Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Maria,
It's so heart-warming to get messages like yours. I love to think that others enjoy the world that I created and can sympathize with Mara's joys, delights, worries and heart-rending sorrows.
The next Mara book: A FATAL INHERITANCE, comes out in November. It is set in a strange valley, fully of cliffs and caves, just south of Fanore where the last book, CONDEMNED TO DEATH was placed. I hope that you will enjoy it when it comes out.
And then I have planned another few Mara books so I hope that you continue to enjoy them.
Also I have A SHAMEFUL MURDER with a new heroine, a feisty Reverend Mother, Superior of a school for slum children in the city of the Cork, southern Ireland, during the civil war. You might enjoy that, also. I think that it will come out in the US next autumn.
All the best, and many thanks for writing,

Wed May 27 18:06:00 2015

Maria Dios writes from Massachusets, USA
Dear Cora,
I have so enjoyed your Burren mysteries. I have read them straight through all of them which is very unusual for me. I usually need a break from an author's style. These books never ceased to awe me with information, good writing, wit and the wonderful culture of the West of Ireland. I am sad that they are over. Whatever will I read now?
Please let us know when you have a new one out!!
Best regards and thank you for these gits.

Tue May 26 22:25:31 2015

David Clark writes from Spain
Dear Cora,

Im preparing a paper for the EFACIS conference on the relationship between Irish crime writers and contemporary publishing practices. Id be really grateful if you could look at the following questionnaire and answer as many of the questions as you like. Id also be grateful if you could circulate this to any other published Irish crime writer. Many thanks in advance. If youd like any further information please dont hesitate to get in touch:

1) Which publishing houses have published your works of crime fiction?
2) If more than one publisher, please briefly outline reasons for change.
3) Have you published outside Ireland? If so, why?
4) Has an agent influenced your choice of publisher?
5) Would you prefer to publish in Ireland?
6) Do you perceive any change in the world of publishing in recent times? If so, please comment briefly.
7) Have you published in e-book format? If so, please rate your experience.
8) Did contact with other writers influence your relationship with publishers?
9) Is your overall experience with your publishers satisfactory?
10) Please add any further information or views on the state of crime fiction and its relationship with the world of publishing in Ireland today.
Please send completed replies to:
All best wishes,

Dr David M. Clark
Secretary European Federation of Associations and Centres of Irish Studies (EFACIS)

Mon May 11 10:18:28 2015

Mike writes from Cork
Cora, you are a star. Thank you! The Tara website had a great catalogue.

Have a great summer!

Mon May 4 20:27:12 2015

rita davern writes from USA
Hi, Cora
I am sorry to hear about your winter of health problems and happy to hear that you are feeling better!

My niece and I will be in the Burren May 8-15
filming for a documentary about the Davorens and their 1200 years in the Burren.

I would love to meet you at our usual place for tea if you would like. I think of you often and wish you well always!

Rita Davern

Mon May 4 06:25:20 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
What a very lovely idea!

I have to warn you that there were 13 of the original Drumshee books (and then 4 Drumshee Chronicles) - but I'd say it's the first 13 that your girl friend was talking about.

You can get quite a few of them from Tara Book Company (put it into Google and you'll get the website) and also from Amazon uk. If you put in Cora Harrison Drumshee it should give you a list of what is available. Some, I know, are out-of-print but I was surprised how many were still available when I had a look for someone else.
Good luck!

Fri May 1 15:48:24 2015

Mike writes from Ireland, Cork
My girlfriend loved 'The murder at Drumshee' series as she was growing up. (Apologies if I have gotten the name of the series wrong) Her birthday is coming up. I would love to be able to present her with these books as I know that she would be thrilled.

Is there any website that sells these books?

Many thanks,


Fri May 1 14:43:11 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I'm afraid that I can't shift the blame onto the shoulders of the editors, Carrie, but must blush with shame and cry 'mea culpa'.
I didn't know that about bicarb of soda only coming in the 19th century and thoughtlessly wrote down a bread that I associate with the Irish countryside. I'll try to be more careful in the future.

Nevertheless, I'm glad that you enjoy the books.

Sun Apr 26 16:25:24 2015

Carrie writes from USA
We have certainly enjoyed your Burren Mystery Series and introduced others to them. Initially drawn to them due to visiting there and amazed at the unusual and special geography. Found wild shamrocks there and the people at the B&B we were staying with were amazed at our luck.
Was disappointed in the use of soda bread in Condemned to Death(non-existent, soda was 19th c.) since the books are so well researched. Shame on your editor!

Sat Apr 25 19:53:40 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Hope that yo enoy the visit. At the moment we are having lovely sunny warm weather. Let's hope it continues. I haver never seen so many primroses!

Thu Apr 16 17:56:24 2015

Mary Leighton writes from United States
Thanks for the ideas of good walks in the Burren. I'll be sure to take them!

Thu Apr 16 16:51:52 2015

Brenda writes from Canada
Glad to hear you are fighting back from your health challenges and are beginning to feel well enough to think about writing again.
I would like to spend some time in the Burren area to do a walk about. I have a family commitment in County Down but I have left plenty of time for spontaneous adventures.
Take care Cora from all of us

Sat Apr 11 15:31:32 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I enjoyed meeting you immensely, Brenda, and still treasure the lovely gifts you gave me.
This has been a bad winter for me. I broke my ankle badly in two places at the end of the summer and that took a long time and then in November I got double pneumonia and again took what seemed to be an endless time to recover. Luckily I am well on the mend now and have got back my love of writing.
Are you visiting the Burren this year, or are you going to concentrate on Cork?

Thu Apr 9 09:19:37 2015

Brenda writes from canada
I am in the process of making final arrangements for my trip back to Ireland this summer. Memories of meeting you and the time you took to sit and have tea with us on my last trip two years ago are still cherished. I have just finished reading Condemned to Death as have the other ladies. Eileen was thrilled to see her name as a character in the book.
Many thanks for many hours of pleasure.

Wed Apr 8 16:43:18 2015

Ken Quin writes from Ireland
Thank you Cora.

I wasn't expecting such a prompt reply. Very much appreciate it.

Thanks again.



Mon Mar 23 09:51:08 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I think the book you have read, Ken, is probably Fergus Kelly: 'Early Irish Law'. I got it out of the library initially and was so fascinated by it that I then bought it. I have read four or five other books on Brehon law, but this is undoubtedly the best. He has also written a book called: 'Early Irish Farming' which is also very interesting as he refers to the law in order to elucidate methods, crops and stock in medieval Ireland. I owe him a huge debt!

Glad that you enjoyed my books.

Sun Mar 22 14:05:12 2015

Ken Quin writes from Ireland
I have read many of your books and enjoyed the beauty of Brehon Laws as depicted by you. I recall reading what could be described as a comprehensive laymans guide to Brehon Law many years ago but can't remember who wrote it or whether such a book is still available. Could you shine any light on such a publication? Brehon Law seems to make so much sense.



Sun Mar 22 11:58:33 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Do you know the Chesterton quote?

For the great Gaels of Ireland
Are the men that God made mad,
For all their wars are merry,
And all their songs are sad.

Thu Feb 19 21:07:31 2015

Joseph O'Laughlin writes from USA
Another Burren mystery on the wing !

Gregan's castle will have to wait for another trip. I was walking over hills and sleeping in hedges so could not get everywhere expeditiously. Besides, my bit of the sept emigrated from Kilfenora reputedly.

Finbar prefigures the truncated expectations of all clever Irish as unanswerable subjugation awaited them. IMHO


Thu Feb 19 20:43:19 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Mary: You can get excellent map of the Burren by Tim Robinson from 'Folding Landscapes' and Amazon, I think.
Here are places to visit - very unchanged except for a few appalling houses during Ireland's recent affluence.
Book 1 Poulnabrone, the judgement place and the law school at Cahermacnaghten - the ruins are there still.
Book 2: Noughaval with the market cross and Oughtmama - steep climb but interesting
Book 3: Newtown Castle - nice walk above it.
Book 4: Corcomroe Abbey - with the wonderful carvings
Book 5: Leamaneh Castle - magnificent ruin
Book 6: Caherconnell, the O'Davoren physician's house open to public
Book 7: Boat trip to Aran Islands from Doolin.
Book 12: Fanore Beach - wonderful place for children and adults - surfing and scenery.
Enjoy your holiday!

Tue Feb 17 09:28:58 2015

Mary S Leighton writes from USA
I will be travelling to Ireland for a week in July with my son and his family (wife, children 9 and 6). They have agreed to indulge me in finding a B&B near the Burren, so I can see the settings of the mysteries I love to read. Where are the places that look today something like the settings of your books?

Mon Feb 16 16:38:28 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry for the delay in writing, Claire. I was just finishing off my 14th Mara book - which will be my 50th published book!

I'm very flattered that you use 'My Lady Judge' in your classes. sorry about the bits of Irish. Could you send me anything that puzzles you. I'm afraid that I don't have a very clear memory of book 1 and I'm so busy at the moment that I haven't time to re-read it. I did skim through last night, but couldn't find anything that wasn't explained (or self-explanatory) except for 'ocaire' and 'boaire' - meaning, what's called here in Ireland 'a small farmer' and 'a stout farmer'. Hope that makes sense.

Wed Feb 11 07:05:47 2015

Claire Altheuser writes from USA
Your first Burren mystery is one that I have included in the curriculum for the "History Through Mystery Class" which I am leading. Is there somewhere that I can find a glossary of the Irish terms that you used throughout the book? I have been able to find a few but not too many. It would help the American readers greatly. The series is a wonderful one. Would that the world would adopt the Brehon law. It was so humane.

Fri Feb 6 19:25:30 2015

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
I hope that one day, Gary, you will get a chance to visit the reality - so much more beautiful than I, or Google, can convey.
Many thanks for writing. I hope that you enjoy the rest of the book.

Wed Feb 4 14:15:15 2015

Gary Sease writes from USA
I have read all of the Mara from the Burren series and am now reading the latest, "Condemmed to Death". I am just early into it, but like all the previous books, absolutely love it. I find myself toggling back and forth between the book and Google Earth to hone in on the actual geography Cora is describing. It makes the wonderful books that much more real.

Thank you.

Tue Feb 3 23:10:44 2015

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