Cover Image: Some of Us Are Looking

Some of Us Are Looking

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Member Reviews

Carlene O’Connor is known for her cozy mysteries set in Ireland and this series is decidedly NOT cozy. Along with No Strangers Here, the first book in the County Kerry Mystery series, the action in Some Of Us Are Looking takes place in the scenic Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Once again the story features veterinarian Dimpna Wilde and detective Cormac O’Brien, along with some familiar locals, including staff at Dimpna’s veterinary clinic and the local “Garda.” The area attracts lots of tourists and hikers, especially in summer when a meteor shower is expected. The story features four young people (in their 20s?) who are living in a caravan (what we Americans call an RV) in the area.

For those who have not read No Strangers Here, this book will work well as a standalone - except for the portions of the book which involve Dimpna’s extended family. You will not really understand the complicated backstory without having read the first book. However, it’s not crucial to the central mystery of Some of Us Are Looking, so if you’re ok with a lack of a bit of backstory, you’ll be fine reading this one as a standalone.

You can feel the love that Dimpna has for all the animals she cares for, be it a wild fox or a talking parrot. Her father, also a veterinarian, has dementia and, since I have experience of this disease with a family member, the scenes with her dad are very sad, but ring true.

There are some gruesome descriptions of a murder scene, so be aware of that. The plot is dark, twisty and complex, and kept me guessing for most of the book.  

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read an advance readers copy of this book, although I was a bit late to it. I bounced between the ARC and the published audiobook, courtesy of my public library. The narrator, Emily O’Mahoney, did a wonderful job with the various voices and accents. All opinions are my own.
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I am a huge fan of Carlene O'Connor's mysteries. I devour each one as it's released.  This series is a little darker than her traditional cozies, but I still find it quite enjoyable.

I enjoyed the first book, but I actually liked this second book a little more. I was intrigued from the very first page. The mystery, the characters, the descriptions of the surrounding area held me spellbound, and had me quickly swiping pages to read what happened next. And the conclusion was more than satisfying. I'm already looking forward to more stories featuring Dimpna, Cormac, and the residents of 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.
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This was an incredibly difficult one for me. It took me so long to read this one because I was never invested. There was zero character development partly because there were way too many characters. I have never needed to take notes before in order to follow a story. The conclusion was so choppy because it got wrapped up in two pages. So may details and characters completely useless to the story only to make the big reveal in a couple of paragraphs. Big let down.

Thank you NetGalley for this eARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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As always, I enjoy Carlene O’Connor’s writing. She is an excellent storyteller! I love how her books always take place in one of my most favorite places - Ireland. This is book 2 of the County Kerry series - I found it to be more ‘gory’ than usual but not too extreme. It still kept me glued to each page. I was constantly trying to figuring out the murder mystery. A great read with all the twists and turns! I look forward to O’Connor’s next book. Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for the ARC. All are my own honest opinion.
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An intriguing read. 
 A man calls Sergeant Neely  with information, but then call goes quiet. Soon after the inspector gets a car about a hit and run. Her and Inspector Cormac race to the scene. It’s the man she was on the phone with. 
 Once at the scene, they find the man along with 2 foxes. Inspector Cormac enlists help from veterinarian Dimpna to capture the foxes. 
 The story then takes off with tales from a lady, caravaners becoming suspects. The suspect list keeps getting longer and longer. I loved trying to figure out who did it, of course it took me awhile to get it right. 
 Many thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for the chance to read and review this one.
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An engrossing mystery set in Dingle, Ireland, a little more gruesome than the author’s other mystery series.  This is the second appearance of Dimpna Wilde, a veterinarian with a complicated past.  After a suspicious hit and run, then a gruesome murder, the local police investigate, even though Cormac O’Brien has his own secret.  There were many red herrings, and the story kept me guessing.  Well written and absorbing, recommended for mystery lovers.  Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC.
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EXCERPT: Trees. What fascinating plants. Oak, birch, ash, Sitka spruces. Sharing information and nutrition through their root systems. A secret underground society. Hidden in plain sight. The trees knew what was coming. What an appropriate grave for the little nymph.
One could see what she was doing. One could see it all.
She, on the other hand, had no idea what was coming. What a pity. Blindsided. That had a certain ring to it, although it would also be satisfying to whisper the news into her ear, watch her eyes widen with fear, see a shiver run down her perfect spine.

ABOUT 'SOME OF US ARE LOOKING': In late summer, the Dingle peninsula is thronged with tourists drawn to County Kerry’s dark mountains and deep, lush valleys. For Irish vet Dimpna Wilde, who has returned to run her family’s practice after years away, home is a beautiful but complicated place—especially when it becomes the setting for a brutal murder . . .

In Dimpna Wilde’s veterinary practice, an imminent meteor shower has elevated the usual gossip to include talk of shooting stars and the watch parties that are planned all over Dingle. But there are also matters nearer at hand to discuss—including the ragtag caravan of young people selling wares by the roadside, and the shocking death of Chris Henderson, an elderly local, in a hit-and-run.

Just hours before his death, Henderson had stormed into the Garda Station, complaining loudly about the caravan’s occupants causing noise and disruption. One of their members is a beautiful young woman named Brigid Sweeney, and Dimpna is shocked when Brigid later turns up at her practice, her clothing splattered in blood and an injured hare tucked into her shirt.

Brigid claims that a mysterious stranger has been trying to obtain a lucky rabbit’s foot. Dimpna is incensed at the thought of anyone mutilating animals, but there is far worse in store. On the night of the meteor shower, Dimpna finds Brigid’s body tied to a tree, her left hand severed. She has bled to death. Wrapped around her wrist is a rabbit’s foot.

Brigid had amassed plenty of admirers, and there were tangled relationships within the group. But perhaps there is something more complex than jealousy at play. The rabbit’s foot, the severed hand, the coinciding meteor shower—the deeper Dimpna and Detective Sargeant Cormac O’Brien investigate, the more ominous the signs seem to be, laced with a warning that Dimpna fears it will prove fatal to overlook.

MY THOUGHTS: I loved the first book in this series, this one not so much . . . While No Strangers Here was a mystery thick with both atmosphere and compelling characters, I didn't get the same vibes here.

Dimpna Wilde has settled into running her father's veterinarian practice with the help of vet Patrick and receptionist Niamh. At less than five foot tall, Dimpna faces a running battle with the locals who feel that she isn't up to the job. She has a long and complicated history with the wealthy O'Reilly family who, despite her best efforts, are still interfering with her life - at least that's how she sees it.

DI Cormac O'Brien, a complicated man who has made a bad mistake, keeps pulling Dimpna into the investigation, which irritates and annoys his Sergeant Neeley, who is trying to keep the lid on the mistake Cormac made. Cormac is a fidgety, almost obsessive man who is allergic to almost everything. But he is sharp, bright, determined and handsome, although somewhat scruffy, which is quite odd for such a perfectionist.

There is a definite attraction between Cormac and Dimpna, although the case keeps getting in the way of it with Dimpna feeling that she is being used to gain information from people who wouldn't otherwise part with it and becoming irritated with Cormac as a result.

I really felt that the author was trying to cram too much into this book, particularly with Dimpna whose father's dementia is worsening (he will go nowhere without his stuffed fox) and whose son and brother are avoiding her.

While I liked Some of Us Are Looking, I didn't love it. But I will continue with the series in the hope that O'Connor will recreate the atmosphere of the first book.

Note to the publisher: Please don't give away so much of the plot in the synopsis/publicity blurb. I could nearly have skipped the first half of the book.


#SomeofUsAreLooking #NetGalley

THE AUTHOR: Born into a long line of Irish storytellers, Carlene O'Connor's great-grandmother emigrated from Ireland filled with tales in 1897 and the stories have been flowing ever since. Of all the places she’s wandered across the pond, she fell most in love with a walled town in County Limerick and was inspired to create the town of Kilbane, County Cork, the setting of her Irish Village Mystery series.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to the publisher for providing a digital ARC of Some of Us Are Looking by Carlene O'Connor for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.
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This atmospheric second book in Carlene O'Connor's County Kerry series is the kind that is hard to put down. Dimpna Wilde, running the local veterinary clinic after leaving town for a long while, is a fascinating character, and the various way she finds herself enmeshed in the horrifying death of a young woman in this one will keep readers turning pages. The sense of place and way the atmosphere lends itself to a sort of creeping dread in this book make it a real winner.
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Carlene O'Conner brings us back to Dingle, a quiet little town where nothing ever happens.  Or not.  Everyone in town is planning a viewing party for the coming meteor shower and getting together for the chance to visit and gossip.  Dimpna Wilde, the local vet, is planning to get a good spot before everyone else.  Over at the Garda, there is a complaint from a local camper of a peeping Tom watching the women in the camp.  At the same time, the young woman in question comes into the vet's office with an injured rabbit, someone tried to cut it's "lucky" foot off.  Within the next 24 hours, both campers will be dead, murdered.
The characters in the County Kerry Mystery series are well developed and true to the local community.  They fit well together and work hard to keep their town safe.  When the unthinkable happens and murders occur, each of them will provide a piece of the puzzle.  As the pieces come together, the suspect changes with almost every chapter.  The reveal will leave you shaking your head and looking for a clue you missed.
This is book #2 in the series.  It can be read as a stand alone but you'd miss an excellent mystery and play catch up on how the local vet came to land in Dingle.  While this is not a cozy mystery, it's not a hard core thriller but it is an excellent mystery for those who think they can solve all mysteries before the reveal.  This one just might fool you.
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May I gloat for a moment? I figured out who did it and for once I was right. I am NEVER write. That does not however mean that this book was easy to figure out because it definitely wasn’t.

Carlene O’Connor has done it again, and really I should not be surprised and/or shocked as she is now an author whose work I want to read all of. I have several holds with the library right now, just waiting to come back into circulation so I can get my hands on them.

She knows how to write a tangled web of a mystery without making it so confusing that you don’t know which way is up.

This book like the previous in the series will wrap you up in a sinister series of events.

The first sentence alone grabbed my attention and the rest of the book kept it as I rapidly flipped the digital pages.

The killer had a calling card, or did they?

New characters are introduced in this book that will fill you with fondness, but I wouldn’t recommend becoming too fond of them, because as with any mystery you might not be sure who’s guilty and who isn’t.

Cormac remains determined to find justice, even when he’s made his own mistakes, and Dimpa still captures my attention with her kindness toward animals, and sometimes her inability to connect with people.
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Dark, twisted and gritty read that will have you sitting up and turning pages as fast as you can read them! A gruesome killer is loose in county Kerry, Ireland and time is counting down until the next person is murdered. In the meantime, the killer is taking them on a twisted trip of false avenues and red herrings! A deep cast of characters that have been well crafted to be both realistic, likable, hateable, frustrating and smart to help add depth to a well written plot that is both entertaining and chilling. This is the second book in the series and you absolutely should read them in order to get a better understanding of the characters and the area, but even if you don't you will enjoy this book! I will add that you'll be missing out on hours of entertainment if you skip book one, but that's your choice. I am absolutely entranced in this series and characters so will be waiting rather impatiently for the next book in the series to be released!
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Dimpna Wilde, the petite veterinarian, returns in another Irish mystery. There’s a caravan of 4 that’s staying nearby. They seem to be a mix of trouble and fun. When a local wildlife supporter is run down, the caravan dogs go missing, and one of their own runs into trouble, Dimpna finds herself more involved than she wishes. 

This is a wonderful mystery set in rural Ireland. I love the characters including some of the darkness in them. I recommend this book.
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I was already a big fan of this author before she started this series. If I hadn’t been, I would be now. Don’t get me wrong, I love her cozy mysteries. I will continue to devour them all. However, I really like the edginess of this series. The characters seem so real. At one point when I was really disappointed in Cormac’s behavior, I had to remind myself that he wasn’t a real person that I could yell at. I’m choosing to forgive him. 
I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out who did the worst thing. There was a lot going on. A lot of interesting twists. It definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat. You’ll find yourself staying up late to finish it. I’m speaking from experience.
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Some of Us are Looking
Carlene O´Connor
October 24, 2023

Aside from the meteor shower that townsfolk are looking forward to, it's a busy time of year for veterinarian Dr. Dimpna Wilde. She is incredibly busy in her practice. While trying to take a quick breather and check patient schedules in barges Christopher Henderson. Dr Wilde attempts to excuse herself from his company but he intends to bring out information on the local fox protection and what she needs to be doing about it. Heś an elderly man who supports many things. He never stops getting on his soap box to preach the latest on his current topic.
In addition, locally we find that a certain caravan, occupied by 4 twenty somethings, has made its post in Camp. The foursome are gypsies with a plan of working their way through the caravaners and the town of Dingle, Ireland. With much of the town away from their homes to view the meteor shower, the Garda fear that shops and homes could suffer from thievery. 
Some of Us are Looking will be published on October 24, 2023 by Kensington Publishing. This is the second in the Kerry County series by Carlene O´Connor. I was able to read and review the ARC via NetGalley. The suspense was grand as she brings in much of the local charm along with the diabolical journey of the wicked travelers. This novel is an extensive trail to the plot´s conclusion. As much is written in the Gaelic voice, she makes it quite the interesting read. I look forward to O'Connorś next in the series. Do Enjoy!
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Barbara’s rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

I love this author’s Irish Village Mysteries series because the characters are fun and interesting and the mysteries are not dark and brooding though they include murder. So, of course, I wanted to try this series as well. I read the first book and rated it well because the characters were certainly unique and though the story was on the dark side, I cut it some slack because of setting up the series, character backstories, etc. However, this second book is even darker and more brooding and the main character’s personality quirks just got to be annoying rather than endearing. It just seemed to drag in some spots and I found myself skimming over the slower and more plodding parts. I do like that the main characters are older – maybe in their forties.

After the last case, Inspector Cormac O’Brien has been permanently transferred to the lovely town of Dingle and is hoping to spend some quality time with his mother before she passes. That, of course, is a pipedream when a peaceful old man is deliberately run down on a country road. To make things even worse, a few days later the body of a beautiful young woman is found tied to a tree – with her hand chopped off. Cormac has done a very stupid thing and must recuse himself from running the case – but he can’t turn loose and let it go. Officially, the person in charge is Sergeant Barbara Neely, but Cormac is right in the middle of it.

Veterinarian Dimpna Wilde has her hands full running her father’s (now her) veterinary practice as well as assuring her father, who is in the advanced stages of dementia, gets the care he needs. Add a wayward son and a wild-child mother into the mix and she probably can’t handle much more. So, the last thing Dimpna needs is to find the body of a young woman tied to a tree.

Cormac, Neely, and the rest of their crew work through clue after clue after clue – and they all seem to point to different people – but mostly they point to the girl’s friends. With Dimpna adding more clues to the ones gathered by the guards, can they solve the murders before another one happens?

Yapping dogs, screeching parrots, and raging bulls all play a role in the very animal-oriented book(series). If you follow the animals, you’ll find the madman – and none too soon because he already has his list of other targets.

I wanted to really love Dimpna and Cormac, but I just couldn’t get there. I made allowances in the first book because of getting the series set up, but I actually liked them both better in the first book than I did in this one. I don’t think I’ll read the next book, but maybe I’ll try one further down the line to see how the characters have progressed. So, while it was a good mystery, I thought it was a bit slow and plodding and didn’t care for the main characters.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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The follow up to O’Connor’s County Kerry series debut, No Strangers Here, avoids any tinge of sophomore slump. Her thoughtful, well plotted, richly charactered series is set in tiny Dingle, Ireland.  The series heroine, Dimpna Wilde, is a vet whose work insinuates itself into the plots in the best possible way.  Not only does her work temper some of the gruesomeness O’Connor writes about, it also grounds Dimpna in the community.  As the book opens she’s been called to the scene of a hit and run – there’s a baby fox trapped under the body, and the mother fox is giving all the emergency workers on the scene a death stare.

That’s the initial set up. The next thing: Dimpna discovers the dead body of a beautiful young woman who had been living in a trailer in a car park, gruesomely murdered.  While the young woman appears to have been problematic, the disruption she’s caused to the Dingle community is not worthy of death, and her murder looks like the work of a particularly sick mind.

Because of an indiscretion, the other series mainstay, Detective Inspector Cormac O’Brien, is kept to the sidelines of the case.  He’s also mourning the very recent death of his mother. O’Brien is still working the case, however, with his Sergeant, Barbara Neely.  While O’Brien is new to Dingle, Neely is a local.  That sets the stage.  The detectives are trying to untangle a case that seems drenched in myth (of the creepiest sort) and there are outbreaks of a 1944 story of a dead girl in a Wych Elm all over town.

The dead woman’s trailer mates (or the purposes of this novel, caravan mates) are confused, angry, and grieving, all at once.  Their dogs and a parrot belonging to one of them have been confiscated and they are hindering rather than helping the investigation into the death of their friend.  They are the noise and distraction on top of a complicated puzzle.

Some of the puzzle involves animals, especially the fox, and that brings Dimpna into the picture.  She and Detective O’Brien have also struck up a very new friendship and possibly something more.  The layers of character and behavior in this novel are sensitively drawn and feel true as the author creates portraits of real humans with messy lives who are nevertheless trying to do the right thing.

The mystery part is also well handled, which is no surprise, as O’Connor is a veteran with over a dozen books to her credit.  What surprised me with the first book is that most of her work has been straight up cozy.  These novels aren’t cozy.  While they don’t wallow in darkness, they also don’t avoid complex issues which in this book include a past rape, the death of a parent, a parent with dementia, and the inevitable trouble that comes from murder.

The ultimate ending of the book, however, is mostly optimistic.  There’s a belief in the ultimate strength of the human spirit. Dimpna herself is a wonderful personality, and I love the parts that take her to her veterinary practice.  As I finished the novel, I completed, in my head, the title of the book: “Some of us are looking at the stars.”  Complicated, intelligent, and well written – I hope this series is around for a long time.
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Dimpna and Cormac work to find the person who did a hit and run on a local. Is the meteor storm a sign of trouble to come? A young woman goes to Dimpnals clinic with an injured hare, her clothes all bloody. Later she is found murdered in the woods. Are these two murders related? Between taking care of the animals and looking for clues, Dimpna has no time to lose in solving these cases.
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Some of Us Are Looking by Carlene O'Connor is the second book in the County Kerry Series. Like the first book in the series it is a little less cozy and a little more haunting. Strange deaths and animals in danger because of old superstitions. The second murder is macabre with Dr. Dimpna Wilde at a loss in the beginning. She had contact with the victims, but this vet finds that the clues are just as strange as the deaths. The others involved in solving the deaths are just as baffled by the events too.

Some of Us Are Looking takes place in the beautiful Kerry area which seems to my mind make the deaths look even more brutal. So much beauty and such a second gruesome death. Added to this, there is a meteor shower predicted so everyone’s focus is on being able to observe the shower. Twisty turns add to this gripping if curious mystery. A story that kept me guessing until a very surprising conclusion. 

An ARC of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley which I voluntarily chose to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This is book 2 in the County Kerry series (No Strangers Here was the first). Dimpa is settling in, in her new job and dealing with her dad's dimensia, and sorting out her feelings for O'Brien. Then a matter of coincidences occure with a murder, and suddenly everyone she knows and loves is somehow involved in the case at hand, and Dimpa could loose more than her relationship with her son, when the truth of his parents relationship comes out. A fast paced cozy, this is a quick read, that will have you thrilled with this new series from Carlene, and waiting for the next one!
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3.75 stars

Atmospheric mystery set in Dingle, Ireland featuring veterinarian Dimpna Wilde and crew. This is the series second and I can't think it would make much sense without having read the first book which sets up the complex back story.

Dimpna has had a lot of misfortune in her life, including rape, her husband's suicide, the loss of her business and a lot of family dysfunction. She is starting over again the in the town where she grew up, partly to be closer to her father who is declining with Alzheimer's. 

A caravan of young people has caused a lot of consternation in the community. A local man is found dead by hit and run, and then the grisly murdered body of one of the caravan women is discovered. The plot is elaborate with lots of red herrings and suspects.

Dimpna's possibly more than friend police Inspector Cormac O'Brien has been removed from the investigation due to a moment's stupidity. These characters are flawed and burdened with their histories, including Dimpna. They struggle with family, old secrets, and their pasts. Dark, tortured at times, and atmospheric. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
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