cover image The Seventh Trumpet: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

The Seventh Trumpet: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

Peter Tremayne. Minotaur, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-65862-5

Set in 670 C.E., Tremayne’s 20th full-length Sister Fidelma whodunit (after 2012’s Behold a Pale Horse) is one of the weaker entries in an otherwise strong historical series. Fidelma, a law-court advocate, has given up her title of sister in the hope of securing a more senior position, which has gone to another. Now acting independently of “any Rule or religious authority,” she finds herself in familiar territory after the discovery in a farmer’s field of a well-dressed male corpse with multiple stab wounds. This murder proves to be the first of several the sleuth must try to solve. Unconvincing perils and an unremarkable solution matter less than Tremayne’s inability to harness his talent to integrate the political intrigue and scheming of the time into the story in such a way as to make the stakes real to a modern reader. Agent: Charles Schlessiger, Brandt & Hochman. (July)