cover image Deed of Murder

Deed of Murder

Cora Harrison. Severn, $28.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8071-0

Peter Tremayne fans who can’t get enough of his feisty seventh-century Irish sleuth, Sister Fidelma, will find Harrison’s 16th-century Irish “judge and lawgiver,” Mara, a more than acceptable substitute. At the start of the seventh entry (after May 2011’s Scales of Retribution), Mara and her husband, King Turlough Donn O’Brien, are holding a belated christening party for their baby son, Cormac, at their castle in western Ireland. Then three of the guests go missing: flirtatious Fiona MacBetha, a law student of Mara’s; another law student, Fachtnan, who’s sweet on Fiona; and 26-year-old lawyer Eamon, Fachtnan’s rival for Fiona’s affections. Later, farmer Muiris O’Hynes finds Eamon’s dead body in a flax shed. O’Hynes recently caused a stir by winning a bid for a land lease that historically always went to a large local family, but the deed formalizing his right to work the property has disappeared. As usual, Harrison makes combining a whodunit with the subtleties of Irish law look easy. (Dec.)