Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Toby Young writes from USA
Thank you for the wonderful Reverend Mother series. Will there be any more?

Thu Jun 13 03:56:11 2019

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Well, Kirsty, I am delighted that I have brought this sixteenth century world to life for you.
I live only a few miles from the Burren and I am continuously moved and amazed by how extraordinarily beautiful it is.
I am so pleased to know that I have managed to share some of my love of this landscape with you.
i hope you like looking through the photographs which were taken one bright, though frosty new year's day.
Many good wishes to you,

Tue Jun 4 20:23:56 2019

Kristy writes from USA
Dear Cora,

I just started reading the Burren mysteries, I love them! The history and the setting are amazing! Itís always nice to be transported and fully immersed in a new world! You really did a remarkable job of bringing history to life. The Brehon law is so interesting and sensible! We could use some of those sentiments in todayís world! Thank you for writing these stories!!! Love them :)

Tue Jun 4 19:31:31 2019

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Pam.

Just as a matter of interest - if I may use you as a guinea pig - would you be interested in a Burren mystery if it were published as an e-book?

I have been pondering over the possibility of this. I do get lots of letters like yours.

Sat Mar 23 10:04:13 2019

Pam Vanghel writes from United States
Dear Cora,

Just a note to thank you for the many hours of pleasure Iíve received reading, and re-reading, the Burren mysteries. I keep checking, hoping to see a new one appear. Hopefully, your publisher will see the light soon. Thank you, again. Warm regards, Pam

Fri Mar 22 19:45:16 2019

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Sorry for the delay, Tonii. I've been in London for celebrations of my sixtieth published book and have only just returned.

Thank you for the invitation which I'm afraid that I must decline. I am no longer involved in books for children and although always am most interested in them and in projects to encourage them to write, I am, at this moment, very very busy.
And getting very old!

Thu Mar 14 10:23:16 2019

Tonii Kelly writes from Ireland
I edit the Guaire Magazine, published every two years in Gort. We sponsor a childrenís writing contest, and have been asked to participate in a May 17 Festival in Gort this year. We plan to have writers discuss the impact of Place in their work, and as part of a panel, your affinity with the Burren would be wonderful. If you are interested, could you contact me through Thank you,
Tonii Kelly

Sat Mar 9 13:21:57 2019

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That's very nice of you.

I do hope that at some stage my publisher will take them up again. My series on Cork in the 1920s is doing well, but I should love to keep going with the Burren series.
I am particularly interested in Domhnall O'Davoren as I saw the document compiled by him and his students while in Cahermacnaghten law school on the Burren, when I was in the British Library. It was a wonderful moment to hold in my hand something that connected my stories with a historical artefact.

Wed Jan 16 21:33:33 2019

John Wright writes from United States
Thank you for your reply. I have visited the Burren and agree about its beauty.

I hope these books do not come to and end since I have enjoyed each and every one.

Wed Jan 16 20:48:54 2019

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
That's certainly something I shall do if there is a reprint of these books. Unfortunately, at the moment there is not much of a demand for them. It's sad because I think Brehon Law and its contrasts with English law, is a most interesting subject.

And the Burren with its stone pavements and unique wild flowers is a most beautiful place.

Wed Jan 16 13:17:48 2019

John wright writes from usa
I just finished my 12th Burren mystry. Obviously I enjoy the books. What I wish is that I knew how to pronounce the characters names. Every chapter I s em to try a variation on what I thought it might be last chapter.

Would it be possible to include a page with a phonetic version of the Gaelic names?

Wed Jan 16 04:40:28 2019

Carol Pope writes from United States
Thank you so much. I will try to acquire those books. I took 3 years of Latin in high school here in California in the mid sixties. I would need a major brush up course as a few years and brain cells have passed. You rarely find a school that offers Latin any more. Sad. Thanks for the encouragement, but you being a prolific published writer, I'd say you have just a few fans. Keep writing!! Love your work. Thanks again. Carol

Sat Dec 8 20:37:05 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Carol,

Good luck with the novel. Well worth making it a good one as the market loves the first-time writer.
As for Brehon law, well these are the books that I found to be of the most use - in order of usefulness.
Fergus Kelly: Early Irish Law
Fergus Kelly: Early Irish Farming
Laurence Ginnell: Brehon Laws, a Legal Handbook

And, if you read Latin, 'Corpus Iuris Hibernici', translated by Daniel Binchy, (a friend and former schoolmate of my father), from various texts in old, middle and early modern Gaelic into Latin, perhaps rather unhelpfully, but I suppose the idea was that Latin was a language that all Europeans knew - perhaps true in the early part of the 20th century, but not nowadays!
Really Fergus Kelly is the one that I would recommend.

Sat Dec 8 10:42:10 2018

Carol Pope writes from
Dear Ms. Harrison, I have been enjoying your Lady Judge books. The time period and setting in Ireland is quite fascinating. Where did you get your information about the specific Brehon Laws? I would like to know about them. I am writing a novel(like everyone else on the planet) that takes place near "Cill Airne" near the time period you wrote these books. I have found a couple books, but your placement of a Brehon Law at the beginning of each chapter is so specific. I wanted to know what sources you used. If you still live in the west, I hope the storms haven't affected you too much this year. Take care.
Carol Pope

Fri Dec 7 21:05:18 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Joe,

I'm so sorry. I've had a really busy few months, but that is no excuse. I meant to thank you for the book recommendation. It's a wonderful book, fascinating! I've recommended it to lots of friends.

I was actually present in Kent during the great storm of 1987. I remember Bedgebury Forest and it looked as though a giant knife had sliced a swathe through the trees.

On a personal note, I was headteacher of a 100 year old school in Kent at the time and after a night of listening to slates falling from the roof of our house. I had a phone call from the school caretaker to say that the chimney of the school had been blown down and had landed upon the desk in my office.

Thu Oct 25 18:28:37 2018

Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Hi Cora,

How did you get with the "Turned out nice" book?

Were there parts that rang true about climate change across the isles?


Thu Oct 25 12:46:09 2018

Fiona writes from United Kingdom
Dear Cora.

Thank you for your lovely reply and for taking the time to write such a comprehensive response.

Such good news that the Reverend Mother is going to continue solving crimes.

Kind regards


Tue Oct 23 13:21:08 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thank you, Fiona. What a lovely message. These books are very dear to my heart. I find when I write them that I very seldom hesitate for a word and I always seem to know what the Reverend Mother will say and where she will go.
It's odd because I grew up in Cork in the 1940s, but very little had changed about the city since the 1920s. I knew that from my parents' stories. I remember my mother saying that so often the Reverend Mother of the school she went to would go around the classes and say to the children: 'Now run home as fast as you can. There's shooting on the streets.'
And so they would grab their coats,, their schoolbags and run!

Yes, I will certainly go on with the Reverend Mother and her experiences. After Christmas I will start on the next one which, at the moment, is called 'Death of a Prominent Citizen' and is about the murder of the Reverend Mother's very wealthy widowed cousin.

Thank you again for writing. It means such a lot!

Tue Oct 23 12:21:05 2018

Fiona writes from United Kingdom
Dear Cora

I have just finished reading Murder At the Queen's Old Castle and wanted to say how much I enjoyed it and all the other Reverend Mother books.

You have created lovely characters that I care about and want to know what happens to them. You paint such vivid pictures with words. It makes me sad to read about the squalor and awfulness of what life was like for ordinary people in 1920s Cork - I can "see" it all as I read.

Is it likely there will be more cases for the Reverend Mother to solve?

Thank you for writing this first class series and also for The Burren Mysteries; Mara (still can't believe that there will be no more) was a lovely character... and maybe Hugh will make an appearance one day :)

Thank you again for giving so much pleasure to so many people.

Regards, Fiona

Tue Oct 23 11:51:16 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Well, Lynn, you are the very first person to mention this to me. When i was writing the book I came across the quote and was, like you, intrigued by this 'man butter' and 'woman butter'. I looked up every book that I have, interrogated the Internet, but all to no avail.

I was just talking about this to my husband and he, brought up during the second world war in rural Monaghan, to the north of the republic of Ireland, came out with a memory of his mother during the war, making a distinction between 'creamery butter' and 'country butter'. Apparently the'creamery butter' was fine and smooth and would be served to the parish priest, the nuns or an important visitor, whereas she served her family of ten children, five boys and five girls, with 'country butter' which was a lot more lumpy.

I wonder whether there was that distinction - not that there would have been creameries in those days - but it may be that one kind of butter was much finer and smoother than the other.

And we can only guess which one was reserved for the men. And which for the women!

Tue Sep 18 18:55:02 2018

Lynn McCreedy writes from USA
Hello Cora,
I have enjoyed reading your Burren mysteries! You give the reader such a sense of place, geographically, culturally and historically. It's kind of heartbreaking to time-travel to that period when champions of Irish law and governance did their best to maintain sway against the looming English threat. Digging in to complicated, human stories is my favorite way to understand history, and I thank you for your work.
I have a question about the Brehon law excerpt from chapter 7 in "A Fatal Inheritance:" What on Earth are man-butter and woman-butter? Both Wikipedia and Google have failed me on these terms, though I did learn that butter from goat's milk is a thing.
With warm regards,

Tue Sep 18 14:13:27 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Clemens,

First of all, let me apologize. My phone and broadband have been out-of-order for the last fortnight - one of the downsides of living in rural west of Ireland is that we have a very poor communications service.

I'm right and the cover blurb is wrong.
I'm sometimes consulted about these things, but not always and I suppose there was a feeling that time was getting on, whereas I think of those mysteries to be centered on the years after the War of Independence finished, but I am reluctant to tie them to any particular time.

Fri Aug 17 16:28:00 2018

Clemens Schoonderwoert writes from Netherlands
Hi Cora,

After having read your book "Beyond Absolution" I have one query to you and is this. At the end of the book there's a publication of the Cork Examiner and its header says, July 2, 1923. Should that not have been 1925, because on the inside flap of the cover it says that the story is set in 1925.
What should it be dear Cora?

Very kind regards, Clemens.

Tue Aug 7 13:56:57 2018

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Have just downloaded that book onto my Kindle, Joe.

Will let you know how I get on.

Am already nostalgic for some rain and the fuchsia bushes on my avenue are suffering badly.

Thu Jul 12 18:09:08 2018

Joe O'Laughlin writes from USA
Thanks Cora,

So the "speleowaters" are a kind of short term inheritance?

I did get a grasp at my clan history via your Fatal Inheritance book. Our geographical dispersion in the the USA, coupled with a general silence about family circumstance leaves us bereft.

Then there is the "let the dead lie still" admonishment.

There is a predictive book about climate change for the English isles, at least - "Turned out nice".

Actually it means that in the short term it SEEMED things will get "nice".. but as a long lasting trend.. ?


Thu Jul 12 17:13:17 2018

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