Wednesday Windback with Caimh McDonnell @Caimh

Today I’m delighted to revisit my Five on Friday interview with Caimh McDonnell which was first posted in September 2018. It’s been brought up to date to reflect Caimh’s latest publications, and my, has he been busy! This keeps my OH very happy as Caimh is one of his (very select group) of favourite authors.

©Caimh McDonnell

Irishman Caimh McDonnell is a former professional stand-up comedian and TV writer who now concentrates all of his energies on writing books. Born in Limerick and raised in Dublin, he has taken the hop across the water and calls Manchester his home.

His TV writing work has seen him work on some of the biggest topical comedy shows on British TV, such as the The Sarah Millican Television Programme, Mock the Week and Have I Got News for You. His work as a children’s TV writer earned him a BAFTA nomination for the CBBC animated series ‘Pet Squad’ which he created.

These days he can be found happily writing his next book in the office in the back garden, with only his dogs and his imagination for company.

His book I Have Sinned was shortlisted for the 2019 Kindle Storyteller Award. Previously, his debut novel A Man With One of Those Faces was nominated for best novel at the 2017 CAP awards.

Over to Caimh:

Which five pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?

Jeff Buckley – Last Goodbye – just a perfect piece of music


Pearl Jam – Evenflow – my first proper rock concert and the band I’ll always go and see play


Public Enemy – Harder Than You Think – No song gets me more energised


Kate Bush – This Woman’s Work – no song gets me more emotional


The Frames – Seven Day Mile – beautiful song and an inspirational band – took control of their own careers when dropped by their record label and went on to win an Oscar!


What five things (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.

Every Terry Pratchett book – my favourite ever author and I still re-read every time I’m feeling poorly

My phone – anyone who says otherwise is lying!

Insoles – My feet basically don’t function without support

My eyemask – I’m a terrible sleeper

The Edinburgh festival

Give five pieces of advice to your younger self?

Don’t worry about being cool – turns out it’s the most over-rated thing ever

Spend less time worrying if you can do something and more time finding out

At some point you’ll be dead – make what happens before then count

Vodka is not your friend

When ‘the one’ turns up you’ll know

Tell us five things that most people don’t know about you

The review of a gig I did a few years ago featured the phrase ‘not even a horrendous fart could derail this gig.’ I was on stage and led a 5 minute long humorous hunt for the culprit. It was me.

I sat beside the second most powerful politician in Ireland in school – the most powerful one’s dad was my GP

I used to clean up vomit for a living

How to pronounce my name

A large chunk of my flat was paid for by writing for a little blue bear with a 92 word vocabulary

Tell us five things you’d still like to do or achieve.

Go to a superbowl

See my beloved London Irish RFC win a big trophy

Skydiving

Actually witness someone realising they’re wrong in a twitter argument

Be the announcer for the Irish national rugby team (I can do it – somebody call me!!)

Caimh’s Books

(NB This post features Affiliate links from which I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases)

The Dublin Trilogy (don’t count them!)

A Man With One of Those Faces (Dublin 1)

The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident. 

The second time was deliberate. 

Now Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history . . . 

. . . or else they’ll be history. 


The Day That Never Comes (Dublin 2)

Remember those people that destroyed the economy and then cruised off on their yachts? Well guess what – someone is killing them.

Dublin is in the middle of a heat wave and tempers are running high. The Celtic Tiger is well and truly dead, activists have taken over the headquarters of a failed bank, the trial of three unscrupulous property developers teeters on the brink of collapse, and in the midst of all this, along comes a mysterious organisation hell-bent on exacting bloody vengeance in the name of the little guy.

Paul Mulchrone doesn’t care about any of this; he has problems of his own. His newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?

When the law and justice no longer mean the same thing, on which side will you stand?


Angels in the Moonlight (Dublin 3)

This book is a standalone prequel to The Dublin Trilogy.

For Detective Bunny McGarry, life is complicated, and it is about to get more so.

It’s 1999 and his hard won reputation amongst Dublin’s criminal fraternity, for being a massive pain in the backside, is unfortunately shared by his bosses. His partner has a career-threatening gambling problem and, oh yeah, Bunny’s finally been given a crack at the big time. He’s set the task of bringing down the most skilled and ruthless armed robbery gang in Irish history. So the last thing he needs in his life is yet another complication.

Her name is Simone. She is smart, funny, talented and, well, complicated. When her shocking past turns up to threaten her and Bunny’s chance at a future, things get very complicated indeed. If the choice is upholding the law or protecting those he loves, which way will the big fella turn?


Last Orders (Dublin 4)

As a wise man once said, just because you’re done with the past, doesn’t mean the past is done with you.

Paul can’t let an incident from his past go. When he finds out a rival detective agency played a key role in it, he drags MCM Investigations into a blood feud that they can’t hope to win. Soon they’re faced with the prospect of the company going out of business and Brigit going out of her damn mind.

When long-buried bodies are discovered in the Wicklow Mountains, Bunny’s past starts closing in on him too. Who can he trust when he can’t even trust himself? When he finds himself with nowhere left to run and nobody he can turn to, will the big fella make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the ones he loves?

When all that’s left is the fall, the fall is everything. And even the mighty fall.


Dead Man’s Sins (Dublin 5)

How far would you go to protect a dead man?

It’s the year 2000 in Dublin and, following some traumatic events, Detective Bunny McGarry is taking a well-earned break from the force. However, just because you’re not looking for trouble doesn’t mean trouble isn’t looking for you.

Bunny’s former partner died in the line of duty under dubious circumstances but his murky background has suddenly resurfaced, threatening Bunny’s reputation as well. As if that isn’t enough, a young boy is in danger and a woman from the big fella’s past is trapped in a loveless marriage to a monster. They both need Bunny’s help, but he must get to work fast – it seems someone is trying to frame him for murder …


Firewater Blues (Dublin 6)

Be careful who you love …

It’s the year 2000 and while Bunny McGarry is theoretically on sabbatical from the police, he just can’t help sticking his nose in where it doesn’t belong.

Rosie Flint is an old acquaintance of Bunny’s whose boyfriend mysteriously disappears off the face of the Earth. What starts out as a simple missing person’s case soon gets a whole lot more complicated when it emerges that the boyfriend is not who he claimed to be and there are some rather sinister people showing an unhealthy interest in Rosie.

Bunny is only trying to help a friend but it’s just a matter of time before he finds himself at loggerheads with his colleagues on the force, having to reassess some events from his past and unwittingly involved in a major political coup.

He won’t be able to do this alone, so it is a good job he can call upon a certain band of kick-ass nuns to do what they do best. And he might even find a use for a twelve-year-old boy who is desperate to escape from an Irish language summer school.


The Dublin Trilogy Deluxe Part 1

contains

A Man With One of Those Faces (The Dublin Trilogy Book 1): The first time somebody tried to kill him was an accident; the second time was deliberate. Now, Paul Mulchrone finds himself on the run with nobody to turn to except a nurse who has read one-too-many crime novels and a renegade copper with a penchant for violence. Together they must solve one of the most notorious crimes in Irish history before they’re history.

Bloody Christmas (Novella): It’s Christmas Eve and DS Bunny McGarry is in the mood to celebrate – he’s back on duty after proving that throwing a senior officer off a building was an appropriate action during an investigation. His festivities are interrupted when someone attempts to assassinate him while he’s taking a leak. Bunny soon finds himself in a race against time to trace a kidnapped child before the people who ordered the hit realise that he is less dead than they had hoped.

Dog Day Afternoon(Short Story): Bunny McGarry always pays his debts, and if that means saving a certain dog from a date with the grim reaper, then so be it. Getting a canine off death row is not as simple as you’d think though, particularly when the pooch in question is a couple of biscuits short of a full dog’s dinner.

The Day That Never Comes (The Dublin Trilogy Book 2): Paul Mulchrone’s newly established detective agency is about to be DOA. One of his partners won’t talk to him for very good reasons and the other has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth for no reason at all. Can he hold it together long enough to figure out what Bunny McGarry’s colourful past has to do with his present absence?


The Dublin Trilogy Deluxe Part 2

contains:

Angels in The Moonlight (The Dublin Trilogy Book 3): For Detective Bunny McGarry, life is complicated, and it is about to get more so. He’s set the task of bringing down the most skilled and ruthless armed robbery gang in Irish history. So, the last thing he needs in his life is yet another complication. Her name is Simone. She is smart, funny, talented and, well, complicated.

Sisters Gonna Work it Out (Novella): Annoying a drug baron is usually a very bad idea but it is just another day at work for The Sisters of the Saint. An ex-communicated order of kick-ass nuns, they take no prisoners, but they might just free a few.

How to Send a Message (Short Story): Bunny McGarry is the kind of man who is inclined to take it personally when someone tries to threaten his life. Two gangland thugs find out to their cost that if you’re going up against the meanest copper in Dublin, you’d better be prepared for a truly unforgettable experience.

Last Orders (The Dublin Trilogy Book 4): As a wise man once said, just because you’re done with the past, doesn’t mean the past is done with you. When long-buried bodies are discovered in the Wicklow Mountains, Bunny’s past starts closing in on him. Who can he trust when he can’t even trust himself? When he’s got nowhere left to run and nobody he can turn to, will the big fella make the ultimate sacrifice to protect the ones he loves?


McGarry Stateside series

Disaster Inc (Stateside 1)

Some people will stop at nothing to make a killing.

You know how they’re always telling us to pay attention to our pensions? Well, some ex-employees of the US government are really taking that advice to heart by using their mayhem-creating abilities to maximise their investments. When one of their fund managers has a momentary crisis of conscience and confesses all to a woman he hardly knows, they will stop at nothing to deal with the problem.  

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and without his help, the odds aren’t great that she will live to see another breakfast. 

Amy Daniels is in big trouble and the only thing keeping her alive is a man who is supposed to be dead.


I Have Sinned (Stateside 2)

I Have Sinned has been nominated for the prestigious Kindle Storyteller Award 2019

Bunny McGarry is a man on a mission. He left behind his life in Ireland to go to New York to find the woman he loves, who happens to have a lot of very dangerous people looking for her. The good news is that they don’t know where she is, the bad news is that Bunny doesn’t either and the only people that do are a rogue order of nuns called The Sisters of the Saint who have raised not being found to the level of art form.

Bunny’s one clue is a priest he thinks might know something, but Father Gabriel de Marcos isn’t willing to play ball. The padre runs a boxing club at the bad end of the Bronx, battling to keep kids out of gangs – noble, thankless work. Thing is, saints don’t typically have assassins sent after them. What sins are hidden in this priest’s mysterious past? Bunny has no choice but to save Gabriel from the demons that are on his tail. He has to manage all this while living under the rules that chill him to the very bone. No drinking. No swearing. No violence.


The Quiet Man (Stateside 3)

Getting into prison is easy, it’s getting out that’s tricky.

Almost everyone in prison will tell you they’re in there for a crime they didn’t commit, but Anthony Rourke really means it. That’s because he’s actually Bunny McGarry, who has got himself into one of Nevada’s finest penitentiaries under false pretences. He is there to bust someone else out.   

The Sisters of the Saint, no ordinary bunch of nuns, find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place when two of their order are taken hostage. The only way to ensure their safe return is to trade them for the mysterious man who is now Bunny’s cellmate. Rumours abound as to who this man really is, but seeing as nobody is allowed to communicate with him in any way, figuring that out will be tricky.

The last thing the situation needs is further complications, but when Sister Dionne comes into contact with an UFO cult, she recognises it as a massive con job. The reason she is so sure is because the whole thing was her idea in the first place – and now she is determined to put an end to it.

The clock is ticking, the prison authorities are suspicious, and lying low has never been a McGarry strong suit. Can Bunny and the Sisters pull off an audacious prison break against near impossible odds? It’s The Shawshank Redemption meets Ocean’s Eleven.


McGarry Stateside Deluxe

Bunny McGarry is a man on a mission. Join Ireland’s answer to a question no one asked as he takes on America in an effort to find the woman he loves and a decent cup of tea.

This digital boxset contains the first three books of the McGarry Stateside series, plus the bonus novella Good Deeds and Bad Intentions. The series has been a critically acclaimed worldwide Amazon bestseller and it is optioned for TV.

Disaster Inc (McGarry Stateside: Book One)

All Bunny McGarry wants is a spot of breakfast and a decent cup of tea. So imagine how annoyed he gets when two masked men attempt to rob the New York diner he is in? Unfortunately, dealing with that problem just leads to a whole lot more. One of the other customers isn’t who she appears to be, and without his help, the odds aren’t great that she will live to see another breakfast.

I Have Sinned (McGarry Stateside: Book Two)

Bunny’s only lead in finding the woman he loves is a priest who has no intention of helping him. However, when it emerges that the padre has a dark past and people who want to make sure he has no future, the two men decide that they might just need the other’s help if they are to protect what they each hold most dear.

The Quiet Man (McGarry Stateside: Book Three)

Getting into prison is easy, it’s getting out that’s tricky.

Almost everyone in prison will tell you they’re in there for a crime they didn’t commit, but Anthony Rourke really means it. That’s because he’s actually Bunny McGarry, who has got himself into one of Nevada’s finest penitentiaries under false pretences. He is there to bust someone else out. In order to do so he has to deal with corrupt prison officials, a UFO cult and someone from his own past who has a score to settle.

Good Deeds and Bad Intentions (Novella)

It’s the night before Christmas and Bunny McGarry is hard at work. Helena Martinez is trying to make a new life but her scumbag ex-husband has other ideas. When she is approached by a mysterious woman with an offer of help, she has to choose between running again or trusting a ragtag bunch of strangers to deal with her problem once and for all.


Standalones

The Final Game

Dorothy Graham is dead, which is inconvenient, not least for her. Luckily, she has planned for this eventuality. Now, if any of the truly dreadful people she is related to want to get their hands on her money, they’re going to have to do so via a fiendish difficult and frankly bizarre competition of Dorothy’s devising. After all, just because you’re dead, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a last laugh at the expense of people who made your life miserable.

Paul Mulchrone, to his unending credit, is neither related to Dorothy or happy that she is dead; What he is however is a contestant in this competition whether he likes it or not, which he definitely doesn’t. He and his off-again on-again girlfriend, the formidable Brigit, are supposed to be running MCM Investigations, a detective agency. Instead, they have to go into battle against Dorothy’s bloodsucking relatives. As if that wasn’t enough, they get hired by the aforementioned dead woman to find out who killed her.

DI Jimmy Stewart is enjoying his retirement – in the sense that he definitely isn’t. He is bored out of his mind. When the offer comes to get back into the crime solving business, it is too good to turn down. But when he finds himself teamed up with the nephew of a man he threw in prison, and a flatulent dog, he starts to think that taking up lawn bowls wouldn’t be such a bad idea after all. 


Welcome to Nowhere

A little revenge never hurt anybody…

When a gambling debt puts him between a rock and a swim in the Hudson with concrete shoes, Smithy has no choice but to take the worst job imaginable. The gig – as prey in leprechaun hunt for a bunch of Wallstreet jerks –  goes as badly as it sounds. He could leave it there and write it off as a harsh lesson learned, but fourteen months later when Smithy comes up with a plan to take his revenge on the man behind it all, it is too good to resist.

What is it they say about best-laid plans? Instead of teaching his nemesis, Louis, a valuable lesson, Smithy ends up saving him from an assassin. From there, Smith and his friend Diller are dragged into his opponent’s messed-up world. Louis is part of ‘the Collectors’ a group with way more money than sense dedicated to the competitive acquisition of truly one-of-a-kind items that define the secret history of the world.

When one of the group’s members loses his marbles, Smithy and Diller find themselves shanghaied to Nowhere. A well-named location in the middle of the desert, where a madman is trying to build an army from the worst of mankind.


Writing as C K McDonnell

The Stranger Times (Stranger Times 1)

There are dark forces at work in our world (and in Manchester in particular), so thank God The Stranger Times is on hand to report them . . .

A weekly newspaper dedicated to the weird and the wonderful (but mostly the weird), it is the go-to publication for the unexplained and inexplicable.

At least that’s their pitch. The reality is rather less auspicious. Their editor is a drunken, foul-tempered and foul-mouthed husk of a man who thinks little of the publication he edits. His staff are a ragtag group of misfits. And as for the assistant editor . . . well, that job is a revolving door – and it has just revolved to reveal Hannah Willis, who’s got problems of her own.

When tragedy strikes in her first week on the job The Stranger Times is forced to do some serious investigating. What they discover leads to a shocking realisation: some of the stories they’d previously dismissed as nonsense are in fact terrifyingly real. Soon they come face-to-face with darker forces than they could ever have imagined.


This Charming Man (Stranger Times 2)

Vampires do not exist. Everyone knows this. So it’s particularly annoying when they start popping up around Manchester . . .

Nobody is pleased about it. Not the Founders, the secret organisation for whom vampires were invented as an allegory, nor the Folk, the magical people hidden in plain sight who only want a quiet life. And definitely not the people of Manchester, because there is nothing more irksome than being murdered by an allegory run amok. Somebody needs to sort this out fast before all Hell really breaks loose – step forward the staff of The Stranger Times.

It’s not like they don’t have enough to be dealing with. Assistant Editor Hannah has come back from getting messily divorced to discover that someone is trying to kidnap a member of their staff and while editor Vincent Banecroft would be delighted to see the back of any of his team, he doesn’t like people touching his stuff – it’s the principle of the thing.

Throw in a precarious plumbing situation, gambling debts, an entirely new way of swearing, and a certain detective inspector with what could be kindly referred to as ‘a lot of baggage’ and it all adds up to another hectic week in the life of the newspaper committed to reporting the truth that nobody else will touch.


2 comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.