Who killed Patrick Flaherty?
Flaherty’s True Green Plant Nursery has been serving the City of Blarney for 100 years when Pader Flaherty arrived in town and built a greenhouse to grow plants which were popular in his native Ireland. Through the years, operations expanded and, 10 years ago, Pader’s grandson Patrick became majority owner of a business that is still family-run.
Today, Flaherty’s is a major producer of shamrocks, supplying the entire state with the plant, especially for “the wearin’ of the green.” Although rumors persist that family members have been at odds with each other for years, the family has maintained an outward calm, denying all rumors of a rift.
Last night, family, the nursery staff, and the nursery’s best customer gathered at the Blarney Inn to celebrate the nursery’s 100th anniversary of operation. Patrick Flaherty was the center of attention as the nursery’s milestone was toasted. He was supposed to spend the night at the Inn with members of his family but, this morning, his body was found in the pond at the rear of the nursery.
Tonight was to have been another party – this one celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, with Patrick in attendance as the honored guest. Instead, it will be Patrick’s wake. Who knows what will happen when you and the others gather to remember the life of Patrick Flaherty?
Fiona Reilly Flaherty
Wife of the deceased. This was the second marriage for both Patrick and Fiona. They met two years ago while Patrick was in Ireland, and were married six months later in Blarney.
Son of the deceased. He has never married and has spent his whole life in his father’s house. He will inherit the nursery upon Patrick’s death, the latest in a line of Flahertys who have owned the nursery for the past 100 years.
Daughter of the deceased and Seamus’ twin sister. Last year, she returned to Blarney after a 17-year absence. She has never told anyone about her life during her sojourn.
First cousin of the deceased and a native of County Cork. He arrived in Blarney four weeks ago to “complete a task.” His family members consider him to be a bit eccentric because of his beliefs.
The operations manager at the nursery. Although he had limited experience with plants, he was hired by Patrick to run the nursery. He lives in a small cottage on the nursery grounds.
An employee of the nursery. She was born in Ireland and has worked for Patrick Flaherty for four years. She is a self-educated expert on flowers and exotic plants.
The nursery’s best customer. An aficionado of flora, she visits the nursery weekly to select fresh-cut flowers and potted plants to decorate her flat in Blarney.