by Peter Tremayne
Our Lady of Darkness
Minotaur, September, 2002.
Hardcover, 270 pages.
Sister Fidelma of Cashel is back in fine form with the latest entry in the excellent historical mystery series by Celtic scholar Peter Ellis. The sister of the King of Muman and an advocate of the Brehon courts of 7th century Ireland, Sister Fidelma is used to solving difficult cases. But when she is called back from her pilgrimage to the Shrine of St. James, it is for a more personal reason: her good friend, Saxon monk Brother Eadulf has already been tired and found guilty of the murder of a young novice in the neighboring kingdom of Laigin. When Fidelma arrives in Laigin, she finds nothing but trouble. The youthful and belligerent ruler of Laigin has illegally abandoned the traditional judicial code of Ireland in favor of the ecclesiastical rules of the Roman church and, therefore, Eadulf is already scheduled for execution. Given only twenty-four hours to find evidence which will clear Eadulf, Fidelma goes head to head with a scheming Abbess, belligerent church officials and some very nasty crooks in order to save Eadulf from an untimely demise.
The headstrong Fidelma faces a case which will affect her more than she would care to admit. She has feelings for Eadulf which are more than friendship, but she can't let that get in the way of her doing her job. And with all the roadblocks being put before her in Laigin (a most unpleasant place, politically speaking) it's a wonder she can find out anything at all. But Fidelma is nothing if not persistent, and her strength of spirit will get her through. Peter Tremayne keeps the suspense quotient very high in this book; this is one series that never falters.
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This review was published in the December - January, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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