Treasure and Murder in Ireland

Fiction - Mystery - General
294 Pages
Reviewed on 12/19/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Carmen Tenorio for Readers' Favorite

Set during the Irish potato famine, Treasure and Murder in Ireland is Curt Locklear's third novel involving detectives Ebenezer Scrooge and Robert Cratchit. For the owners, partner, and staff of Scrooge and Cratchit, Detectives and Money Lenders, a trip to Ireland is required to solve a baffling triple murder case that may or may not be connected. Accompanying Ebenezer Scrooge and Robert Cratchit is their new junior partner Lockie Holmes, his scientist wife Lucy, their children, and office assistant cum bodyguard and cousin to Lucy, Abigail Jiggins. As they immerse themselves in Irish tradition, mythology, and folklore, the search for a truly priceless treasure, or treasures as it seems, keeps coming up. The trail leading to the backstory of the treasure makes them face characters and situations that are risky, dangerous, and life-threatening. From controlling a wayward hot air balloon to eluding a seductive vampire or confronting a violent cult influenced by the invisible hand of a malevolent nemesis, the team needs all the help they can muster, involving not only Her Majesty’s Metropolitan police but possibly even friends who come from the supernatural realm to untangle this Gordian knot. Will the Scrooge and Cratchit team survive and succeed or should they just give up solving this impossible labyrinthine case?

Curt Locklear is a gifted and creative writer and storyteller. Treasure and Murder in Ireland's well-designed and intriguing plot is thoroughly Dickensian, not only in the gloomy sights of suffering and unfavorable circumstances in the setting and characters but through the humor—like the occasional satirical tone and physical descriptions. The author is prolific in producing ideas, storylines, and character traits. He never fails to work within the standard of deducing and diagnosing a scenario through meticulous observation and detail in an amusing and even entertaining manner as seen in the point of view of his characters like the tightwad Ebenezer Scrooge and the other protagonists. The novel is well-written, interesting, philosophical, and deep. It is engaging, simply delightful, and charming. This cleverly written novel never has a dull moment, and will keep you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommended not only for mystery fans but for those looking for a worthwhile read.

Miche Arendse

Treasure and Murder in Ireland by Curt Locklear follows three protagonists, Scrooge, Cratchit, and their junior partner Sherlock "Lockie" Holmes on a thrilling quest, driven by the tantalizing prospect of discovering hidden treasures, while simultaneously unraveling a mysterious murder. Accompanied by two other talented and accomplished females, the odd band of investigators tries their utmost to solve a series of murders while also dealing with a cult. Locklear's storytelling prowess in Treasure and Murder in Ireland is evident as he skillfully intertwines historical facts with fictional elements, creating a narrative that feels both authentic and imaginative.

One of the novel's strengths lies in Locklear's ability to evoke a strong sense of place. The vivid descriptions of Ireland's picturesque landscapes, ancient castles, and charming villages transport readers to the heart of the Emerald Isle. Meticulous research is evident in the seamless integration of Irish mythology and historical events, enhancing the overall authenticity of the narrative. The pacing is expertly handled, with suspenseful moments keeping readers on the edge of their seats, while quieter moments allow for reflection and appreciation of the cultural and historical aspects woven into the plot. Locklear's prose is both engaging and accessible, making this an enjoyable read for a wide audience. I think any reader would find this book both entertaining and thought-provoking as Locklear hits us with several twists and turns within the plot. Treasure and Murder in Ireland is a delightful and engrossing read that any lover of mystery will easily enjoy.

Grant Leishman

Treasure and Murder in Ireland by Curt Locklear is a wonderfully clever amalgamation of Dickensian and Conan Doyle characters in a well-plotted and crafted adventure that takes the participants to Ireland and Cornwall. Scrooge, Cratchit, and Sherlock “Lockie” Holmes are more than just moneylenders: they are now considered one of the foremost private detective teams in England. When they are hired to travel to Ireland, a land full of superstition, magical creatures, and mysticism, in search of a treasure that will change the world, Scrooge is none too keen, especially given his recent encounters with spirit beings over Christmas. While the ghostly visitations may have tempered his miserly ways a little, he has no desire to meet any further supernatural beings. In Cornwall, a devious lawyer has plans afoot to steal the tin and silver mines belonging to Lucy Holmes and her cousins, not for the mines themselves but rather for a mysterious treasure they believe was buried there some two thousand years earlier. Both these adventures appear to be linked to a mysterious cult that intends to utilize these hidden treasures to achieve untold power in the world. Are three seemingly unrelated murders actually linked to the treasure?

Treasure and Murder in Ireland is unadulterated fun and whimsy. Author Curt Locklear’s concept of taking established characters from Dickens and Doyle and creating new and exciting adventures for them is fan fiction at its very best. A great fan of Dickens, the author seeks to involve readers in more adventures of these characters and to increase their understanding of and identification with Dickens’ works. I particularly appreciated the interlinked plots between the twin searches in Ireland and Cornwall for these treasures that had the potential to change the world. Without a doubt, my favorite character was Ebenezer Scrooge. I loved how despite the change in his miserly ways and attitudes which had come about after the visitation of the Christmas ghosts earlier, he was still laser-focused on cost savings and ensuring not a penny was lost. His fear of all things ghostly or magical was palpable and beautifully crafted. All the characters are instantly recognizable, especially to fans of Dickensian literature, and like all good Victorian melodramas, the villains are quintessentially evil and wonderfully overwritten characters, especially James Moriarty. I also appreciated the extreme antipathy the Irish had for their English overlords who treated the Irish people as less than human at times, especially during the potato famine during which this narrative takes place. The author carries the readers through improbable experiences but does it in such a believable way that readers have little time to question or doubt the existence of faeries, leprechauns, witches, and the many other mystical beings of that mysterious country of Ireland. I loved this book and can highly recommend it.