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Catalog Archive / Spring 2019

The Dead of Achill Island
A Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler Mystery

“A compelling novel that should please fans of the series and attract a new legion of readers, really anyone who enjoys a charming, classical mystery novel well told with a droll wit, compulsive readability, intelligence, and charm. Nora and Toby’s banter is delightful. I’d love to have this couple as friends!”
—Michael Norman, author of Haunted Heartland

Art historian Nora Barnes and her husband, Toby Sandler, are visiting the west of Ireland for a family reunion. During a morning walk through a deserted village on Achill Island, Nora stumbles upon a body—her notorious uncle Bert. When a clue singles out her mother as the likely suspect, Nora and Toby are on the case to clear her name.

Whether in a barroom brawl or the sauna of a swingers’ club, Toby has Nora’s back. As they search, the dead of Achill seem to speak from graveyards, ruined churches, and megalithic tombs. A second murder makes it all the more difficult to connect the dots. And when Nora and Toby become the next targets, their own survival is at stake.


portrait of authors Michael Hinden and Betsy Draine Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden are coauthors of Murder in Lascaux, The Body in Bodega Bay, and Death on a Starry Night, the first three mystery novels featuring Nora Barnes and Toby Sandler. They also coauthored the memoir A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France and translated The Walnut Cookbook by Jean-Luc Toussaint. They are professors emeriti of English at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.




“A deftly crafted novel by two erudite masters of the genre.”
Midwest Book Review

“Captivating mystery. . . . Into this murderous mix, the authors weave morbid (and relevant) details of the Achill prophecy.”

“Draine and Hinden give readers a cast of relatable characters and an engrossing mystery, all nicely wrapped in an Irish travelogue.”
Publishers Weekly

“A solid mystery, a story that demonstrates understanding of and compassion for the complexities of family ties, a lesson in Irish art and culture, and a very readable and fascinating history of the travails that plagued the ancient residents of this lonely landscape.”
—Patricia Skalka, author of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mystery series

“A mystery lover’s treat from beginning to end. As with everything from the Draine and Hinden team, the plot is pleasingly twisty, the resolution is satisfying, and the pages are filled with tidbits of history, geography, culture, and cuisine, all of it delivered painlessly and interestingly, and—most important—without getting in the way of the story”
—Aaron Elkins



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Also by Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden

Book cover showing dove flying in front of cave painting of a bovine below the title. Above the title is a chateu on a hill

Murder in Lascaux

book cover with a painting of an angel above the title. Below the title a sail boat sinks into a body of water as large birds circle

The Body in Bodega Bay

book cover showing medival city scape under a clear night sky with costellations superimposed over the stars

Death on a Starry Night

book cover showing graveyard with crosses overlooking body of water

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May 2019
LC: 2018045767 PS
216 pp. 5.5 x 8.5

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Casebound $24.95
ISBN 9780299323806
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