Absolution by Murder: A Sister Fidelma Mystery

Peter Tremayne, Author
Peter Tremayne, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-312-13918-6
Reviewed on: 01/01/1996
Release date: 01/01/1996
Mass Market Paperbound - 272 pages - 978-0-451-19299-8
Hardcover - 351 pages - 978-0-7505-0929-9
Paperback - 274 pages - 978-0-7472-4602-2
Open Ebook - 250 pages - 978-1-4668-1401-1
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This immensely appealing launch of a new series is set in seventh-century Ireland, which in Tremayne's rendering is a golden age of enlightenment and of total equality for women. Such narrative stumbling blocks as an abundance of stereotypical characters and much more dynastic trivia, ecclesiastical and secular history than can be absorbed are offset by the vigorous, intriguing puzzle posed by a series of murders and by Sister Fidelma, the tale's brilliant and beguiling heroine. An ecclesiastical conclave to settle major divisions between the Roman and Celtic branch of Christianity is held at Whitby in 664. When a major proponent of the Celtic way, the Abbess of Kildare, is murdered, Sister Fidelma, a fellow Celtic follower and legally trained scholar, is asked to investigate. She is paired with her ideological opposite, Brother Eadulf, on the Roman side, who is shrewd, highly educated and immediately smitten with the outspoken sister. The intellectual and physical sparks that are ignited between these two clerics (in an age before celibacy) light up the pages, and when two monks are killed and the malevolence thickens, the book becomes difficult to put down. It is reassuring to read that Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf will reappear... next time in Rome. (Jan.)
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