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Review: Irish Lace

March 20, 2011

Nuala Anne McGrail is a young Irish immigrant with psychic powers.  Dermot Michael Coyne is the young American millionaire who is smitten with her.  Together, they solve two mysteries  – one set in the past and one sent in the present day.

When Nuala and Dermot pass the site of an old Civil War prisoner of war camp, Nuala hears screams from the dead and the couple begin to investigate the past of Camp Douglas and discovery a conspiracy to free the prisoners.

When a local art gallery is robbed of two Monet paintings, Nuala and some other Irish immigrants are accused of the crime.  She knows they didn’t do it and sets out to discover who did.

I read several of Andrew Greeley’s books years ago and remember liking them okay, but I have to admit that I just wasn’t crazy about Irish Lace.   I didn’t get to know the characters well enough to care about them and I felt that the plot was a little flimsy.  Nuala spoke with an Irish brogue, and I found it irritating that American born Dermot did as well.

I wasn’t really sure what the point of the mystery from the past was.  When Nuala heard the screams of the dead, Dermot was determined to get to the bottom of things and all it took was a little historical research.  While that story was somewhat interesting, I couldn’t see how it tied into the modern day story at all, so I couldn’t figure out why it was included, except maybe to come up with a title for the book.

I felt like the modern day mystery was too easily solved.  Nuala came up with one possible scenario, she and Dermot did a little investigating and it turned out that she was right.

I felt like a large part of the book was written just to promote Greeley’s agenda on immigration into this country, and it left me feeling disappointed.

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. March 20, 2011 5:17 am

    Hi Kathy,

    It’s always disappointing when you have high hopes for a book, then you feel let down by it.
    I suppose that if we all liked everything we read, then our blogs would all be the same and pretty boring.
    A book where the plot doesn’t hang together and seems pointless, just can’t hold my interest, although I will always try to finish it, so that I can write a balanced review about it, although if the authors expect nothing but good reviews from me, they may be a little disappointed.
    Sounds like the only redeeming feature about this book, is it’s cover, which looks good, I have to say.

  2. March 20, 2011 6:23 am

    I remember Andrew Greeley. He was an author and priest. He wrote a lot, a lot of titles. I never had the chance to read any one of them. I felt like his books just weren’t going to do it for me. I’m glad you reviewed this one. Maybe all of his books lacking in this same fashion. Great review.

  3. March 20, 2011 8:23 am

    I’m so sorry that you didn’t enjoy this one. When you told me it was your book club pick, I had an idea that it might not be the best book for discussion.

  4. March 20, 2011 8:45 am

    That’s too bad, especially because it’s such fun to listen to Irish accents! (but, um, maybe not by the American! LOL)

  5. kaye permalink
    March 20, 2011 8:58 am

    Years ago I read Irish Mist and Irish Gold and then gave up on the series – the books seemed to drag for me. Sorry this one didn’t make sense to you. I hope your next read is a 5* one!

  6. March 20, 2011 9:34 am

    I like that you read this during St. Patrick’s week! I can’t stand it when an author’s personal agenda shines through his writing in a heavy-handed way though.

  7. March 20, 2011 10:25 am

    I haven’t heard of this author. Sorry it was disappointing.

  8. March 20, 2011 10:39 am

    I remember Greeley used to be a best selling author and I always thought it was odd for a priest to write that type of novels. I never read his books – it was during my snob period when I thought best sellers were much too shallow for me. 😀

  9. March 20, 2011 11:39 am

    Do you think that some long-term veteran writers just get in a rut and write whatever they can? Whatever they think will sell? I hate to say this out loud but I quit reading James Patterson a long time ago for that very reason – everything seemed to be either the same thing over and over or no real story-line. I hate when the author thinks the reader (or it comes across as this way) has no brain! so frustrating! ok i’ll get off my high horse now 🙂

  10. March 20, 2011 11:53 am

    I’ve never read any of Greeley’s novels although I remember seeing a lot of them on the best seller list. Too bad this one was a disappointment.

  11. March 20, 2011 11:59 am

    I read the Nuala series when I was in high school and loved them, but I have no idea how I would react to them as an adult.

  12. March 20, 2011 12:23 pm

    Ooooooo think I may just skip this one then. Thanks for the honest heads up.

  13. March 20, 2011 12:56 pm

    The concept sounds so intriguing, so it’s too bad the novel doesn’t pull it off.

  14. March 20, 2011 1:47 pm

    Meh, it sounded good at first but then, no. Too bad

  15. March 20, 2011 2:27 pm

    That’s too bad! From the summary that you gave I thought it sounded interesting, but after reading your review I have to say that it doesn’t sound so attractive.

  16. March 20, 2011 2:42 pm

    Kathy, thanks for an honest review. Sorry this disappointed.

  17. March 20, 2011 3:25 pm

    I know exactly what you mean…I always felt as though I really should love his books because he is a priest but I always just thought they were ok…

  18. March 20, 2011 3:34 pm

    Maybe I will veer away from this one — love your honesty, K! XOX

  19. March 20, 2011 5:34 pm

    The mystery reminds me of Erin Hart’s Irish mystery series – which also involves solving 2 mysteries, one in the present and the other in the past. This one sounds pretty similar to that one – which I didn’t enjoy too well, so I don’t think I will be able to get through this. Sad when a book leaves you disappointed.

  20. March 20, 2011 6:33 pm

    Shame it was a stinker. Better luck next time 🙂

  21. March 20, 2011 6:41 pm

    I haven’t read this author, but have always been curious about his books. The premise of Irish Lace sounded wonderful, but not being able to care about the characters is a big draw back for me too. Thanks for the great review even though ultimately it wasn’t your cup of tea.

  22. Carol Wong permalink
    March 20, 2011 7:08 pm

    I saw him being interviewed on TV a long time ago. I read his books though.
    I love the title, too bad that what’s inside is disappointing.

    Carol Wong

  23. March 20, 2011 7:27 pm

    I remember Greeley from years ago too as a famous author, but this never read any of his books. This sounds like one I will pass on, but thanks for the candid review!

  24. March 20, 2011 7:30 pm

    I’ve tried Greely in the past and wound up not loving it too!

  25. March 20, 2011 7:53 pm

    This does seem like a different type of book than you normally review, I think. I always get sad when an author that I have previously loved lets me down and I can understand your frustrations with this book perfectly. I am sorry to hear it was not what you were expecting.

  26. March 20, 2011 8:01 pm

    The authors name rings a few bells…but those bells are saying something about “being a priest” and “schlock.” not quite bells I would want to listen too.

  27. March 20, 2011 9:33 pm

    Hmmmm… I really liked the title so had to check out your review…. bummer it wasn’t so great.

  28. stacybuckeye permalink
    March 20, 2011 10:20 pm

    I’ve never read Greeley, but if you can sense the author’s agenda that’s not good!

  29. March 21, 2011 9:25 am

    So sorry you were disappointed. It’s annoying to say the least.

  30. March 21, 2011 11:11 am

    The title sounded good to me also, so sorry it wasn’t what you expected.

  31. March 21, 2011 11:51 am

    I had this book on my wishlist. I am sorry that it disappointed you. I think I should lower my expectations for the book too.

  32. March 21, 2011 12:44 pm

    Sorry to hear this one fell flat for you. It sounds interesting, but I can see how it would be hard to tie the two mysteries together.

  33. March 21, 2011 1:36 pm

    Sorry this wasn’t a great read for you. Not sure it sounds like anything I would really like.

  34. March 21, 2011 1:48 pm

    it doesn’t surprise me at all that he would be all about pushing an agenda. I wrote him off a writer long, long ago.

  35. March 21, 2011 3:49 pm

    I like the sound of this at the beginning but I guess it didn’t live up to it’s basic premise. That’s too bad.

  36. March 21, 2011 7:50 pm

    Sorry to hear you didn’t love this one. I know I read one of his books in the 80’s but can’t for the life of me remember which one. I looked on Wikipedia at the titles and I still can’t remember.

  37. March 30, 2011 12:54 pm

    Sorry to hear you were disappointed by this book. I thought it sounded good at first. Are you counting this for the Civil War Challenge? Just let me know, and I will it at to WTTG.

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