The Inspiration of Ireland

Today I'm delighted to welcome Martha Geaney to my blog. She's the author of  Death on Clare Island  and she's promised to let me know more about the time, place and characters of her novel. So pour yourself a coffee, pull up a chair, and find out the answers.

Time, Place and Character 

by Martha Geaney

A reader asked how I decided upon my amateur sleuth character, Star O’Brien. She’s the protagonist in my Star O’Brien mystery series. Although Star is an American, the series is set in Ireland. I wrote the character because I enjoy reading mysteries with a strong female lead character. And because there weren’t enough of them.
I’ve always loved reading mysteries. My favorite authors include Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, Sue Grafton, Carol O’Connell, and Deborah Crombie. Harriet Vane, Kinsey Millhone, and Kathy Mallory were major influences. Star is a complex individual. There’s been losses in her life. These experiences left her vulnerable but she doesn’t show it. She is feisty and fiercely independent. And, determined not to open herself to any more emotional wounds.
Her mother disappeared in New York City when Star was six years old. She’s never believed the police when they said her mother abandoned her. Her life’s work focuses upon finding her mother. When she inherits a cottage in Ireland, she sees this as an opportunity to search for her mother. Because of her experience, Star is always for the lost, the dead, and the missing. This is always her primary motivation.
Many of the scenes in Death on Clare Island are set on Clare Island. The story begins with Star at the Clare Island Lighthouse bed and breakfast. She remembers her mother received a letter from the island when Star was a child.
I’ve spent many magical days on Clare Island in the summer. The beauty and potential remoteness of the island captivated me. I just knew that Star’s story had to start here at the lighthouse, poised majestically above the vast Atlantic Ocean.
The first time I visited the island I purchased a guide map. It outlines the historical landmarks and hiking paths around the island. I still have that map. One of the things I’m working on right now is to upload copies of the map to my web site. Readers might enjoy the opportunity to download a copy and use the map to follow along as they read the book. Let me know what you think! Follow and contact me on Facebook or on my web site:

I love your website Martha! (And I love dogs!) I'll look forward to finding that map. Thank you for visiting here, and good luck with the book. I hope you get many more great reviews!


MARTHA M. GEANEY is the author of the highly praised non-fiction, women’s leadership book, Bring Your Spirit to Work: One Woman at a Time. She is also the author of the Star O’Brien fiction series which is set in the west of Ireland and the United States.

Martha was born in New York City but lived in New Jersey beginning at the age of eight. In 2017, Martha and her partner, Bill, moved to Florida where she enjoys cooking, reading, swimming, and her Schipperke puppy, Turlough.

Before turning to indie writing, Martha was a teacher, management consultant, university professor, and the dean of a business college. It was her leadership experience as a management consultant and her doctoral research that prompted Martha to write a self-help book for women who aspire to leadership roles.

Martha’s passion for Ireland began when she made her first trip, at the age of four, to County Mayo, birthplace of her mother, and to County Cork, birthplace of her father. She returned to Ireland again at the age of sixteen to attend a boarding school, for two years,  in Castlebar, County Mayo. Since then, Martha has visited her cousins and friends in Ireland for more than thirty-five years. It is her love for the people, the country, and all its beauty that inspired her to create a mystery and suspense series, set in Ireland, about an amateur detective, Star O’Brien, who is an American.

Martha is currently working on her second Star O’Brien novel.


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