I have loved every book in this series so far, and “Murder and an Irish Curse” was no exception. It definitely lived up to the high standard set in earlier books, and I am eagerly anticipating the next installment!
This time around, Pippen is still working with her friends and family to find a way to end the family curse. In addition, a local reporter is harassing Pippen with questions about rumors of her bibliomancy, and she may have personal ties to the Lane family. Things don’t end well for the reporter, so Pippen has to deal with that mystery in addition to working on the curse and running her business. One note: The murder mystery is a very minor part of the story. In fact, it’s not so much a mystery as something that happened; the reveal of who/why is provided, but not as a result of Pippen trying to solve the crime. This book is much more heavily focused on researching and trying to end the family curse. This story could work as a stand-alone, but I think you’d be far more invested (and be able to follow the past research more easily) if you’ve read the series in order.
The reader gets to know Grey and Lily a bit better in this installment; personally, I was glad to see more of both of them. Cousin Cora also makes her first in-person appearance. I like seeing the major characters, as well as their relationships, evolve over the course of the series, and getting to know more of Pippen’s family members better added to this. Temporary characters like the inn guests are given enough unique characteristics that each stands out as an individual. Just as in the previous books, Pippen’s dog Sailor steals every scene she appears in.
The main mystery (trying to end the curse) was very well written, with lots of details and information about Irish lore. Pippen continues her investigation using both regular techniques and her bibliomancy. (This is a special gift she has in which books reveal information to her magically.) She’s fairly methodical about this, and I liked following the clues along with her. I won’t share exactly what is figured out in terms of the curse to avoid spoilers, but the murder aspect was resolved as part of this storyline.
Five out of five slices of spicy Pepper-Jack!