Cover Image: No Strangers Here

No Strangers Here

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Member Reviews

Right from the start I was intrigued by the two main characters, Detective Inspector Cormac O'Brien who leads the investigation into the death of a prominent member of the Dingle society, and Dimpna Wilde, who hasn't been home in over twenty years, for reasons that connect directly to the murder and has her family as prime suspects.

Both of these characters are presented against stereotype for their professions. Dimpna, a veterinarian, is a waif of a woman, just barely 4 feet tall and looking more like a fairy than a doctor. O'Brien takes an unorthodox approach to handling suspects, much to the chagrin of the Dingle officer who works with him. He is also slight of build and officers wonder if he could take down a suspect if needed.

Dimpna's father is one of the suspects in the case, and he is in the early stages of dementia, which adds a definite wrinkle to the investigation. Plus, he has ignored his clinic for some time, and Dimpna arrives to find it all in disarray. As the story progresses, the secret that Dimpna, and others, have kept is slowly revealed, and I was surprised at how some of the mystery was resolved. That is always the mark of stellar writing.

I must admit that I have a great fondness for animals, much like Dimpna, and I worked in a veterinary hospital in the States for many years. I could relate to her love of animals and her desire to always help them no matter what.

A great mystery with so much going on beneath the surface.
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Dimpna Wilde has had a rough year, first finding out that her husband was cheating his clients and then dealing with his suicide. Her son took off soon after the death. Dimpna is trying to give him time and space.  She hasn't been to her hometown in 27 years, but her family's in trouble and it's time for her to face her past. 

The trouble is worse than she imagined. There has been a murder and either someone in her family is responsible or they're being framed. 

This is a great story with several twists and turns. I love reading about the Irish countryside, and reading the occasional Gaelic words.
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A new mystery series by one of my favorite authors, this story takes place in Dingle, Ireland.  Dimpna is a veterinarian who left Dingle after a traumatic event in her life.  Dimpna returns after a man is found murdered, and her parents become suspects.  There are many twists and turns, as a new detective in Dingle, Cormac  O’Brien is assigned to the case.  A bit darker than her previous cozy mysteries, but I enjoyed it.
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No Strangers Here was my first novel by this author, but I had heard great things! I was very excited to receive a copy of this book and I was not disappointed!! It was set in Ireland and the author really set the scene and made you feel like you were there. It was the perfect escape and kept me guessing until the end! I look forward to reading more from this author!
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Brilliant mystery crafted to keep you guessing and entertained for hours! I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery as just when I thought I was on the correct thread of untangling the right suspect, something else popped up to make me realize that I was on the wrong path! Excellent character development had you both loving and hating particular characters then realizing that maybe you weren't actually getting the full story on their personalities just yet. I love a great mystery that keeps me engaged and thinking! This is definitely that and being set in Ireland makes it just the perfect step away from reality for me that I need when I want to sink into a good book. Twisted characters intertwine to make this plot absolutely believable and while the plot twists and turns, you totally understand how you get to the conclusion. I absolutely love this author's storytelling and can't wait to read more from her soon!
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As a fan of Carlene O’Connor’s previous cozy novels, I was excited to pick up the first book in her new County Kerry Mystery series, No Strangers Here. This excellent thriller novel introduces fascinating new Irish characters, and will inspire thriller readers to want more installments. 

O’Connor has a knack for making her readers feel like they are actually in Ireland. The setting feels authentic and those who have been to Ireland will experience a bit of familiarity in the surroundings in which the novel takes place. Dimpna Wilde is a second generation veterinarian who grew up in Dingle helping in her father’s practice, but moved to Dublin without returning home for over 20 years. When she loses everything due to a scandal with her husband and his subsequent suicide, she returns to Dingle to find that Johnny O’Reilly, the wealthiest man in the town, has been murdered; her father, who is suffering from dementia, is the main suspect. 

O’ Connor does an excellent job of introducing Dimpna and developing her character. There is a detective, Cormac O’Brien, working the case, and he and Dimpna definitely have chemistry. There are plenty of ups and downs as the story progresses, and the suspense builds throughout. Readers who like to experience difference cultures will especially enjoy this novel and will hate the wait until the next installment comes out.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.
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Dimpna WIlde is a veterinarian, just like her father. She grew up in a charming town in Ireland called Dingle, and when she grew up, she left and didn’t come back. She had her reasons for that. And now she has reasons for heading back home. When things went bad in Dublin, she held on there as long as she could. But it wasn’t until she got the phone call that she had decided she finally, after well over twenty years, had to head back home to Dingle. 

Johnny O’Reilly was dead. 

Johnny had been the patriarch of the wealthy O’Reilly family. He had been found dead on the beach with Last Dance spelled out in rocks next to him and a tarot card, The Devil, in his pocket and medicine used to put down animals next to him on the pristine beach. 

Detective Inspector Cormac O’Brien is new to the area, but as soon as he makes his way to the beach that is the final resting spot of Johnny O’Reilly, he knows that he is facing the case that could make or break his career. The local Garda don’t know him yet, don’t trust him, but he has to find a way to get them on his side. They know all the locals. They know the gossip. He can’t solve this without the rest of the force, but it will be an uphill battle to find the killer. 

He can tell immediately that the scene was staged. But then they realize that there was a witness, a child, based on the size of the footprints, and find that a local 13-year-old girl has gone missing. Dimpna saw her on her way to town and knows where to look for her. It’s one of her dogs who tracks the girl, and Dimpna is the one who finds her in an abandoned building and brings her out to safety. But this one triumph for Dimpna doesn’t offset all the bad news she’s had since returning home. 

It turns out that her father has been suffering from dementia, which has gotten worse, and his veterinary clinic has suffered. He is separated from her mother, who is a tarot card reader. And after all these years, Dimpna still feels responsible for the death of one of their finest race horses. It had gotten out of the barn and was hit by a trailer before it could run its first race. The horse was named Last Dance. 

It’s clear to Dimpna that someone is trying to frame her family for the death of Johnny O’Reilly. Either she can trust the new DI Cormac to solve this one, or she can work it out for herself and keep her family out of prison. 

No Strangers Here is the first in a new series by Carlene O’Connor. I’m a fan of her cozy mysteries, especially the Irish Village Mystery series, but this new series is quite different. These are more nuanced and atmospheric, with strong characters and a charming setting. But this is a darker story, more layered, with the motives of the killer reaching far back into the past and attacking the good people of Dingle on many levels. 

As I said, I love O’Connor’s cozy mysteries, but I really enjoyed this one as well. I was pleased to see how well she made the switch from the lighter mysteries to this complex story of humanity and all of its worst and best qualities. No Strangers Here is beautifully written, with characters who feel genuine and a plot that flows with intelligence and integrity. O’Connor’s cozies are a light snack, an appetizer, a slice of cake. This book is a meal, and it should be savored by readers of dark thrillers and mysteries that slowly reveal those secrets that can lead to murder. 


Egalleys for No Strangers Here were provided by Kensington Books through NetGalley, but they also sent me a physical ARC to review.
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When I first started reading this book I was thoroughly confused because I had forgotten that this was the first book in a new series! I quickly figured out that I hadn't met these characters before and I was very excited to get into the meat & potatoes of the story and figuring out who all the key players were. 

This was a great first book, Carlene did a great job of introducing Dimpna Wilde and her family. I like that bits of her past were parceled out throughout the book providing clues to the current crime. 

Very much looking forward to reading book #2 in the County Kerry series.
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The first in a new series by Carlene O'Connor. A wonderful murder mystery set in Dingle, Ireland with a whole lot of buried secrets being hidden in the community.
Dumpna get out of Dingle to be a veterinarian in Dublin. She returns as the police have someone in her family under suspicion.
A local man is found dead on the beach, wearing a suit and dancing shoes. A cryptic message is written out in small stones nearby. Murder or Suicide?

"Everyone knew the first rule of Murder 101 was: Wear gloves."

Thank you NetGalley for Kensington Publishing Corp. for the opportunity to read this book.
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This was a wonderfully crafted novel with fascinating characters, gorgeous scenery, and a perplexing mystery. I loved getting to know Dr. Dimpna Wilde and her family, as well as the other residents of the small town.  She’s such a strong character.  There was so much wrapped up in the past that comes forward and gives the story more complexity.  I really enjoyed this story and can’t wait to see how the series continues.
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a really wonderful interesting unpredictable and descriptive read! lots of twists and turns and complex characters making this a real page turner. A must read!
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No Strangers Here by Carleen O’Connor is the first in a new, edgier mystery series which takes place in County Kerry. It is a complicated story, much of it set in the past. Soarise Griffin was thirteen years old and while sneaking around on that night she witnessed a murder. The perpetrator had know she was there and instead of killing her, too, he threatened her and scared her out of her mind. She was now next to useless in solving this crime.  James Byrne had been the detective inspector until he nearly beat her father to death. Then he wasn’t, but he still took care of her. Cormac O’Brien was investigating. Cormac was not from here and that was an impediment. Dr Dimpna Wilde was home for the first time in 27 years and came upon her father in his office in a wild state. He was clearly in the throes of dementia and no one had let her know. Then she heard about the death of Johnny O’Reilly. The O’Reillys and Wildes had had a contentious relationship for years and she was the cause of it. That is why she left. Now she had her father to worry about, and her son, Ben, who was in Spain with his latest girlfriend. The boy’s father was here in Dingle, although he had no idea he had a son. He had raped her. She had never forgiven him.

The first thing on Dimpna’s mind was reopening her father’s veterinary practice. She needed the money. He needed the money. There were so many people involved, so many old secrets. It was not an easy investigation, complicated by how attracted Cormac O’Brien was to Dimpna Wilde. There was the matter of the dead racehorse. Dimpna had caused that death, too, and now it was spelled out in painted rocks near the body: Last Dance. That had been his name. What a good book, so unlike O’Connor’s Irish Village mysteries. The characters were brilliant with such interesting backstories. The mystery was so convoluted, so intricate, that it took a while to cipher it all out. She had been drunk so her memory was not accurate. She had been set up, just as her parents were being set up now. Her whole life had been based on that night. It took a bit to figure it out and begin to erase the past so she could move on. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of No Strangers Here by Kensington Books through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #Kensington #CarleneOConnor
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In No Strangers Here a man is found murdered in Dingle, County Kerry, southwest Ireland which causes a stir in the small town. Dr Dimpna Wilde, a veterinarian who has been in Dublin hasn't been home in a long while but returns as someone from her family is under suspicion for the murder. The police are keeping everything close to their chests. A dark mystery I loved from the start, the character of Dimpna is complex; she is a widow with a son, Ben, 27yo, and her husband committed suicide because of financial irregularities. There's lots going on and matters to think through. An engrossing read.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel at my request from Kensington Books via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
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This one is a little more mystery and a little less cozy than her other books. There’s a few twists that I think you’ll enjoy seeing played out. Dimpna has to return home after 27 years to help her parents.  She gets so much more than she bargained for. A body on a beach will do that. Naturally she has to look into it. All while facing old demons. I look forward to reading more in the series.
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A body on a beach surrounded by stones spelling out… a comment on the man's life? A hint to the past? A distraction?  

And so it is that NO STRANGERS HERE is a departure from O'Connor's previous novels that I've read. It starts off dark, and grows more so as the investigation continues. The characters are wonderfully complex, most of whom are bound by darkness in their lives. And yet, the glimmers of hope sneak in. Bits of joy. Wry humor. Kindness. I look forward to following these characters and watching them evolve in future books.

Thank you to Kensington Book, Kensington, Netgalley, and the author for early access to an ecopy of this intricate novel.
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With interesting characters and an intriguing storyline with ties to the past and the present, O'Connor has penned a solid new mystery that's a bit darker than her usual cozy mysteries but still as captivating. There's love and loss, pain and happiness, danger, murder, double-crossing, and ultimately, demons from the past are laid to rest. I would definitely be interested in reading more mysteries set in Dingle/County Kerry.

Many thanks to Kensington Publishing and NetGalley for an advance copy of this book. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or favor or expectation.

I also won a trade paperback copy from the publisher.
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If you have been reading the other series by this author, you might be in for a bit of a surprise.
We are all gotten used to the easy reading of her cozy mysteries.  So far, I have liked every book written by Carlene O’Connor, I do have to warn readers that this is a bit darker than her usual series but feel it’s a good beginning and hope she will continue with the characters appearing in this story.  The complex characters show how great a writer Carlene is.
Plenty of kept secrets inside and outside the family.  Almost everybody has a secret from their past which piece by piece are coming to the surface with some drastic results.
We have a widowed veterinarian with a bankrupt business. She not only has to deal with what is happening with her business but also worry about her adult son and an elderly father. Returning back to where you grew up isn’t always easy, even more so when you left under bad circumstances.  The various characters, each one unique are often misleading because of what they are trying to hide or of what they think they know.  The past comes back to haunt a lot of them. It’s a book that is definitely hard to put down.
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I like Carlene O’Connor’s Irish Village mysteries, a cozy series set in her imaginary town of Kilbane, County Cork, Ireland. But, she’s topped that entire series with the darker mystery set in Dingle in County Kerry. The atmosphere is perfect, and the characters are wonderful. I hope No Strangers Here succeeds. I want to return to Dingle with Dr. Dimpna Wilde and Detective Inspector Cormac O’Brien.

Dimpna hasn’t been home to Dingle in twenty-seven years. She’s a veterinarian in Dublin, but, within the last year, her life has come crashing down around her. Her husband committed suicide before he could be tried for scamming retirees out of their investment funds. Now, she’s about to lose her practice because she hasn’t been able to pay the bills. To make it worse, she has to return to Dingle.

Jimmy O’Reilly, a wealthy racehorse owner in Dingle, has been found dead on the beach. Everyone in town knows the O’Reillys. People depend on them for their livelihood. Some hate them, but everyone fears their power and money. Jimmy O’Reilly’s widow is as bad as he was. And, she accuses Dimpna’s parents, Dr. Eamon Wilde and Maeve, of killing her husband. Dimpna’s father is descending into dementia. Her mother, a tarot card reader, was the last person known to be with Jimmy, dancing with him. When Detective Inspector Cormac O’Brien is dispatched from Killarney to handle the investigation, he doesn’t know anyone in Dingle. He has no history with the community, and his officers don’t trust him. But, he’s eager to talk with suspects.

Evicted from her Dublin clinic, Dimpna heads to Dingle where her parents are murder suspects. Her father may be suffering from dementia. Gossip says her mother had an affair with Jimmy O’Reilly. Her brother, Donnecha, is always just one step ahead of the law. And, Dimpna has a dark history with the O’Reillys, one she has kept from her son, Ben, for his entire life.

No Strangers Here is a dark, powerful story of community and secrets. Although it’s easy to guess the villain of the piece, the pleasure in this story is in the two primary characters and the setting of Dingle. There are moments of humor as poor O’Brien tries to cope with terrible allergies when he’s around all the animals in the book. Carlene O’Connor has given us two interesting characters in Dr. Wilde and DI O’Brien. I can’t wait to follow these characters back to County Kerry.
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An excellent start fo a new series, an intriguing story that kept me hooked and on the edge. It's a mystery with a complex plot and lots of secrets.
Carlene O'Connor delivers a gripping mystery that kept me guessing.
Can't wait to read other stories.
Highly recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine
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No Strangers Here starts a new series by Carlene O'Connor, and it's off to a great start. Unlike her cozy Irish Village mysteries, this one is more of a traditional mystery (though I think that it isn't so dark or violent that the author's cozy fans won't follow her here). It sets up the rural Irish environment beautifully, and these new characters are well developed with lots of secrets and the connections you'd expect in such an isolated area. Lots of excellent twists and turns lead to a surprising conclusion.
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