2015-08-07 / Community

Tom Phelan to talk about life in rural Ireland

Tom Phelan will talk about life in rural Ireland in the 1940s and 1950s and read selections from his latest novel, Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told, on Monday, August 10, at 2 p.m., at the Freeport Memorial Library. The Library is located at 55 E. Merrick Rd., Freeport, NY. Phelan is a former employee of the Garden City School District.

Shelf Awareness says “Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told is a masterful portrait of Irish village life disguised as a murder mystery...Phelan finds humor and warmth in every poignant moment.”

Publishers Weekly calls Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told a “witty novel” and notes that the “humor and the plentiful details of the farming lifestyle do much to enrich Phelan’s entertaining murder mystery.”

According to author Phelan, “Although Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told involves a murder mystery, for me the “mystery” is secondary, merely a frame to hang everything else on. The focus is on character and community. The preservation of a small section of rural Ireland in the 1940s and ‘50s is presented through the characters who become involved in the removal of a community cancer.”

Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told is a story about what holds a village together and what keeps people apart. When journalist Patrick Bracken returns to the Irish village where he was born, he knows the eyes of the townspeople are on him. He has come home to investigate two deaths that happened decades earlier, when he was a child, deaths that were ruled accidental. But Patrick knows-and believes the whole town knows-they were murders. He knows because he and his best friend were witnesses.

Born and reared on a small farm in Co. Laois, Ireland, Tom Phelan had just turned fifty when his first novel, In the Season of the Daisies, was accepted for publication. Books Ireland’s reviewer wrote, “The most obvious question posed by a novelistic debut with as much resounding vigour as this is: Where has Mr. Phelan been?”

Since then, Tom has written five more novels, Iscariot, Derrycloney, The Canal Bridge, Nailer, and Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told. He has also written for Newsday, Irish Echo, and other publications. His first novel was selected for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great New Writers series and was a finalist for the Discover award. He is a 2008-2009 fellow of the Christopher Isherwood Foundation and was the Fall 2012 Ireland Fund of Monaco writer-in-residence at the Princess Grace Irish Library. He has been awarded a 2016 residency by Obras Portugal.

Published by Arcade, a division of Skyhorse Publishing, Lies the Mushroom Pickers Told is available in hardcover in bookstores and from amazon.com, as an ebook from amazon, and as an audiobook from www.audible.com.

For additional information, see www.tomphelan.net and www.facebook.com/tomphelannovels.

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