haunts, the depth of lingering grudges becomes clear. Theft, extortion, jealousy and greed. As Dimpna takes over the family practice, she's in a race with the detective inspector to uncover the dark, twisting truth, no matter how close to home it strikes...
In Dimpna Wilde’s veterinary practice, an imminent meteor shower has elevated the usual gossip to include talk of shooting stars and the watch parties that are planned all over Dingle. But there are also matters nearer at hand to discuss—including the ragtag caravan of young people selling wares by the roadside, and the shocking death of Chris Henderson, an elderly local, in a hit-and-run.
Just hours before his death, Henderson had stormed into the Garda Station, complaining loudly about the caravan’s occupants causing noise and disruption. One of their members is a beautiful young woman named Brigid Sweeney, and Dimpna is shocked when Brigid later turns up at her practice, her clothing splattered in blood and an injured hare tucked into her shirt.
Brigid claims that a mysterious stranger has been trying to obtain a lucky rabbit’s foot. Dimpna is incensed at the thought of anyone mutilating animals, but there is far worse in store. On the night of the meteor shower, Dimpna finds Brigid’s body tied to a tree, her left hand severed. She has bled to death. Wrapped around her wrist is a rabbit’s foot.
Brigid had amassed plenty of admirers, and there were tangled relationships within the group. But perhaps there is something more complex than jealousy at play. The rabbit’s foot, the severed hand, the coinciding meteor shower—the deeper Dimpna and Detective Sargeant Cormac O’Brien investigate, the more ominous the signs seem to be, laced with a warning that Dimpna fears it will prove fatal to overlook.
Home to Ireland Mystery
Tara never imagined her introduction to Ireland like this--carrying her mam's ashes to honor her final request: "Tell Johnny I'm sorry...Take me home." She's never met her mam's estranged brother, Johnny Meehan, who owns an architectural salvage business in Galway. Although Tara is immediately charmed by the medieval city, the locals seem wary of strangers and a gypsy warns her that death is all around.
When Tara arrives at her uncle's stone cottage, the prophesy seems true. A dead man lies sprawled over the threshold in a pool of blood. The victim turns out to be Johnny's wealthiest client, and her missing uncle is the garda's number-one suspect. In trying to find Johnny and solve the crime, Tara uncovers her mam and uncle's troubled past. But with a desperate killer about, she had better mind herself, or they'll be tossing her ashes in Galway Bay...
In Galway County, a chance at redemption is denied by an unforgiving killer...
Former New Yorker and interior designer Tara Meehan is eagerly anticipating the grand opening of her architectural salvage shop Renewals in her newly adopted home of Galway. She's in the midst of preparations when heiress Veronica O'Farrell bursts in to announce she's ready for some renewal of her own. To celebrate one year of sobriety, she's invited seven people she wronged in her drinking days to historic Ballynahinch Castle Hotel in neighboring Connemara to make amends in style.
But perhaps one among them is not so eager to pardon her past misdeeds. Veronica is found lying in the ruins of manor house Clifden Castle with an antique Tara Brooch buried in her heart--the same brooch Tara Meehan admired in her shop the day before, posting a photo with the caption: #Killerbrooch. Now she's a prime suspect, along with Veronica's guests, all of whom had motives to stab the heiress. It's up to Tara to pin down the guilty party...
Irish Village Mystery
In the small village of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland, Naomi’s Bistro has always been a warm and welcoming spot to visit with neighbors, enjoy some brown bread and tea, and get the local gossip. Nowadays twenty-two-year-old Siobhán O’Sullivan runs the family bistro named for her mother, along with her five siblings, after the death of their parents in a car crash almost a year ago.
It’s been a rough year for the O’Sullivans, but it’s about to get rougher. One morning, as they’re opening the bistro, they discover a man seated at a table, dressed in a suit as if for his own funeral, a pair of hot pink barber scissors protruding from his chest.
With the local garda suspecting the O’Sullivans and their business in danger of being shunned—murder tends to spoil the appetite—it’s up to feisty redheaded Siobhán to solve the crime and save her beloved brood.
A celebrity wedding in a small Irish village goes from festive to funerary when the best man is murdered...
Any wedding is a big deal in the County Cork village of Kilbane, but with a local lad marrying a famous fashion model at Kilbane Castle, there’s no talk of anything but the upcoming nuptials. Siobhán O’Sullivan and her five siblings have their plates full catering the three-day affair from their bistro. But the celebratory mood suddenly turns sober when the best man is found murdered in the woods.
For Siobhán, the tragic turn is more than grist for the gossip mill. Her beau, Macdara Flannery, is the prime suspect—and she intends to clear his name. Now, like the bride walking down the aisle, Siobhán needs to watch her step. For as she gets closer to unveiling the truth, the murderer is planning a very chilly reception for her.
After joining the police force of her small Irish village, a local woman must investigate the murder of a stranger...
After solving two murders in the County Cork village of Kilbane, Siobhán O’Sullivan has accepted her calling and decided to join the Garda Síochána. The O’Sullivan clan couldn’t be prouder, but there’s no time to celebrate as she’s already on another case, summoned by the local priest who just found a dead man in the St. Mary’s graveyard—aboveground.
He’s a stranger, but the priest has heard talk of an American tourist in town, searching for his Irish ancestor. As Siobhán begins to dig for a motive among the gnarled roots of the victim’s family tree, she will need to stay two steps ahead of the killer or end up with more than one foot in the grave.
The luck of the Irish runs out for a professional poker player.
A poker tournament in the small village of Kilbane in County Cork is drawing players from across the country, but none more famous than Eamon Foley. A tinker out of Dublin, he’s called the Octopus for playing like he has eight hands under the table. But when Foley is found at the end of a rope, swinging from the rafters of Rory Mack’s pub, it’s time for the garda to take matters into their own hands.
Detective Sargent Macdara Flannery would lay odds it’s a simple suicide—after all, there’s a note and the room was locked. But officer Siobhán O’Sullivan suspects foul play, as does Foley’s very pregnant widow. Soon it’s up to Siobhán to call a killer’s bluff, but if she doesn’t play her cards right, she may be the next one taken out of the game.
In a remote—and superstitious—village in County Cork, Ireland, Garda Siobhán O'Sullivan must solve a murder where the prime suspects are fairies...
Family is everything to Siobhán, which now includes her fiancé Macdara Flannery. So when his cousin Jane frantically calls for help, the two garda rush from Kilbane to the rural village where Jane and her mother have recently moved.
When they arrive, they find Jane in a state outside the cottage. Inside, Aunt Ellen lies on her bed in a fancy red dress, no longer breathing. A pillow on the floor and a nearby teacup suggest the woman has been poisoned and smothered.
The local villagers, who are devout believers in Irish folklore, insist the cottage is cursed—built on a fairy path. Although the townsfolk blame malevolent fairies, Siobhán and Macdara must follow the path of a murderer all too human—but just as evil...
Garda Siobhán O'Sullivan’s holiday plans hit a sour note when murder rearranges the yuletide carols into unexpected eulogies...
This December in Kilbane, if you’re planning to warm up with a cuppa tea at Naomi’s Bistro, you may have a bit of a wait—the entire O’Sullivan brood has gone off to West Cork to spend the holidays with brother James’s fiancée Elise’s family, including her grandfather, the famous orchestral conductor Enda Elliot. Siobhán is so happy for James and Elise but also quietly disappointed that she must put her own wedding to fellow garda Macdara Flannery on hold. Mac will have to join them later, so he can spend part of the holidays with his mam.
When the O’Sullivans learn everyone will choose a name from a hat to buy a music-related Christmas gift for someone else at the gathering, it seems like their greatest concern—until the cantankerous conductor is discovered crushed under a ninety-pound harp in a local concert hall.With the extended family—including Enda’s much-younger new wife Leah, a virtuoso violinist—suspected in his murder, it's up to Siobhán to ensure the guilty party faces the music before the killer orchestrates another untimely demise.
When a new bookstore in the County Cork Irish village of Kilbane closes the book on an author’s life, it’s up to Garda Siobhán O'Sullivan to resolve the story...
Between training the new town garda and trying to set a wedding date with her fiancé, Macdara Flannery, Siobhán is feeling a bit overwhelmed. But an author event at the new bookstore featuring Irish writers taking up residency in Kilbane offers a welcome distraction.
One author, Deirdre Walsh, spends more time complaining about the unfairness of the publishing industry and megastar bestselling authors like Nessa Lamb instead of her own body of work. After the evening ends in a battle of words, Deirdre’s body is found the next day in the back of the store—with pages torn from Nessa’s books stuffed in her mouth. Now, Siobhán must uncover which of Kilbane’s literary guests took Deirdre’s criticisms so personally they engaged in foul play...
Garda of County Cork, Ireland, Siobhán O’Sullivan and Macdaras Flannery, are about to get married at last. But just as the rowdy O’Sullivan brood and all the regulars of the local bistro have gathered at the church, the nuptials come to an abrupt halt when the discovery of an unidentified skeleton puts the wedding on pause…
If only her mother could be here! The entire O’Sullivan brood—not to mention the regulars from Naomi’s Bistro—have gathered at St. Mary’s Church for the wedding of Siobhán and Macdara. It’s not every day you see two garda marrying each other. Only Siobhán’s brother James is missing. They can’t start without him.
But when James finally comes racing in, he’s covered in dirt and babbling he’s found a human skeleton in the old slurry pit at the farmhouse. What farmhouse? Macdara sheepishly admits he was saving it as a wedding surprise: he purchased an abandoned dairy farm. Duty calls, so the engaged garda decide to put the wedding on hold to investigate.
James leads them to a skeleton clothed in rags that resemble a tattered tuxedo. As an elderly neighbor approaches, she cries out that these must be the remains of her one true love who never showed up on their wedding day, fifty years ago. The garda have a cold case on their hands, which heats up the following day when a fresh corpse appears on top of the bridegroom’s bones.
With a killer at large, they need to watch their backs—or the nearly wedded couple may be parted by death before they’ve even taken their vows...
In Kilbane, opinions are plentiful and rarely in alignment. But there’s one thing everyone does agree on—the bakery in the old flour mill, just outside town, is the best in County Cork, well worth the short drive and the long lines. No wonder they’re about to be featured on a reality baking show.
All six contestants in the show are coming to Kilbane to participate, and the town is simmering with excitement. Aside from munching on free samples, the locals—including Siobhan—get a chance to appear in the opening shots. As for the competitors themselves, not all are as sweet as their confections. There are shenanigans on the first day of filming that put everyone on edge, but that’s nothing compared to day two, when the first round ends and the top contestant is found face-down in her signature pie.
The producers decide to continue filming while Siobhan and her husband, Garda Macdara Flannery, sift through the suspects. Was this a case of rivalry turned lethal, or are their other motives hidden in the mix? And can they uncover the truth before another baker is eliminated—permanently ...
CHRISTMAS COCOA MURDER by CARLENE O’CONNOR
Siobhán O’Sullivan’s hopes for a quiet Irish Christmas are dashed when the local Santa turns up dead in a carnival dunk tank of hot cocoa. Now instead of hunting down holiday gifts, she’s pursuing a heartless killer. Seems the dead Santa was no angel either, stealing neighborhood dogs to guide his sleigh. But was it his holiday antics—or worse—that led to his death by chocolate?
CHRISTMAS COCOA AND A CORPSE by MADDIE DAY
When local businessman Jed Greenberg is found dead with a Chocolate lab whimpering over his body, the police start sniffing around Robbie Jordan’s country restaurant for answers. Was it something in Robbie’s hot cocoa that killed Jed, or was it Cocoa the dog? As the suspects pile as high as her holiday tree, Robbie attempts to get to the bottom of the sickly-sweet murder...
DEATH BY HOT COCOA by Alex Erickson
A Christmas-themed escape game seems like the perfect pre-holiday treat for bookstore café owner Krissy Hancock and her best friend. But when the host is found dead in a pool of hot cocoa, it’s up to Krissy and her team to catch the killer—or escape before getting killed.
There’s nothing like a hot cup of murder to warm up the holiday season!
Stocking stuffers like handknit scarves make the coziest of Christmas gifts—unless they’re used as accessories for murder!
CHRISTMAS SCARF MURDER by CARLENE O’CONNOR
When grinchy thefts steal the good cheer at a local nursing home, Siobhan O’Sullivan manages to identify one missing item before Kilbane, Ireland’s Christmas tractor parade—a hideous shamrock scarf wrapped around a very dead body. Now, with her holiday farmhouse bash approaching, Siobhan must dash to stop a deadly Secret Santa from gifting another unwanted surprise.
SCARFED DOWN by MADDIE DAY
It’s beginning to taste a lot like Christmas at Pans ‘N Pancakes, as twelve days of menu specials dazzle hungry locals. But the festivities go cold the instant a diner dies while knitting a brilliant green scarf. With Aunt Adele tied into a murder investigation, it’s all on Robbie Jordan to find out who’s really been naughty or nice in South Lick, Indiana.
DEATH BY CHRISTMAS SCARF by PEGGY EHRHART
Suspects pile up faster than New Jersey snow when frosty-tempered Carys Walnutt is found strangled by a handmade scarf auctioned at Arborville’s tree-lighting ceremony. Between a winning bidder hiding behind the alias “S. Claws” and a victim who deserved coal in her stocking, can Pamela Paterson and the crafty Knit and Nibble ladies freeze a killer’s merry murder plot?
A trio of sweet-toothed Halloween cozy mystery tales by nationally bestselling authors:
HALLOWEEN CUPCAKE MURDER by CARLENE O'CONNOR
With Galway’s Halloween Mystery Tour only a few days away, Tara Meehan is scouring the town’s curiosity shops for spooky decorations to draw tourists into her architectural salvage store. But when a stranger appears in her shop bearing a cryptic cupcake and an ominous message, Tara suddenly finds herself tangled in a mystery with ancient Gaelic roots, but very modern—and very deadly—consequences . . .
MRS. CLAUS AND THE CANDY CORN CAPER by LIZ IRELAND
Christmastown is pulling out all the stops for their Halloween celebration, planning a huge carnival with rides, games, and a candy corn-themed bake-off! But the sweet theme stokes the bitterest of rivalries amongst the elves, until tragedy strikes at Santaland’s newest bakery. The only clue is a cupcake, leaving Mrs. Claus to sort through tricks and treats as she races to unmask a Halloween fiend . . .
A TRIPLE LAYER HALLOWEEN MURDER by CAROL J. PERRY
Every October, Salem plunges into a month-long celebration of Halloween and WICH-TV’s Lee Barrett can’t wait to cover the festivities. But rumors swirl after a wealthy bakery owner goes missing—and his beloved cat, Cupcake, is found—under mysterious circumstances. Now, amid Salem’s wicked revelry, Lee must conjure clues to reveal the missing millionaire . . . or the truth about his disappearance . . .