Wed, Nov

Arthur Cola's Latest Novel, Murder in Mellifont, an Irish Mystery

Arthur Cola was born in Chicago in the “little Italy” neighborhood of the near west side of the city. His family moved to Oak Park, IL where he attended Oak Park-River Forest High School. While attending Loyola University, Chicago, he met his future wife, Donna Shields. Together they have five now grown children and four grandchildren. He, his wife and family now live in Wisconsin.

He has been an educator for 35 years. During that time he was a Teacher of History and a School Principal. Upon receiving his Master’s Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, he also served as a Lecturer for Barry University in Florida. His post graduate work concentrated on Educational administration and theology. He studied in Rome at the Loyola University Campus while conducting research.

Murder in Mellifont, An Irish Mystery
Chicago born author Arthur Cola returns to IBAM with chills, thrills and a bit of love. All of this is set in his new De Cenza Murder Mysteries series. Among those to be presented is Murder in Mellifont, a tale which takes you to the banks of the River Boyne in the 1960’s and into the ruins of a medieval Abbey created by St. Malachy in the 12th Century. In those ruins a woman dressed entirely in black, as if in mourning, enters and recites a prayer as if to make a connection with ancient ancestors it would seem.

As this mysterious woman offers her devotional recitation, a team of young men and women begin their research Holiday with their Professor, one Andrew Pettigrew of Oxford University. He is to conduct research on a little known legend revolving around the life of St. Malachy when he built Mellifont Abbey. With the cooperation of the Dublin Museum of History and the Department of Ancient Studies and History of Trinity College he promises his team a relief from their recent encounter with murder, intrigue and terrorism in Rome.

Little does Ron De Cenza realize as he and his friends enter the grounds of the Abbey that their holiday was about to change into an adventure. Once again he becomes a young Sherlock-like character along with his buddy in the Seminary, as his Watson. They are joined by a supporting cast which includes his sister, an Italian Count, a Swiss Papal Guard, a Vatican archivist assistant and a university student from Chicago. That student is Susan O’Hara Liguri and she is his challenge to his vocation to become a priest.

Their encounter with that Lady in Black will soon change their lives as well as the history of Ireland as presented in the “Lebor Gabbala Erenn.”

The author will also take you from Murder Mysteries to Historical Fiction Adventures with his Doonagore Theft Trilogy. In book one, Journey of Three Pure Hearts, you will meet three families each working to get their children out of Ireland and to America during the Famine Era, 1848. Sailing with their priest on the Cushla Macree, three teens, James Shields of Inishbofin, Aengus O’Flaherty of the Aran Islands and Meghan O’Grady of Doonagore Castle meet and begin an adventure of a lifetime. Their journey is reflective of thousands of others who sailed for America to escape the horrors of the Great Hunger. In book two, Pure and Tarnished Hearts, they arrive in New York City in August of 1848. There they meet other immigrants on Mulberry Street and encounter the turmoil of pre-civil war America as well. They must deal with prejudice and violence from secret societies and election riots as they seek to find their way to Philadelphia. What they encounter is what actually happened during that period leading up to the Civil War both in New York City and Philadelphia. Despite the obstacles, they and their new found immigrant friends create what was to become a 19th Century Singing sensation. In book three, Torn and United Hearts, the new singing group calling themselves the “Celtic Warriors” are touring along the east coast of America.

Among them is an escaped slave who they have rescued. They soon encounter slave hunters and battle with them while also meeting two people who would help them. Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglas befriend them and soon they are working with the underground railroad to help bring their new friend to freedom. At the same time, love is blooming for all three of them and like the Magnolia of a Virginia Plantation where they are set to perform it bursts forth in glory and is shaken at the same time.

Arthur Cola will be presenting these books among others on Saturday and Sunday of the Irish Books, Music and Arts Festival, IBAM, on October 15-16.

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