Battered by her archeologist lover’s betrayal, poet Maria Pell flees to an Irish village to study prehistoric people and write her next volume of poetry, but her sanctuary is invaded first by her moody cousin and then by her Togolese lover who unexpectedly show up on her doorstep. When the discovery of a girl’s body on a rocky shore reawakens Maria’s devastating childhood memory of finding a dead baby floating in a stream, her days become haunted by this child’s death. As teenage girls disappear, villagers are terrified that sex-traffickers are targeting their community. With crimes to be solved, both past and present, Maria risks her life to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“In the summer of 1988 when I was ten, I found a baby girl caught in the cattails of a stream running through my parents’ property. At first, I thought she was another baby Moses waiting to be discovered in the bulrushes. It was when I knelt to free her from the fronds that I saw her ashen face, her vacant eyes, and knew she was dead. I see it all in slow motion now: I, in a yellow sundress, scrambling to my feet, knowing something was horribly wrong that a baby had been thrown in the creek. I ran toward my house crying, “There’s a dead baby in the creek!”
Praise for Old Sins
“Old Sins is a dynamic, roller coaster ride of plot twists and turns. Set in the backdrop of rural Ireland, novice detective, poet, teacher, psychic Maria Pell uncovers varying secrets kept by the townspeople. This includes murder, kidnapping, sex-trafficking, child neglect, and the list continues. No one is safe, and no one is exempt from being a potential victim or culprit. The atmospheric language and historical indulgences lead the reader on an ominous path to discover the truths behind the titular Old Sins. A truly mesmerizing and moving, mystery thriller that will stump the audience until the secrets are revealed.” – Nikki Oliver
“Old Sins, featuring poet and amateur sleuth Maria Pell, grabs you from the first page and doesn’t let go. Exceptionally well plotted, the book’s mysteries and crimes—both old and new—weave together in intricate and unexpected ways. The author builds a creative cast of characters that will have you guessing as to the real culprits as murder, kidnapping, sex-trafficking and more have the small Irish coastal town on high alert. This setting along with the influence of Celtic myth, archaeology, ancient religions, and Maria’s haunting memories provide a rich backdrop for her sleuthing activities and the danger she faces. A satisfying, well-written mystery you won’t be able to put down!” ~ Valerie Biel, author of the award-winning Circle of Nine series
“Old Sins is another stunning and captivating story from Lynne Handy. An excellent addition to the Maria Pell series. I wouldn’t recommend missing any of the Pell titles. However, Old Sins works as a standalone and fine place to start. Maria, motivated as ever, finds herself doing everything she can to help solve several, unimaginable crimes. Navigating the local police’s reservations and her cousin’s many dispositions throughout, she wrestles with her own principles – but always moving forward. It works on every page. This genre bending tale has elements of mystery, horror, romance and history. The historical aspect unleashed by the Irish town serves as a cornerstone of the book. The quaint Irish locale becomes a fun and comforting setting that you don’t want to leave. Rooted in tradition and bound by a code that serves all morality – protect the children! At times, you start to wonder how you’ll track the multitude of the town’s characters but trusting this author once again, it works all the way through. The elegant prose, in typical Handy fashion, never lets you down. You’ll find yourself reading passages over and over again. The mark of beautiful writing. In the end, the author reaches back to bring generational strife forward into a satisfying and surprising conclusion. You would be wise to make sure your schedule is clear before starting this title. You won’t be able to stop.” ~ Jeff B.
“Author and poet Lynne Handy’s latest novel is a fascinating illustration of how consequences, both intended and unintended, flow from our acts. As the title “Old Sins” hints, the sensational murders and kidnappings being investigated by amateur sleuth Maria Pell in a quaint Irish village may have their roots in deeds perpetrated decades, or even lifetimes ago. Handy weaves ancient tales from early Celtic occupants of the region into a rich backdrop for the modern-day drama that is unfolding. This riveting tale exploits Maria’s six sense, her encyclopedic knowledge of Celtic history, and her estranged lover’s archeological expertise to infuse the story with intriguing cultural and psychological insights to pique the reader’s interest. These devices ultimately allow us to discover not only whodunnit, but why. Once the final page is turned, the reader not only knows why but comprehends why a person could be driven to act in desperate and terrible ways. Readers of this third in the Maria Pell mystery series can look forward to another clever and entertaining installment that is filled with the colorful and relatable characters that are Handy’s hallmark.”