Friday, 6 June 2014

Brid Wade: Sleeping Dogs

A hearty welcome back to Irish mystery writer, Brid Wade!

A former singer, Brid turned her hand to painting while raising three children. Upon becoming an empty-nestery, Brid upped her game when she turned her artistic hand to writing crime stories. An admitted armchair detective, choosing this genre to write in was a natural fit for this lady. And aren't we glad she did!

Brid joined us last summer when she released her debut novel in the Matt Costello Mystery series -- Watchers. This book was a fabulous introduction to Brid's hero. As the story developed, we learned who Matt Costello is, where he came from, and got hints at where he's going.

Today, Brid introduces to her new book in the series, Sleeping Dogs, book two for Matt fans.

When a judge is murdered in his home and the murder weapon belongs to Billy Hannan, a man missing for three years, Matt Costello is brought in. As he digs deeper, he finds a web of deceit and a cover-up with roots embedded deeply in the annals of Irish history. Matt can't let sleeping dogs lie if he's to find the killer and get to the truth of what happened to Billy Hannan.

Brid quickly pulls us into her story and lets us cozy up to Matt as we follow him around Ireland during his investigation. Ireland comes to life through Matt's eyes and Brid's expert writing. Her in-depth research on police procedurals shines through, and her characters spring from the page with realism as the plot deepens. Sleeping Dogs is a great addition to the Matt Costello Mystery series. Anyone who loves crime stories, mysteries, thrillers, and stories set in Ireland will find this book a worthy investment. Well done, Brid!

Brid will be here through the day to answer any of your questions. And Tirgearr Publishing is giving away a copy of Sleeping Dogs to one lucky commenter. So get your skates on and be sure to leave your contact email address so we can get a hold of you if you win.

And take note, to celebrate the release of Sleeping Dogs, Tirgearr Publishing has reduced the price of Watchers to just 99c/77p through June!

• • •

The death of a Judge from a gunshot wound makes headline news. When suicide is ruled out, the ‘who’ and ‘why’ of the crime is the burning question. Previously targeted by the media over a colourful episode in his personal life, the Judge’s death throws up the possibility of a new scandal the State is anxious to contain. The investigation must be low key and discreet. Matt Costello, renowned and respected private investigator, is nominated for the job.

Initial enquiries take Matt to the home of the registered owner of the murder weapon, Billy Hannan, but Billy isn’t around. In fact, nobody has seen Billy for three years – since he disappeared one night on his way home from the local pub. Left behind is Nan, his intended bride, his daughter, Kate, and a large house standing on six hundred acres of prime Irish land. In Billy’s absence, Nan maintains a lonely vigil, tending to the house and gardens as best she can, while eleven-year-old Kate forlornly watches the narrow lane leading to the house in hopes of her father’s return.

As Matt digs deeper, he finds a web of deceit and cover up with deep roots embedded in the annals of Irish history; dark and treacherous, events of the time left scars too deep to ignore, even a century later. Matt can’t let sleeping dogs lie if he is to find the killer and get to the truth of what happened to Billy Hannan.

The dispersing crowd filtered through the trees and side-stepped old graves to merge into a column and tread the narrow pathway towards the road, where drivers stood by limousines awaiting the return of the bereaved. An air of bewilderment pervaded the atmosphere as mourners shared disbelief and sadness at the untimely passing of a good man. 

“Bit of a shock, eh?” Dennis said to Matt when they met. 

“Any idea what’s behind it?” Matt asked him.
“Ach, there’s all sorts of rumours going around. Watch yourself!” Dennis said, pulling him aside as a car came up behind.

Their gaze followed the dark blue Mercedes as it carved a passage through the throng, followed closely by a dark grey saloon.

“Another government minister,” Matt noted. “There’s some turnout here today; Special Branch everywhere.”

“Not surprising. He was a well-known supporter of the party,” Dennis said. “I’ll bet there were a few ripples at headquarters when the news broke.”

“Was it suicide?” Matt asked.

“Nobody’s saying,” Dennis answered. “The inquest hasn’t been announced yet. What brought you here? All of us legal bods are expected to show up, but you’re under no obligation.”

“I just wanted to pay my respects,” Matt explained. “He was one of the best judges around. He was fair and I never had a problem with any decision he made – even if things went against us.”

“Don’t look now,” Dennis said, nudging him as they approached the exit. “The young guy talking with the girl at the gate is the son. He looks shattered.” He drew up the collar of his coat and averted his gaze to the street outside.

As they walked past, Matt glanced casually at the pair. He saw a good looking young man with straight, coal black hair, a sallow, gaunt face and a glazed look in his eyes. “He’s high,” he said with a disapproving shake of his head. “Without the wall behind him he wouldn’t be able to stand up. Is he a known user?”

Dennis sneaked a second look. “Not to my knowledge,” he said. “If he is a bad boy he’s managed to stay below the radar.”

“Who’s the girl?” Matt asked of the young woman with cropped dark hair who seemed to be failing in her efforts to engage him. She turned her head in Matt’s direction and he looked away.

“No idea,” Dennis replied. “She’s not his sister. I know her from shots in the newspapers.”

“Are there just two of them – children?” Matt asked.

“I think so. They stayed with the mother as far as I know. The judge had an apartment in Ballsbridge… separated for years. You must remember it. The press had a field day.”

“It rings a bell alright,” Matt said. “Was there a call girl involved or something?”

“Not quite but you’re not far off.”

As they continued to walk, they chatted about old cases involving the judge; Dennis with his pale skin and untidy fair hair wearing a navy coat over a dark suit and Matt, tanned, broader and taller, with his hands in the pockets of a green wax jacket, his black hair touched with grey.

“Where are you parked?” Matt asked as they reached his Mercedes. “Can I give you a lift?”

“No need,” Dennis replied. “I’m just up the road, thanks.”

“Keep in touch,” Matt said as he opened the door.

• • •

Born in Dublin, Ireland, Brid’s family hails from the inner city, making her a true blue ‘Dub’. One of four sisters, she was educated by the Holy Faith Nuns in Larkhill. Always drawn to the arts, Brid studied piano at the Municipal School of Music. Later she joined a band where she played the electronic organ and sang harmony with her sister. They were known as The Honeybees.

At nineteen, she met her future husband and travelled to Manchester for a year before returning to Ireland where they married and she settled down to become a stay-at-home mum to their three children. At that time she learned to paint, which led to her joining The North Dublin Craftworkers’ Association, on whose behalf she ran the annual Christmas Craft Gift Fair in the city centre. This led to a new career within the exhibition industry.

In 2001, seeking a change of environment, Brid moved to Kilkenny City and began to write. An avid armchair detective, she chose her favourite genre; crime fiction. Her aim was to create a character in a series of mystery stories based in modern Ireland. Matt Costello is that character. In 2006, she relocated to Inistioge, a picturesque village outside Kilkenny City, where she continues to write and paint.
Find Brid Online --

The Street Gallery
Tirgearr Publishing

-- > Brid is giving away a copy of Watchers to one lucky commenter. Leave her a question or comment here with your email address to be automatically in the draw.

Or you can grab a copy of Sleeping Dogs now for just $3.99 through Tirgearr Publishing.

While you're at it, grab a copy of the first Matt Costello Story, Watchers, for the promotional price of just 99c/77p, through June!


  1. Welcome back, Brid. Congratulations on your new book!

    Watchers was a great base for the series. Now Sleeping Dogs is really getting us into the thick of things with Matt. I'm loving watching his character grow through the series.

    Perhaps you'll tell readers where you get the ideas for your stories. Do you base some of the plot on real Irish cold cases which you give the Brid Twist, or are these purely of your imagination?

    1. Hi, Kem! Thank you. It's a great pleasure to be back with book 2, Sleeping Dogs.

      As in Watchers, Matt applies his own particular skills and personality to solving the case. I think what endears him to readers is his warmth. He's someone who really does give a damn.

      The ideas for the stories come from things I've come across in my life - not that I've been in any way close to a murder, thank God, but as an armchair detective, I've developed theories about unsolved cases. Also, over the years, I've come across situations with somewhat curious aspects to them that gave me pause. I'm a sponge for information so what goes in stays in until I find a use for it.

      Sleeping Dogs is a particular favourite, I must admit. I hope my readers enjoy it.

    2. Hi Brid. Yes, Matt is definitely a caring person. I feel it's necessary for a good investigator to be personally invested in his work to enable him, or her, to do the best job possible. Empathy for situations endears one more closely to survivors of a tragedy, getting them to open up where they might not with the traditional police force.

      Ireland certainly has its own fodder where crime is concerned. Was there a case or cases you read/heard about that triggered something for this story? If so, what was it?

  2. This particular story comes from a personal experience - or personal knowledge of a set of circumstances. It is the 'why' of the story and I can't say any more without giving the plot away. Readers will understand when they've finished the book.

    The thing about Matt is that he's a decent, no nonsense kind of guy. He doesn't stand on ceremony and, largely, takes people as he finds them. Though he's renowned for his work, he scoffs at the idea of celebrity and avoids the media like the plague. What rattles him is when people cause injury or upset to others to further their own ends.

    There is no shortage of crime stories, certainly. They tend to deal with drugs and ancillary themes. That's why I created Matt and these mysteries. He won't touch drugs and the stories are drawn from various parts of Ireland - not just Dublin.