cover image Bloodmoon


Peter Tremayne. Severn, $28.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7278-8818-1

The prologue of Tremayne’s tired 29th mystery set in seventh-century Ireland (after Night of the Lightbringer) depicts the abduction of Grella, the wife of the High King of the Five Kingdoms, shortly after she dispatches her female aide, Cairenn, to Finnbarr’s Abbey. The main narrative finds Sister Fidelma, who has left her religious order and now serves her brother, the King of Cashel, as a legal advocate, and her companion, Brother Eadulf, en route to that same abbey. Fidelma refuses to say more about why they are traveling there beyond explaining that she needs to discuss a matter of law with Abbot Nessán. When Fidelma and Eadulf arrive, Nessán’s steward tells them that they were not expected—and before Fidelma can have her conversation with the abbot, Nessán is found dead, strangled by a piece of rope, and the woman who was assisting the elderly cleric has disappeared. Tremayne does a good job immersing readers in an unfamiliar world, but the whodunit plot and the political intrigue fall short of his usual high standard. [em]Agent: Euan Thorneycroft, A.M. Heath (U.K.). (Oct.) [/em]