cover image The Devil’s Seal: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

The Devil’s Seal: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

Peter Tremayne. Minotaur, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-05972-7

Tremayne’s 25th Sister Fidelma mystery set in seventh-century Ireland (after 2014’s Atonement of Blood) should please fans interested in the next chapter in the lives of Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf, but newcomers may wonder what the fuss is about. King Colgu, Fidelma’s brother, is puzzled when a demand is made that he preside over a religious council, during which a delegation will present the merits of their different practices. When someone slits the throat of Brother Cerdic, a Saxon emissary, before the council begins, the monarch assigns Fidelma, who serves as a legal advocate, to find Cerdic’s killer. The death toll continues to rise, even as Eadulf is unsettled by the resurfacing of his brother, Egric, whom he believed had died years earlier. Tremayne gets overly cute in making Fidelma a medieval Sherlock Holmes (“When all the possibilities have been eliminated, that which remains must be the solution”). The solution is less satisfying than usual. Agent: Charles Schlessiger, Brandt & Hochman. (July)