Caimh McDonnell is an Irish novelist (also known as C.K McDonnell), but also a former professional stand-up comedian and TV writer who worked on shows like Have I Got News for You, Mock the Week, A League of Their Own. But now he mostly writes books.
As a novelist, McDonnell is known for the famous Dublin Trilogy, and the McGarry Stateside Series. His first novel ‘A Man With One of Those Faces’ was published in 2016 and is the first book in the Dublin Trilogy.
How to read Caimh McDonnell’s Books in Order?
Reading The Dublin Trilogy in Order
Not really a trilogy anymore…
- Angels in the Moonlight (2017) (prequel originally published after The Day That Never Comes). 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.
- A Man With One of Those Faces (2016) – 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 (2017) – 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 organization 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 colorful past has to do with his present absence?
- Last Orders (2018) – 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?
- Dead Man’s Sins (2021) – 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 (2022) – 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.
- The Family Jewels (2022) – It’s almost Christmas and Bunny McGarry is not in the festive spirit. His mood is not improved when an old friend becomes the victim of a violent assault and, for reasons he can’t understand, the police force he is a member of has decided not to investigate. Getting to the bottom of the case ends up putting him on the wrong side of some powerful people. How does all of this involve an Italian heiress who has disappeared? Why is the commissioner of the Gardai no longer in charge? And why is a certain teenage boy on the rampage swearing bloody vengeance?
- Escape from Victory (novella, 2023) – The St Jude’s Under-12s hurling team has a match against a hated opponent and their manager, one Bunny McGarry, has made an ill-judged wager on the outcome. His dignity is now relying on the worst team anyone has ever seen, turning around a losing streak that feels like it’s lasted longer than World War I only with not as many light-hearted moments. As if that wasn’t enough, it turns out crime doesn’t take weekends off either, and when duty calls, sometimes you have to bring a minibus full of pre-teen delinquents with you.
Reading The McGarry Stateside Series in Order
Melting high-octane action with a distinctly Irish acerbic wit, the McGarry Stateside Series is a crime thriller revolving around Irishman Bunny McGarry in America.
- Disaster Inc (2018) – 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 (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 the art form.
- The Quiet Man (2020) – 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 pretenses. He is there to bust someone else out.
- Other Plans (2023) – Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans. How much trouble can you possibly get into just stopping to use a restroom? As it turns out, an awful lot. Bunny McGarry and co are supposed to be keeping a low profile, but nature calls and ironically, one of their party has a hard and fast rule about not answering that call while surrounded by nature. This is how they end up in the wrong bar, surrounded by the wrong people at the wrongest of wrong times. The local right-wing militia has a big week planned, and Bunny and the boys have inadvertently crashed the party. Before they know it, they’re in a desperate fight for survival against a bunch of people who refuse to believe they’re not who they think they are.
Reading The Stranger Times Series in Order
The Stranger Times is a new series written under the pen name of C.K McDonnell.
- The Stranger Times (2021) – 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 is 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 realization: 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 (2022) – Nobody is pleased about it. Not the Founders, the secret organization 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.
- Love Will Tear Us Apart (2023) – Vincent Banecroft, the irascible editor of The Stranger Times, has never believed his wife died despite emphatic evidence to the contrary. Now, against all odds, it seems he may actually be proved right; but what lengths will he go to in an attempt to rescue her? With Banecroft distracted, the shock resignation of assistant editor, Hannah Willis, couldn’t have come at a worse time. It speaks volumes that her decision to reconcile with her philandering ex-husband is only marginally less surprising than Banecroft and his wife getting back together. In this time of crisis, is her decision to swan off to a fancy new-age retreat run by a celebrity cult really the best thing for anyone?
Stand Alone books by Caimh McDonnell
- The Final Game (2020) – 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 fiendishly difficult, and frankly bizarre competition of Dorothy’s devising. After all, just because you’re dead, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the last laugh at the expense of people who made your life miserable.
- Welcome to Nowhere (2020) – 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 a 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.
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