Smorgasbord Posts from My Archives – Past Book Reviews 2020 – #Family #Drama A Sweet Smell of Strawberries by Mary Crowley

I have read some amazing books in the last 12 months and I would like to share them again with you, updated with the authors most recent releases and their biography.

We all tend to focus on the books we are currently marketing, but particularly in the case of series it is a good idea to promote earlier books to encourage readers to start at the beginning.

Today I am featuring my review from January 2020 for Mary Crowley and A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, her first novel, which is a wonderful read, set on the west coast of Ireland.

About the book

Imagine, a warm summer’s morning with the Sweet Smell of Strawberries wafting through the air, tantalising your senses….

For Sarah Connolly, this invokes beautiful memories of her son Jack. A talented athlete destined to represent Ireland in the Olympics and loved by everyone who knew him. While out training early one morning, the sixteen-year-old was killed when Desmond Shanahan lost control of his car. Jack’s death crushing Sarah, as her only child, he was the very essence of her life.

Losing a child in tragic circumstances, leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, a sense of unjust…..

Now, five years after the tragedy, Desmond’s early release from prison leaves Sarah feeling let down by the justice system and she makes sure he knows this. Even if it means losing friends in her quest to remind the close community of Kilmer Cove, of Desmond’s guilt. What Sarah fails to realise is nothing will bring back her son.

However, Sarah is not alone in her angst over Desmond’s release, and a web of lies soon becomes untangled over the events which lead to Jack Connolly’s death.

Can Sarah find it in her heart to forgive Desmond?

A Sweet Smell of Strawberries takes in a beautiful Irish setting along the coastline of Donegal and The Wild Altlantic way. A story of love, heartache and retribution which makes you realise no one is perfect!

My review for the book 25th January 2020

Wow, if this is a debut novel then we can only look forward to other books by this author to come. In fact I already have her next book lined up to be read soon.

Apart from being set in one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland on the dramatic coast of Donegal, the characters and the intertwined plots are both dramatic and well plotted.

One of the problems of living in a small community is that everybody is into your business. Tough to keep secrets, even when they are well intentioned. The family at the heart of the story is close knit, apart from one sister who is harbouring deep resentments, which threatens to impact their lives. Hard working and creatively the Connollys are adapting and developing ways to keep their father’s land and legacy thriving, but underlying this is the grief and anger over the loss of Jack, Sarah’s son.

Other players in the drama are connected back to this loss and as the story evolves betrayals, secrets and violence behind locked doors culminate in shocking discoveries.

I can recommend A Sweet Smell of Strawberries as a family drama and mystery that engages you from the first pages to the end. Well crafted characters and plot and an excellent read.

Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon UK – And: Amazon US

Also by Mary Crowley


Read the reviews and buy the booksAmazon UK – And on : Amazon US – Follow Mary : Goodreads – Blog/Website: Mary Crowley WordPress – Twitter: @marycrowleym

About Mary Crowley

Mary Crowley is a Contemporary Irish Literature Novelist and Freelance Writer. Author of Under a Dark Cloud and A Sweet Smell of Strawberries, she is also the winner of The Waterford Writers’ Weekend Short Story Competition (2016) with her story entitled The Three Sisters’. Mary’s work focusses on strong emotional relationships, adding humour, hope and most of all heart.

Mary lives in County Waterford, on the South East Coast of Ireland, with her husband and three children. Having worked for many years as a qualified dental nurse, and dental health educator whilst bringing up her family. She is now concentrating on her love of writing. She has had stories published in, one of which was inspired by her literary heroine Maeve Binchy. Several short fiction pieces published in Flash Fiction Magazine, along with articles in Woman’s Way, the Irish Times and local newspaper The Munster Express. Having studied courses in creative writing and journalism, she is currently working on several writing projects along with doing freelance writing.

When she is not writing, she loves reading and spending time with her husband John and their three children Damon, Steven and Katie, though they are growing up too quickly. Her most favoured way of family time is travelling to new and interesting places in her beloved VW Camper.


Thanks for dropping in today and I hope you have enjoyed my review for Mary’s book and will head over to discover more about her.. thanks Sally.

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