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The Well of Ice: An Inishowen Mystery, by Andrea Carter.

May 30, 2020

The Well of IceThe Well of Ice: An Inishowen Mystery, by Andrea Carter.  Oceanview Publishing, 2020.

Forthcoming:  November 10, 2020.

4 stars

An interesting novel, the third in a series of mysteries about a troubled woman lawyer living in a tiny village on the Irish seacoast and seeking to solve crimes.

Andrea Carter earned her law degree in Dublin, Ireland, and practiced law there.  Like her main character, she has lived and worked for a time as a solicitor on the Inishowen Peninsula, County Donegal.  She describes the origin of her writing as a way “of saying the things I wanted to say but couldn’t, of behaving in a way I wanted to [behave] but couldn’t.”  Other novels in the series are Death at Whitewater Church and Treacherous Strand.

At the core of the Inishowen mysteries is Benedicta O’Keeffe, known as Ben, a woman lawyer who has taken refuge in an isolated village where she hopes to avoid the traumatic history of her past.  While living there she has made friends, both female and male, and has a fragile relationship with a man in the police corp.  Arson at the local pub and a missing person begin a pattern of disturbance and fear, which Ben seeks to end.  In the process, her safe refuge is invaded.  She is confronted with the pain and dangers of her past life.

Carter has created an intriguing mystery, one full of moving descriptions of the rugged Irish coast.  Her characters are vivid individuals, many of whom become suspected of the crime.  Ben’s need for a safe place for herself after trauma is a well-developed theme.  Although I had read Carter’s previous books, I had forgotten their plots and was grateful for how gracefully Carter filled in the relevant references to them.

This is the kind of mystery that I enjoy; full of interesting places and people and, more psychological than cozy.  I am glad to recommend A Well of Ice to readers who share my preferences.

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