Book Review: False Mermaid – Erin Hart

Title: False Mermaid
Author: Erin Hart
ISBN: 9781416563761
Pages: 336
Release Date: March 2, 2010
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Mystery
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5

Summary:

Nora Gavin is returning home to Mississippi for the first time in three years.  After the death of her beloved sister, Triona, she fled to Ireland, unable to cope with the knowledge that her brother-in-law had killed her sister, yet there was no evidence to convict him.  Now, Nora is determined to set things right and solve the mystery of her sister’s murder. 

Review:

When I first heard the premise of False Mermaid, I was immediately intrigued.  A murder mystery, with Irish mythology weaved into the storyline?  I was completely sold from just the publisher’s summary.

Hart does an excellent job creating an atmospheric mystery in False Mermaid.  Even though the main story isn’t set in Ireland, the aura of the Irish countryside permeates the novel.  The addition of Irish mythology (specifically, the story of the selkie) really adds to the mysterious nature of the novel, making it a haunting read. 

There are two mysteries within False Mermaid, though I enjoyed Nora’s search for her sister’s murderer the most.  Admittedly, there were some convenient coincidences, but on the whole, the mystery was well-written, engaging, and made the novel difficult to put down.

I didn’t realize that False Mermaid is actually the third in a series of novels about Nora and her Irish lover Cormac.  It works very well as a standalone; I wasn’t cognizant of the fact I was missing something while I was reading the book.  It was only afterwards, when I was looking information up for my review, that I realized I had missed the previous two books.  While I don’t like reading series books out of order, this one was well-written enough to where I didn’t even notice anything amiss.  Still, I’ll be going back and reading the first two since I enjoyed False Mermaid!

False Mermaid is one of those novels that is just fun to read.  There’s a gripping murder mystery, but the addition of the Irish mythology and its atmospheric quality take it a step up and inject a literary quality into it.  I highly recommend this book for anyone who’s a fan of literary mysteries.

Comments

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  3. I had to remove my earlier comment – to many errors in spelling – note to self “must not comment before seven am and without my coffee” 🙂
    This author is new to me and I will have to put this series on my to be read list. Thanks for the review. I really enjoy your blog.

  4. I had to remove my earlier comment – to many errors in spelling – note to self “must not comment before seven am and without my coffee” 🙂
    This author is new to me and I will have to put this series on my to be read list. Thanks for the review. I really enjoy your blog.

  5. I’m glad you liked this one. I tried to read the first one in the series, the Haunting Ground, but I just couldn’t get into it. I usually love this kind of thing. I even wrote a blog post about it, because I didn’t finish it and I always have guilt when I do that!

  6. I’m glad you liked this one. I tried to read the first one in the series, the Haunting Ground, but I just couldn’t get into it. I usually love this kind of thing. I even wrote a blog post about it, because I didn’t finish it and I always have guilt when I do that!

  7. I’m glad you enjoyed False Mermaid. I read Haunted Ground, the first book in this series earlier this year. While it was a slow read for me, I did enjoy the Irish mythology included and I’m anxious to read about Nora’s investigation of her sister’s murder. Haunted Ground sets up the characters and introduces the relationship between Nora and Cormac.

  8. I’m glad you enjoyed False Mermaid. I read Haunted Ground, the first book in this series earlier this year. While it was a slow read for me, I did enjoy the Irish mythology included and I’m anxious to read about Nora’s investigation of her sister’s murder. Haunted Ground sets up the characters and introduces the relationship between Nora and Cormac.

  9. I bet this is fun! I know next to nothing about Irish mythology, so I’d probably learn a lot while I read it.

  10. I bet this is fun! I know next to nothing about Irish mythology, so I’d probably learn a lot while I read it.

  11. I’ve been waiting for your review of this 😉 I have the second in the series (Lake of Sorrows) out from the library right now and will be reading it soon. I loved Haunted Ground and I’m happy to see you liked this one.

    Atmospheric is a good description of her writing. I thought Haunted Ground was just a rich piece of writing. Hope you like it too when you get a chance to read it.

  12. I’ve been waiting for your review of this 😉 I have the second in the series (Lake of Sorrows) out from the library right now and will be reading it soon. I loved Haunted Ground and I’m happy to see you liked this one.

    Atmospheric is a good description of her writing. I thought Haunted Ground was just a rich piece of writing. Hope you like it too when you get a chance to read it.

  13. I hadn’t yet heard of this book or series, but it sounds very good. I really like the fact that it uses Irish mythology in the plot line. Great review! I am really glad you liked the book and weren’t at all hampered by the fact that you picked it up mid-series!

  14. I hadn’t yet heard of this book or series, but it sounds very good. I really like the fact that it uses Irish mythology in the plot line. Great review! I am really glad you liked the book and weren’t at all hampered by the fact that you picked it up mid-series!

  15. I’m not familiar with this author but the series sounds great.

  16. I’m not familiar with this author but the series sounds great.

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