Carlene O’Connor Books

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Carlene O’Connor is a pseudonym that Mary Carter uses to write cozy mystery novels. Carlene has Irish ancestry. Her great grandmother left Ireland during the troubles, eventually setting down in the United States.

Order of Home to Ireland Mystery Series

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1Murder in Galway 2020Description / Buy
2Murder in Connemara 2021Description / Buy

Order of Irish Village Mystery Series

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1Murder in an Irish Village 2016Description / Buy
2Murder at an Irish Wedding 2017Description / Buy
3Murder in an Irish Churchyard 2018Description / Buy
4Murder in an Irish Pub 2019Description / Buy
5Murder in an Irish Cottage 2020Description / Buy
6Murder at an Irish Christmas 2020Description / Buy
7Murder in an Irish Bookshop 2021Description / Buy

Carlene O'Connor Anthologies

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1 Christmas Cocoa Murder2019Description / Buy
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The author cannot point to a particular event that made her want to write. She knows that her mother and grandmother loved stories. They did not write. However, they read a lot and they always told stories.

Carlene wasn’t gifted in that area. She couldn’t tell stories verbally. But she could write them down and she did not hesitate to pursue the skill. She believes that storytelling is a gift that has been passed down through her line.

As a child, she loved books. The first book she remembers reading was ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ by Doctor Seuss. As a young woman, she dipped her toes into various fields. Of all the jobs she did, acting had the strongest impact on her writing career.

She eventually abandoned it, though she never forgot the lessons it taught her about dialog and character motivation. It was from her acting days that she learned to inhabit the shoes of her protagonists and to understand the emotions that drove them. The field also showed her how to shape scenes.

Carlene is convinced that it allowed her to develop as a writer at a much faster rate. It wasn’t her idea to write cozy mysteries. In fact, Carlene wasn’t a fan of the genre, to begin with. She preferred grittier mystery fiction.

The request came from her editor. He asked her if she was willing to write a murder mystery series with an English setting. Carlene wasn’t sure she had the skillset to do so, and she told her editor as much.

But then she mulled it over and told him that she would give it a shot if the murder mystery series was set in Ireland. Carlene was already dividing her time between the US and Ireland. She was confident in her ability to use Ireland’s culture and traditions to generate mysteries.

While the notion of writing a cozy mystery novel did not excite her, Carlene appreciated the challenge. She liked the idea of creating stories that fit a specific collection of guidelines. She also took some pleasure in stretching those cozy mystery guidelines in her attempts to produce compelling mysteries.

Even though she has written so many cozy mysteries since then, Carlene doesn’t have a problem keeping her characters and storylines fresh. According to the author, the key is to shake things up every so often by introducing new elements such as weddings and characters.

She also looks for excuses to tempt her protagonists out of their hometowns, forcing them to explore new settings that have greater storytelling potential. Carlene enjoys setting her stories in real places.

Because she travels a lot, the author has plenty of opportunities to discover new towns. She has found that it is easier to write about places that exist in real life because she doesn’t have to work as hard to describe those locations. It is a simple matter of doing research.

Fictional places are more challenging because she has to invent everything from scratch. Though, the challenge doesn’t bother Carlene.

Best Carlene O’Connor Books

Carlene’s favorite authors include Dennis Lehane, Sue Grafton, Ann Cleeves, and Raymond Chandler, to mention but a few. Some of the best novels in her bibliography include:

Murder in an Irish Village: Siobhan O’Sullivan is a 22-year-old redhead. Her parents died in a car crash. She now runs the family bistro with her siblings. The bistro has always been a welcoming place frequented by the people of Kilbane in County Cork.

But murder has ruined its reputation. A man with a pair of scissors in his chest was discovered in the bistro, dead. The locals think the O’Sullivans had something to do with his death. Siobhan must solve the murder before she loses everything.

Murder in an Irish Churchyard: Siobhan is Kilbane’s new Garda. She did not expect the position to present the same challenges that Macdara Flannery must have faced when he became a detective sergeant in Dublin. But then the local priest summoned Siobhan after discovering a dead man in a graveyard.

Now Siobhan has two problems on her hands. First, she’s on the trail of a killer who is just as likely to turn her into his next victim. Secondly, Macdara is back, and considering the way they parted, things have become quite awkward between the two of them.

When Does The Next Carlene O'Connor book come out?

Carlene O'Connor doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Murder in Connemara and was released on July, 27th 2021. It is the newest book in the Home to Ireland Mystery Series.

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