Category Archives: Sarah Stewart Taylor

Review: A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Title: A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor
Maggie D’arcy Mysteries Book Two
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Length: 426 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


In the follow up to the critically acclaimed The Mountains Wild, Detective Maggie D’arcy tackles another intricate case that bridges Long Island and Ireland in A Distant Grave.

Long Island homicide detective Maggie D’arcy and her teenage daughter, Lilly, are still recovering from the events of last fall when a strange new case demands Maggie’s attention. The body of an unidentified Irish national turns up in a wealthy Long Island beach community and with little to go on but the scars on his back, Maggie once again teams up with Garda detectives in Ireland to find out who the man was and what he was doing on Long Island. The strands of the mystery take Maggie to a quiet village in rural County Clare that’s full of secrets and introduce her to the world of humanitarian aid workers half a world away. And as she gets closer to the truth about the murder, what she learns leads her back to her home turf and into range of a dangerous and determined killer who will do anything to keep the victim’s story hidden forever.

With the lyrical prose, deeply drawn characters, and atmospheric setting that put The Mountains Wild on multiple best of the year lists, Sarah Stewart Taylor delivers another gripping mystery novel about family, survival, and the meaning of home.


A Distant Grave by Sarah Stewart Taylor is an intriguing mystery which takes place in Long Island, NY and Ireland. This second release in the Maggie D’arcy Mysteries series can be read as a standalone.

Detective Maggie D’arcy is looking forward to a trip to Ireland with her daughter Lilly. She is eager to reunite with her Irish boyfriend Conor Kearney and introduce Lilly to his son Adrien. However, not long before she leaves, Maggie and her partner Detective Dave Milch are assigned to the murder of an unidentified man at the South Bay Harbor. Maggie and Dave track him to a hotel in the vicinity and learn his name is Gabriel Treacy. With his phone and laptop missing, they have no idea why he is in NY or why he was murdered. Although they are making incremental progress, her boss, Marty Cascic gives her the go ahead for her trip.  Much to Conor’s dismay, his reunion with Maggie turns into a working vacation as she tracks down information about Gabriel. Maggie is soon embroiled in another murder when Treacy’s solicitor Noel Thomason is killed during a break-in. Is there a connection between the two deaths?

Maggie and Lilly are extremely close but her daughter has been withdrawn ever since her ex-husband’s suicide. Hoping the Ireland trip will help Lilly, Maggie is relieved when Marty allows her to take her vacation as planned.  She is hoping Conor will understand when she spends some of her time investigating Gabriel and Noel’s murders. Maggie uncovers some valuable information along with some puzzling details that she is certain might be instrumental in solving both killings. In the meantime, Lilly, Conor and Adrien are connecting with one another and Maggie is thrilled to see her daughter laughing and smiling again. But her vacation comes to an abrupt end when D.A. Jay Cooney demands she return to Long Island to resume working on the case.

Maggie and Dave’s search the killer is a bit slow moving as they continue tracking down leads and trying to locate  people that are linked to Gabriel. They also do some under the radar sleuthing based on information that Maggie uncovered in Ireland. She is a little unnerved by the feeling that someone is watching her. With the killer always one step ahead of them, will Maggie and Dave find the murderer before it is too late?

A Distant Grave is an exciting police procedural with a marvelous cast of characters. Maggie is extremely intelligent with excellent people skills and keen instincts that prove to be invaluable throughout the investigation.  The storyline is engaging and quite clever.  The various settings spring vividly to life which makes them very easy to visualize.  With incredible plot twists, Sarah Stewart Taylor brings this brilliant mystery to an edge-of-the-seat conclusion. Old and new fans are to enjoy this newest addition to the Maggie D’arcy Mysteries series.

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Filed under A Distant Grave, Contemporary, Maggie D'arcy Mysteries, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Sarah Stewart Taylor

Review: The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor

Title: The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 416 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


In a series debut for fans of Tana French and Kate Atkinson, set in Dublin and New York, homicide detective Maggie D’arcy finally tackles the case that changed the course of her life.

Twenty-three years ago, Maggie D’arcy’s family received a call from the Dublin police. Her cousin Erin has been missing for several days. Maggie herself spent weeks in Ireland, trying to track Erin’s movements, working beside the police. But it was to no avail: no trace of her was ever found.

The experience inspired Maggie to become a cop. Now, back on Long Island, more than 20 years have passed. Maggie is a detective and a divorced mother of a teenager. When the Gardaí call to say that Erin’s scarf has been found and another young woman has gone missing, Maggie returns to Ireland, awakening all the complicated feelings from the first trip. The despair and frustration of not knowing what happened to Erin. Her attraction to Erin’s coworker, now a professor, who never fully explained their relationship. And her determination to solve the case, once and for all.

A lyrical, deeply drawn portrait of a woman – and a country – over two decades – The Mountains Wild introduces a compelling new mystery series from a mesmerizing author.


Taking place in Dublin, The Mountains Wild by Sarah Stewart Taylor is an intriguing, atmospheric mystery.

In the present, Long Islander Maggie D’arcy is a divorced homicide detective with a teenage daughter. She gets along with her ex-husband Brian and she is also close to her Uncle Danny who is still grieving the unsolved disappearance of her cousin Erin who disappeared in Ireland in 1993.  When a scarf that is presumed to be Erin’s is discovered while the Gardaí are searching for another missing woman, Niamh Horrigan, Maggie travels to Dublin in hopes of uncovering the truth about what happened to Erin. With heavy media scrutiny,  Detective Inspector Roland “Roly” Byrne asks Maggie to quietly help him look into Erin’s disappearance and the unsolved murders of several other woman spanning over two decades. Is it possible that a serial killer has flown under the radar and both Erin and Niamh are victims along with the other women? Will Maggie and Uncle Danny finally learn the truth about what happened to Erin?

A series of flashbacks provide an in-depth look into Maggie’s relationship with Erin. The two are quite close until the year older Erin transitions into middle school. Although she still spends time at Maggie’s house, Erin’s circle of friends changes and her behavior turns rebellious. With the relationship rapidly deteriorating,  Erin finally makes the decision to move to Dublin. After her cousin vanishes in 1993, Maggie goes to Dublin with high hopes of finding Erin. After making a stunning discovery, Maggie’s hopes are dashed when the investigation goes cold.

In present day Dublin, Maggie is happy to work with Roly but she is only allowed limited access to the case. She revisits many of the people she talked to in 1993 and she is thrilled to reconnect with Conor Kearney. She has never quite gotten over her feelings for him, but she soon worries he knows more about Erin’s disappearance than he has previously revealed.  With time running out to find Niamh alive, Maggie and Roly team up to re-interview persons of interest from Erin’s disappearance.  Will they find out what happened to Erin? And will they locate Niamh before it is too late?

The Mountains Wild is a clever mystery with an interesting storyline and multi-faceted characters. The pacing is sometimes a little slow with the majority of action taking place very late in the story. With shocking plot twists, Sarah Stewart Taylor brings this absorbing mystery to a breathtaking, stunning conclusion. Definitely recommend to fans of the genre.

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Filed under Contemporary, Minotaur Books, Mystery, Rated B, Review, Sarah Stewart Taylor, Suspense, The Mountains Wild