Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Brenda writes from Canada
These holiday greetings are a little late but come with heart felt wishes for a year of good health and happiness. We have been enjoying such a mild winter I have spent much more time outside and my reading has been limited. I did find time however to enjoy "A Shameful Murder". Enjoyed from beginning to end and shared with the other ladies who are fans as well. Take care

Wed Jan 27 19:40:55 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Joe.
I was fascinated to read, from a writer who explored the valley of Oughtdara two hundred years ago that there was in the area a vivid awareness of the legends of 'the old people', of the legendary gods of the Tuatha De and it has stuck in my mind as a great possibility for a story.
I finally got down to it to celebrate Mara's fiftieth birthday and my own fiftieth publication!

Tue Jan 19 17:16:55 2016

Joseph O'Laughlin writes from USA
The USA "Fatal Inheritance" is in my hand as I type! I thought I heard the Banshee scream upon opening it.

When I walked the Upper Cantred the criss-crossed bones beneath my feet were palpable, but mute. Your work has given me a darkly living vision of that time-slice in my lineage's history. - Thank you.

Enjoyably readable, too.

Joseph O'Laughlin

Tue Jan 19 16:54:10 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
You can download a kindle app from iTunes for your iPad and then buy any kindle book from Amazon - just choose iPad for your destination.

I think that you can also get it from Safari, but I'm not sure about that.

Sun Jan 10 18:15:26 2016

Simon writes from Ireland
Ah. I'm on iPad and only the first three are available.

Sun Jan 10 15:31:34 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm not sure what you mean by 'download', Simon. They are all, except for the latest, available on Kindle from Amazon.

I'm glad you enjoyed the one that you read.

Sun Jan 10 12:47:53 2016

Simon writes from ireland
Cora. Enthralled by the Burren series which I've just discovered. But why can't I get the rest of the series on download?

Sat Jan 9 22:47:41 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
And thank you, Karen, very much, indeed, for going to the trouble of writing to me.

It's very heart-warming for me to have so many messages from fans of Mara who also like Reverend Mother Aquinas.

She, of course, is older than Mara, possibly harder, more cynical, perhaps. Certainly she has seen and heard things which Mara in bright, clean, sparsely populated land of the Burren could never have conceived of. In the clan system real hunger and poverty, such as I describe in the Cork book, just could not occur. In fact, under Brehon law, it was an offence not to give food to a hungry man!
And of course the land is literally littered with stone blocks and riddled with caves so shelter could easily be constructed with help from family and neighbours.

Sat Jan 2 11:10:52 2016

Karen J Mitchell writes from United States
Dear Cora,
Thank you so much for sharing your writing talent with us. I read some of the Mara books a few years ago and then kind of lost track of the series. BUT, I found the new Reverend Mother first book and, happily, dug into it. Wonderful, fantastic. Perhaps I love Reverend Mother so much because we are of an age and share a fondness for Thomas Aquinas. Since we have to wait for the next book, it seems like a good time to revisit Mara. Thanks for the hours of reading joy.

Sat Jan 2 01:34:15 2016

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
It's funny, but only today I was looking at the lovely picture that you gave me.
Frank and I are hoping to go across to the Highlands in Scotland this May - traveling from Larne to Toon - and if we do, well, yes, I would love to drop in and say hello to you and your pupils. I often think what a lovely school it was, in the glens. My grandson is going to a school near London which has 2,000 pupils! How much nicer to be one of a small number and valued for all that you can contribute.
Wishing you and your pupils a very happy Christmas,

Tue Dec 8 17:34:31 2015

Francis Close writes from Antrim
Hello Cora. Greetings from Glenann PS, Cushendall in the Glens of Antrim. My pupils are currently reading Famine Secret at Drumshee and are thoroughly enjoying it. I will get them to contact you when we are finished. All good here and I hope you are keeping well. If you ever make it back to Cushendall you know you are very welcome to call. Take care and have a happy Christmas.

Tue Dec 8 15:00:07 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm glad that you are looking forward to the next 'Reverend Mother' book, Su. It should be out some time next autumn, I think. I know that I have finished it and sent it off, but after that things slow down with a very busy publisher.

No, the flaming red hair is belonging to Dr Munro (Angelina had chestnut hair). Dr Munro put on a face mask and 'now only the flaming red hair and the eyes were visible'.

And Cork is flooded again as I write! We, here in the west of Ireland, are completely cut off from our market town, but luckily our old cottage has been built on a hill and so we are quite safe, though our river has burst its banks and our low-lying meadows have turned into lakes!

Tue Dec 8 10:05:40 2015

su bennett
I look forward to reading the next Reverend Mother Mystery...

In a Shameful Murder I do have a question regarding a detail on page 231. It first states that Angelina 'her hair had been shaved'. The next paragraph states 'now only the flaming red hair.....were visible'. Is this a proof reading error or have I missed something?

Tue Dec 8 06:52:55 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Marilyn.
I find it very easy to write my Mara series. I look at a map of the Burren - I have a wonderful one from 'Folding Landscapes' and I find somewhere that intrigues me - perhaps a name, perhaps a certain land formation, then I visit it, even if I know it well. I take photos, look it up on Google Earth sometimes, just to get a 'bird eye' view. And then I read up about it, try to find out as much as possible about its past, and all the time while I am doing that ideas are welling up. My latest book 'A Fatal Inheritance' is about a small valley just south of the place which you have just been reading about.

Fri Nov 13 09:04:30 2015

marilyn miller writes from toms river, nj/usa
hello cora, this is my second message since I goofed with the first. I read the latest book about the law school & was so upset when the student took his own life. I get caught up in the plot as if it was real & I'm right there !!! my last visit to Ireland was with my grand daughter erin & we took the van tour from limerick city which included caherconnell. the driver shared that his daughter was part of the student archaeological team the summer before. I really hope I can at least go one more time to clare were my grand father james murphy was born. thank you for sharing your knowledge of early Ireland.

Thu Nov 12 21:34:00 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I suppose that I have an advantage in that I live in the area about which I am writing, Jodi. I think that I would find it very hard to write about 16th century Canada. Once one knows the area, one can interpret a lot about daily life from such books as the Gill History series, and K.W. Nicholls: 'Gaelic and Gaelicized Ireland in the Middle Ages'. I find the books on the law and on its interpretations in books from the 'Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies' very useful. Also, though I think it's out of print, 'Dress in Ireland' by Mairead Dunleavy.
In fact, I have two shelves full of reference books, but I select those which deal with something pertinent to my area and my subjects. The Internet is of course, invaluable and perhaps Kenny's online bookshop in Galway might be useful also.

Fri Oct 2 08:33:21 2015

Jodi McIsaac writes from Canada
Hi Cora,
I've been reading your Burren series as research for my forthcoming novel set in 16th century Ireland (I should say I started reading them as research and am now reading for pleasure!). I'm wondering if you could share with me some of your sources for life in 16th century Ireland, as most of the sources I have found so far focus on the politics and not the everyday lives and customs. Thank you for any advice you can give.

Thu Oct 1 20:20:02 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
If you are an O'Brien, Jan, well, you've certainly got Irish ancestry and probably your forebears came from somewhere in the midwest of Ireland.
I hope you like the portrayal of Turlough O'Brien. He was a real person and there are a few mentions of him in the Annals of the Four Masters, a book which summarized previous historical works. He was very war-like and loved by all except the English! If you read my book, 'Verdict of the Court' you will get a description of one of the best preserved O'Brien castles.

Mon Sep 21 11:04:00 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Ellen. I think that I am lucky to be living so near to a still mainly unspoilt place like the Burren. It's very easy to go to places that probably still look just like they did in the sixteenth century. and up to fairly recently, certainly in the memory of the older men and women, farming practices would have differed very little. it is wonderful to watch someone build a drystone wall, no mortar, minimal use of tools, just instinctive skill, handed down through the generations. And the people here always dig the grave of a deceased neighbour which is something which goes right back to the Brehon laws.

Mon Sep 21 10:57:20 2015

Jan writes from United States
A friend of mine has been recommending your mysteries for years, but I only now picked up one of the Burren ones, and I was immediately charmed by the Brehon and all the details of Irish justice in the 1500s. I definitely want to read all of this series. My ancestry is mostly French, but my great-grandmother was an O'Brien, so that makes the stories particularly interesting to me!

Sun Sep 20 22:16:46 2015

Ellen Pye writes from Canada
Just to let you know how much I'm enjoying and appreciating your Burren Series. I had read most of the 'Sister Fidelma' books, which I found most illuminating, but in a very different way from yours, which describe how the Brehon law worked on the ground; less political. Together, they have made me yearn for a time in which that kind of true justice was practised, instead of the vindictive, combative system we're now stuck with. There is some hope in the emergence of restorative justice and mediation used now, but insufficiently and with inadequate judicial weight. I'm looking forward to the next instalment!

Sun Sep 20 00:18:22 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm delighted that the book has brought back happy memories, Judy. Oddly enough, as I am writing the books they bring back memories of happy days with family and friend and, above all, displaying the beauties of the Burren to those who have never seen it before.
Hope you enjoy the next twelve books!

Tue Sep 8 17:55:49 2015

Judy Matthews writes from Ontario, Canada
I have just finished my first Burren mystery and an hooked. Fourteen years ago we spent a week in Doolin hiking all over the Burren and now reading you describe the landscape and seascape is like being there again. Thank you so much.

Tue Sep 8 16:19:43 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Just finished book 2 about the city of Cork, Marlene. It will go to be edited next week and should come out some time in early 2016. They are tougher and harder than the Mara books and it's rather nice to be able to turn, as I will next week, from the harsh corrupt society of 1923 back to the last days of Celtic Ireland.

Thu Aug 27 09:50:26 2015

m writes from Ireland (North)
Thanks for your reply. I'll keep my eyes open for the new arrival.

I didn't think anything could rival The Burren Mysteries but your new series certainly gives them a run for their money.

Thanks again for many hours of pleasure.


Thu Aug 27 08:52:09 2015

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