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review 2018-02-20 21:48
You would think writing a short story, especially a mystery, would be very difficult thing to do. However, author Julie Mulhern did so flawlessly. She pack all of the aspects of a full sized mystery into one amazing short story.

I thought everything was wrapped going to be tied up in a nice, tidy bow when a suspect is named early on. I should have known it wouldn’t all be so easy. Mulhern did a twisty turn that took me completely by surprise!

DIAMOND GIRL has great relationships among the characters, a cunning mystery, and as always, Julie Mulhern’s writing is nothing short of perfection.
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review 2018-02-06 18:26
An Irish Country Practice
An Irish Country Practice - Patrick Taylor

Ehh I dithered about this one, but honestly it had so many things wrong with it, I could not enjoy it much. I think that's because Barry sucked a lot in this one and we had random plot devices used to get rid of a romance and a character that has been around for several books. I usually enjoy these books and the village of Ballybucklebo, but ultimately think this was just a so-so installment in the Irish Country series.

In "An Irish Country Practice" Barry and Fingal are dealing with different things. 

Barry is becoming increasingly nervous about marrying his fiancee Sue Nolan due to her wanting children and Barry being hesitant about being a father. If you are wondering where this random divergent interest thing came from, you are not the only one. Up until the last book there has been no mention of Barry not wanting children. I at least understood why he was hesitant in the last book due to being concerned about bringing children into a world that is dealing with so many awful things. But this book he turns into Ebeneezer Scrooge and decides that he doesn't like kids and was really nasty towards one of them to the point I really wish that Sue had dumped Barry's butt.

Fingal is agreeing to take on a trainee and to help with having GPs certified. It's not that interesting. He also has to help out his colleague Fitzpatrick who develops an addiction to betting (that comes out of nowhere) and realizes that one of the village women is being beaten by her spouse. None of the stories were satisfactorily resolved to me. I mean they were resolved, but resolved with what I called hand-waving writing to not have to really deal with what Taylor sets in motion in this book. We also still have Fingal wanting Kitty to retire and is going around "subtly" trying to make her see how much more appealing it would be if she stayed home. I can honestly say that I don't even get why Fingal wants Kitty to retire just so she can sit around and be outdoors with him while he still has plenty of work? I hope she doesn't retire. Between Fingal and Barry I wanted to kick both of them in the shins for how they were acting in this one. 

The main reason why I liked this one is that there are callbacks to the villagers in this one. We forget it's been about 3 years or so since Barry has started working with Fingal, so we follow up with some of his earlier patients and some we have not heard from since "An Irish Country Christmas." 

The writing (medical) I will just say was okay. I just thought the issues which Taylor tried to delve into in this one didn't make a lot of sense at all with the overall story structure. 

The ending was just okay and I was very annoyed we only hear about Barry's wedding in the afterword written by Kinky Kincaid (now married and I can't even remember her married name).

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text 2018-02-04 16:01
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
An Irish Country Practice - Patrick Taylor

This was all over the place. Fingal parts except for some storylines was okay and Barry was insufferable throughout. Taylor doesn't even show Barry's wedding, you have to read about it in the afterword which annoyed me to no end.

 

Good:

 

We get to see what happened to some of the villagers from the earlier books. 

 

 

Bad:

 

Kinky tells a ton of people about her gift (she's fey). And this contradicts her always saying she was not supposed to tell people.

 

Barry all of a sudden hates children. If he was ambivalent about them coming into the world due to war and other things like the prior book, fine. But he sucked. 

 

Taylor inserts a friend of his in the book that wasn't needed.

 

We barely hear about the third doctor anymore.

 

Fitzpatrick's addiction contradicts him placing a bet in the earlier books. Taylor gets him gone through some terrible plot device.

 

Same issue with Lars and Mryna's romance.

 

All in all disappointed. Two stars. 

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text 2018-02-03 04:37
Reading progress update: I've read 30%.
An Irish Country Practice - Patrick Taylor

Well now Barry is getting closer to getting married but seems intent on screwing things up since now he's gone all kids suck. 

 

Fingal is still happily married and has taken on supervising a new doctor and training a new puppy. The scenes with the puppy is the only saving grace with the book so far. 

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review 2018-01-31 15:02
Solid Book in Irish Country Series
An Irish Country Love Story: A Novel (Irish Country Books) - Patrick Taylor

Well I liked this one more than the last two books which unfortunately were just back and forths between Fingal O"Reilly and when he met his first wife and lost her during the war. I think that Taylor should have just had one book looking book at his time and not having it go back and forth between present day and past. "An Irish Country Love Story" is the 11th book in this series, and it showcases the different stages of love that Taylor wishes to show in the villagers of Ballybucklebo, between O"Reilly and his wife Kitty, between Barry and Sue Nolan, and even a dangerous sort of love (flirtation) between Barry and the new doctor that has been brought into the practice, Nonie. We even have a new love starting between O'Reilly's brother Lars and the Marquiis's sister Myrna. 

 

The book goes back to the setup of the earlier ones in the series with some focus being on O'Reilly and Barry. We get both of their third person POV's in this book.

 

O'Reilly is a content married man now, but I am leery about O'Reilly thinking more about how to get Kitty to retire to work with him at a futuristic practice that would include many doctors and specialists. This book takes place in the winter of 1967 so I don't even know if that would be something that would even be thought of in Ireland at the time. 

 

The big plot point with O'Reilly in this book is the fact he may lose Number 1 (his home) after a lorry runs into his dining room. It seems that if the village allows the house to stay, they will rack up taxes if they build another road that will take the lorries and other heavier vehicles away from the village center. O'Reilly has another nemesis we have not heard about until this point, who is on the village council who wants to do whatever he can to make sure O'Reilly loses his home.  Not going to lie, this whole thing was boring, and O'Reilly was being high handed with the Marquis and others. Eventually things are resolved, but it didn't make much sense to me so there you go.

 

Barry is dealing with his fiancee Sue off doing a course in France for a couple of weeks. Barry being Barry at this point frets about things, but goes forward with trying to find a home for the two of them. A setback in Sue's family pushes the wedding date out, and I think Taylor was trying to make a conflict between Sue and Barry. All of a sudden Barry is concerned about having children and doesn't know if he wants them. How do you not have this conversation prior to marrying? Also it just reads as a roadblock that Taylor throws up to have some conflict in the book because the series is a bit samey at this point. 

 

Another point of conflict is the new doctor who apparently is all for having some "fun" with Barry. It was weird and vaguely upsetting since she didn't seem to care about Barry's fiancee Sue, who she had to have met at this point. I didn't like the new doctor and then Taylor manufactures a crisis with her. I hope she goes by the next book. 

 

The villagers are the villagers. Nothing much there at all to see.


The writing is okay, but Taylor now just spits out medical facts as a patient is being treated. And the doctors continue to over explain things and it makes my eyes glaze. The flow was okay, I just have to say like many readers, this may have been a solid read, but ultimately boring. 

 

The setting of Ballybucklebo remains a favorite to me at least. I still re-read "An Irish Country Girl" and "An Irish Country Christmas" every year to get me in the holiday mood during Halloween and Christmas. 

 

The ending was okay. I do think that maybe Taylor should consider ending this series and skipping forward with Barry and Sue married with kids and O'Reilly looking to fully retire or something. 

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