A gruesome discovery / Cora Harrison.

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    • Publication Information:
      First world edition.
    • Abstract:
      Summary: "On opening an evil-smelling trunk labelled `old books', the Reverend Mother is horrified to discover the dead body of one of Cork's richest merchants. Many had reason to loathe the hides and skins merchant, but when suspicion falls on a former lay sister from her convent, the Reverend Mother decides to help find the real killer."--Publisher's description.
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Booklist Reviews 2018 February #1

Cork, Ireland, 1925. The Reverend Mother Aquinas, who runs a school for Cork's poorest children, receives a gift from a local auctioneer—an old trunk labeled "School Books." But when she opens the trunk, she's horrified to find the body of businessman Henry Mulcahy inside. The reverend mother has confronted death and murder before, so she knows exactly whom to call—Dr. Scher, to declare Mulcahy dead, and Inspector Patrick Cashman, to investigate the case. There are many suspects. One is Mulcahy's son, Fred, who rebelled against his strict father and joined the Republican Army. A second is Mulcahy's daughter, Susan, who wants to be a doctor but who, much against her will, has been promised in marriage to Mulcahy's business partner. Or perhaps the killer is Mulcahy's wife, who had been badly treated by her husband. When more deaths occur, the reverend mother decides she cannot wait for the police to solve the case and puts her own keen understanding of human nature and excellent deductive powers to use. A gripping plot, memorable characters, and authentic period ambience make for an engaging read. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

PW Reviews 2018 January #2

Set in 1925, Harrison's solid fourth mystery featuring the Reverend Mother Aquinas (after 2017's Beyond Absolution) finds her examining a large trunk, a presumed charitable contribution, that's been delivered to her at St. Mary's of the Isle convent in Cork, Ireland. The trunk is labeled "old school books," but the peculiar smell emanating from it puts the reverend mother on guard. An unexpected visitor, Fred Mulcahy, who has ties to the Republican movement, says the trunk might be his property. When she opens the lid, inside is the maggot-covered body of Fred's father, well-to-do merchant Henry Mulcahy, wedged in with several rotting animal hides. The stricken Fred is surprised—he was expecting guns—and evades her questions before firing a shot into the corpse and making a hasty retreat. Determined to solve Henry's murder, the reverend mother has to figure out whether his killing was political or personal. As usual, Harrison does a fine job mixing the explosive politics of 1920s Ireland with details of ordinary life. Agent: Peter Buckman, Ampersand Agency (U.K.). (Mar.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.