On Thursday I saw the sad news that Sheila Connolly passed away on Monday at her beloved Ireland cottage. I never met Sheila in person but she guest posted several times on this blog and we communicated through email and Facebook messages. She was always so generous and kind and willing to share her time with me. She had moved to Ireland in September and I really enjoyed her posts about her new life there. It breaks my heart that she had such a short time at her cottage.
Sheila was born in Rochester, New York, and since then had lived in Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, California, Massachusetts, and Ireland. In 1972 she graduated with honors from Wellesley College, then earned a Ph.D. in Fine Arts from Harvard University. When art history jobs proved elusive, she obtained an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. She had worked as an art historian, a municipal financial advisor for U.S. cities and states, a non-profit fundraiser for institutions and two statewide political campaigns, and a professional genealogist. She has included elements of all of these in her mysteries.
I loved her mysteries. The Orchard Mysteries are my favorites, but having a little Irish blood myself, the Cork County Mysteries are a close second. You truly couldn’t go wrong with anything she had written and I am sure she left this earth with many more book ideas waiting to be shared with us. She poured love into her characters and enveloped them in intriguing mysteries that brought me and all her readers several hours of enjoyment. She has left behind a true legacy of literary work the will be enjoyed by readers for many years to come.
I extend my sympathy to her family and friends. She was a treasure that will be missed.
Rest in Peace, Sheila. You have toiled hard and earned your rest.
May The Road Rise Up To Meet You
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.
If you have not had the pleasure of reading Sheila’s books, this is a fine day to start.