Genre: Historical Mystery
Setting: Ancient Ireland, 670 A.D.
First Sentence: Tola paused on the threshold of his farmhouse, looked towards the black mounds of eastern hills, standing out sharply against the white bar of light that heralded dawn, and breathed in deeply before exhaling in a satisfied fashion.
This novel is the 23rd book in Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mystery series. This series currently runs to twenty-four novels.
Having failed at her attempt to be selected as the chief judge for her brother, the King, and having left religious life, Fidelma is feeling a little bored with her life. She is a highly ranked lawyer, and she finds day to day legal issues to be somewhat unchallenging.
So, when an unknown noble emissary is found dead, Fidelma jumps at the chance to investigate the murder. At a moment's notice, she gathers up her husband Eadulf, says a hurried goodbye to their son Alchu, and rides off to begin her investigation.
Little does she know that her investigation will soon lead to a string of victims. The deaths seem to be unrelated, yet Fidelma soon learns that the untimely deaths are part of a tangled conspiracy. A conspiracy which threatens her life and her brother's reign.
Will Fidelma unravel the clues that will defeat the conspiracy and end the bloodshed?
Once again Tremayne has constructed a very tangled mystery. I had no idea who the culprit was until the reveal at the end.
I just wish Eadulf had a bigger role in the plot. He is a great guy, and I think Fidelma takes him for granted. And I worry about poor Alchu, their son. Once again, he is left at home with the nurse while his parents are in harm's way.
That being said, for me this was a very entertaining read.