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Sister Fidelma must investigate the murder of the High King himself and by doing so risk civil war, in Peter Tremayne's brilliant sixteenth novel of Ancient Ireland
Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.
Judicial advocate Sister Fidelma takes on her most sensitive assignment yet in Tremayne's excellent 16th mystery set in seventh-century Ireland (after 2007's A Prayer for the Damned). When Sechnussach, "High King of the five kingdoms of Eireann," is assassinated, the killer appears to be a kinsman, Dubh Duin, found in the king's bed chamber, dying by his own hand and still bearing the knife that apparently struck the fatal blow. Since the powers-that-be are concerned that Sechnussach's heir, Cenn Faelad, not fall under suspicion, they appoint Fidelma, as an outsider, to uncover the motive for the crime. She soon finds that a person, possibly someone close to the throne, had arranged for Duin to get past the king's guards and enter Sechnussach's chamber unchallenged. Tremayne does his usual masterful job of depicting the strain between Christianity and the Old Faith, and provides a logical, if surprising, twist toward the end. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.