Photograph © Fran Veale

Crime/Mystery

Lawyer turned crime writer.

Andrea Carter grew up in the midlands of Ireland, studied law at Trinity College Dublin and practiced as a solicitor on the Inishowen Peninsula, Co. Donegal, where she ran the most northerly solicitor’s practice in the country. After a number of years, she returned to Dublin to practice as a barrister before turning to write crime novels. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University College Dublin. 

Her first book, Death at Whitewater Church, was one of the winners of the Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair, and she has been the recipient of two Arts Council of Ireland Literature Bursary Awards and a Dublin City Council Bursary. Following Treacherous Strand, The Well of Ice is the third in the Inishowen Mysteries series, which will shortly be adapted for television. Her short story “The Lamb” was shortlisted for Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2019. 

Carter lives in Dublin with her husband.

The Sunday Times has said, “Carter excels in re-creating the cloistered, gossipy confines of a small Irish village … the Inishowen peninsula community where everybody knows everybody else’s business is a fine stand-in for the mannered drawing room society of a Christie mystery.”

For more about Andrea, visit her website. Read our review of The Well of Ice here.

Your biggest literary influences:

Agatha Christie, Ruth Rendell, Louise Penny, P.D. James. I met P.D. James at a literary event in Oxford when she was in her nineties (before I was published) and she was so encouraging. She told me she’d been first published in her forties and wished me luck! 

Last book read:

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

The book that changed your life: 

The Wind in the Willows makes me recall the pleasure of reading as a child, that sense of being completely transported to another world. I cannot walk along a river without imagining Ratty and Mole in their boat and thinking of their picnics in summer, “a yard of long French bread, a sausage out of which the garlic sang, some cheese which lay down and cried.”  

For a writer, The Wind in the Willows is the perfect lesson in pace, alternating between adventure and domesticity, between wild larks and quiet evenings by the fire. For a reader, the language is rich and complex. In my Educational Company of Ireland brown hardback, I underlined the words I didn’t understand: somnolence and valorous, gavotte, and obtuseness, desperate to know what they meant. I learned that one of the pleasures of reading is in coming across words you don’t know, discovering the excitement and mystery of language. 

Currently working on:

A crime novel set in Dublin and an outline for one of the scripts for the Inishowen TV series.

Words to live by:

A love of reading is a great gift to pass on to a child. It’s a comfort they will have all their lives.

Advice for aspiring authors:

Write a lot and read a lot (and not just within your chosen genre). Writing is a craft — the more you do it the better you’ll become.

Keep going, and always finish a project whether it be a short story or a novel. Don’t spend ten years tinkering with the same work. Then move on to the next one. 

Articles and Reviews:

“Benedicta “Ben” O’Keefe may be a small-town solicitor in the lovely but distant Inishowen peninsula of Co Donegal, in the far north of Ireland, but she makes a beguiling heroine—clever, sympathetic, and bearing a weight of guilt. The gloomy, abandoned church of Death at Whitewater Church has finally been sold. Ben, handling the legal side of the transaction, visits it; human bones are discovered in the crypt. Whose? When were they placed there? Why? There’s more foul play. This is Andrea Carter’s first book; she’ll go far.”
The Times Saturday Review, UK, 3 October 2015

Irish Times

Crime Review

Library Journal

Publishers Weekly

Testimonials:  

“Haunting, atmospheric, and gripping. One of the finest Irish mystery debuts of recent years. Tana French has some serious competition.”
— John Connolly,
New York Times bestselling author

“Andrea Carter writes brilliantly about a lively, entirely credible community where even your friends are suspects and your neighbors may end up dead. Everyone has a secret, and the revelations come thick and fast. Riveting, intriguing and worryingly real.”
— Liz Nugent, award-winning author

“Atmospheric, intelligent and utterly gripping — a real treat for fans of Irish crime fiction.”
— Catherine Ryan Howard, USA bestselling author of Rewind