From Graham Norton—the BAFTA-award-winning and hugely popular BBC America television host—comes a charming debut novel set in an idyllic Irish village where a bumbling investigator has to sort through decades of gossip and secrets to solve a mysterious crime. “With its tale of provincial life, gimlet-eyed spinsters, and thwarted love…it feels almost like a Miss Marple mystery written by Colm Tóibín” (New York Times).
The remote Irish village of Duneen has known little drama, and yet its inhabitants are troubled: Sergeant P.J. Collins hasn’t always been this overweight; Brid Riordan, a mother of two, hasn’t always been an alcoholic; and elegant Evelyn Ross hasn’t always felt that her life was a total waste.
So when human remains—suspected to be those of Tommy Burke, a former lover of both Brid and Evelyn—are discovered on an old farm, the village’s dark past begins to unravel. As a frustrated P.J. struggles to solve a genuine case for the first time in his professional life, he unearths a community’s worth of anger and resentments, secrets and regrets.
Darkly comic, at times profoundly sad, and “especially inviting because of its tongue-in-cheek wit” (Kirkus Reviews), Holding is a masterful debut. Graham Norton employs his acerbic humor to breathe life into a host of lovable characters, and explore—with searing honesty—the complexities and contradictions that make us human.
Graham Norton is the award-winning host of The Graham Norton Show, one of the most popular programs on BBC America. He is the author of the bestselling memoirs So Me and The Life and Loves of a He Devil. He lives in London and is the author of the novels Holding and A Keeper.
"A wistful, atmospheric mystery . . . as this winning tale shows, sometimes things work themselves out in ways no one could have imagined."
– Publishers Weekly
"A mystery laced with a sense of humor . . . yet the narrative also deepens into moments of unexpected sadness and insight . . . . A bright, quick-paced novel, especially inviting because of its tongue-in-cheek wit."
– Kirkus Reviews
"Thoroughly enjoyable . . . Fans of the cozy mysteries of Alan Bradley and Alexander McCall Smith will love this debut by THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW star and clamor for more tales of Duneen."
– Library Journal (starred review)
"The author uses his typically sharp and piercing sense of humor to breathe life into a multitude of delightful characters. . . . a charming debut novel."
– New York Journal of Books
"Poised and perceptive."
– Sunday Times
"It is beautiful and yet devastatingly sad."
– Daily Express
"An undercurrent of black comedy accompanies the ripples that ensue - but with a pathos that makes this deftly plotted story as moving as it is compelling."