review: Dead in Dublin (book #1: The Dublin Driver Mysteries series) by Catie Murphy

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Ferrying tourists around Dublin for the Leprechaun Limo Service makes quite a change after years in the military. Still, Megan Malone is enjoying her life in Ireland. She likes the scenery, the easy pace, the quirky, quick-witted locals. Everything–except having one of her clients drop dead at the statue of fabled fishmonger, Molly Malone.

Most restaurant critics notch up their share of enemies. Elizabeth Darr, however, was a well-loved international star. She and her husband, Simon, had just had dinner when Elizabeth collapsed, and spoiled seafood is the first suspect. The restaurant’s owner, worried her business is doomed, begs Megan to look into it. Between her irate boss and a handsome Garda who’s both amused and annoyed by her persistence, Megan has her hands full even before she’s cajoled into taking care of two adorable Jack Russell puppies (which she is almost definitely not keeping). But if cockles and mussels aren’t to blame, can Megan find the real culprit . . .before another fishy death occurs?

Source: Purchase Rating: 3/5 stars

Megan Malone loves her life in Ireland.  After twenty years in the US military, Megan has retired from service, moved to her grandfather’s homeland, and taken a job she adores as a limo driver.  With nothing to do but shuttle her clients from place to place Megan enjoys her life and her freedom.  Her favorite part of the job is getting to know her longer-term clients and her current clients are among her favorites.

Elizabeth Darr is an international sensation.  She has spent her professional life traveling the world, blogging about her adventures, and critiquing all the restaurants she visits along the way.  As a foodie and food critic, Elizabeth has made her fair share of enemies, but none so serious that she has ever felt her life was in danger.  To everyone’s shock and surprise, just after finishing a delicious lunch at Megan’s friend’s restaurant, Elizabeth Darr drops dead on the street. 

In just seconds, Elizabeth Darr is dead, Megan’s friend is distraught over the possibility of food poisoning and the loss of her restaurant, and a cute little stray dog is giving birth in the restaurant’s kitchen.  Literally the only thing Megan can do is drive Elizabeth’s distraught husband back to his hotel, collect the momma and her puppies from the restaurant’s kitchen (she’s NOT keeping them!), and talk to the police when she’s called.  While a sane person would step away and allow the police to do their job, Megan is a self-described busybody who likes to know the answers to all the questions.

True to form, Megan begins digging around into the life – both professional and personal – of Elizabeth Darr.  Though there is little to suggest Elizabeth was a target of anyone, her husband has a bit of a sketchy history that may have come back to haunt him in the form of his wife’s death.  As with so many amateur sleuths, Megan’s efforts aren’t precisely appreciated by the local police, but even her contact has to admit, she’s come up with some information he never would have been able to suss out. 

The Bottom Line:  This is one of those reads where I feel utterly and completely on the fence.  I didn’t love this read and I didn’t hate it either.  This read turned into the very definition of “MEH” for me.  I liked Megan well enough and her constant reminders to herself about language differences and the fact she isn’t keeping the puppies.  I liked her police contact, the ginger detective, and even a few of the other minor characters, but nothing really bowled me over.  I stuck with this book because I really wanted to like this story, its characters, and its setting.  What I found is truly a middle of the road read.

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