Author: Brenda M. Spalding

Publisher: Heritage Publishing US

ISBN:  1544801866

                                 Coming Together Irish Style

This book is the second in the Green Lady Inn series by Brenda M. Spalding. The main protagonist is a young woman called Megan Calloway, who is a descendant of Irish immigrants. Professionally, she is an artist and runs an art gallery in New York. Her parents have long since been dead and she has been brought up by her grandmother, Mrs.Corey Bishop, who happens to live in a large house in Salem.

The action in the first book in the series starts when Megan gets a call from the police, informing her that her grandmother was dead, possibly murdered. Megan comes to Salem for the funeral. While she was out on an errand, she survives an attempt at murder, because of a swift response by a young writer called Jake Durant, who happened to be around. Jake and Megan fall in love and form a foursome with their next door neighbours, Zach and Amanda Longstreet. Zach also runs an art gallery in Salem. When he bought the art gallery, he came across a portrait of a beautiful woman, Lucinda, who is actually an ancestor of Megan. The portrait bears an uncanny resemblance to her. Noticing this, Zach gifts the painting to Megan.

It turns out that Lucinda is Megan’s great-great grandmother, who married rich, but did not live very long afterwards. Neither did her husband survive for very long after she passed on. They left behind jewels worth a fortune.

As the narrative progresses, Megan inherits a Claddagh ring from her grandmother. She notes that when she has the ring on her finger, she has a peculiar, distraught bodily sensation that makes itself known when all is not well. She is not comfortable with this sensation at first, but as the narrative progresses into this one, the second book of the series, she learns to use this information more productively.

Next to come, in the first book of the trilogy, is the murderer of Mrs. Bishop, Megan’s grandmother. There is a flurry of activity connected with finding and gaining Lucinda’s jewels. This book ends on a positive note with Megan and Jake getting married to each other.

The second book of the series opens on Megan’s grandmother’s house being transformed into the Green Lady Inn. Jake  and Megan are on the brink of receiving guests. The guests that arrive, set agong some feisty action, and the foursome formed by Megan, Jake, Zach and Amanda work together to handle the situation to its’ conclusion.

This is a book that silently and wordlessly glorifies the Irish heritage. Megan, the main protagonist bears a close resemblance to her counterparts in books by other Irish authors, e.g. Maeve Binchy and Marian Keyes. This is also reflected in the teamwork of the above mentioned foursome, the characters in Maeve Binchy’s novels hold together against all odds from the outer world, without glorifying needlessly the contribution of any particular member.

In addition to the team efforts by the four main characters in this book, there is another component that stands out. This is Megan’s intuition, the “paranormal component.” It is subliminally intimated that this “gift” is a result of factors related to the Salem witch trials. The very intuitive attunement, for which witches were burnt at the stake, was instrumental in Megan’s having extra sensory insights, even though she is not comfortable with it. However, this time, the product of this ”feeling” is accepted  by others in the team, with respect and gratitude as a precursor of events to come.

This is a fast paced and very riveting book. Perfect to while out with on a lazy summer afternoon or to dispel the monotony of a long plane ride.

Warmly recommended.