Hot Best Seller

Suffer Little Children

Availability: Ready to download

In A.D. 644, a respected scholar of the Celtic Church is murdered during a visit to the Irish Kingdom of Muman. The kingdom's ruler summons Sister Fidelma to solve the brutal murder, but her time is limited. The victim, as it turns out, was a comrade of the arrogant King of Fearna, who threatens war over the suspicious death of his friend But during her inquiries, Sister F In A.D. 644, a respected scholar of the Celtic Church is murdered during a visit to the Irish Kingdom of Muman. The kingdom's ruler summons Sister Fidelma to solve the brutal murder, but her time is limited. The victim, as it turns out, was a comrade of the arrogant King of Fearna, who threatens war over the suspicious death of his friend But during her inquiries, Sister Fidelma comes to realize that there is more at hand than what appears, and finds her own life caught in the balance!


Compare

In A.D. 644, a respected scholar of the Celtic Church is murdered during a visit to the Irish Kingdom of Muman. The kingdom's ruler summons Sister Fidelma to solve the brutal murder, but her time is limited. The victim, as it turns out, was a comrade of the arrogant King of Fearna, who threatens war over the suspicious death of his friend But during her inquiries, Sister F In A.D. 644, a respected scholar of the Celtic Church is murdered during a visit to the Irish Kingdom of Muman. The kingdom's ruler summons Sister Fidelma to solve the brutal murder, but her time is limited. The victim, as it turns out, was a comrade of the arrogant King of Fearna, who threatens war over the suspicious death of his friend But during her inquiries, Sister Fidelma comes to realize that there is more at hand than what appears, and finds her own life caught in the balance!

30 review for Suffer Little Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jaline

    The King of Cashel is dying of the plague, and Cashel is facing what could be a very costly lawsuit by the King of Laigin. Colgú is the heir apparent to the King of Cashel and is also Sister Fidelma’s brother. He is the one who would be responsible for following through on a decision made by the High Court. While the King of Cashel was still lucid, he requested Sister Fidelma’s assistance in investigating the incident. Colgú adds his request for Sister Fidelma’s assistance as something does not The King of Cashel is dying of the plague, and Cashel is facing what could be a very costly lawsuit by the King of Laigin. Colgú is the heir apparent to the King of Cashel and is also Sister Fidelma’s brother. He is the one who would be responsible for following through on a decision made by the High Court. While the King of Cashel was still lucid, he requested Sister Fidelma’s assistance in investigating the incident. Colgú adds his request for Sister Fidelma’s assistance as something does not seem right. The Great Assembly is only a few short weeks away and even on the way to the Abbey of Ros Ailithur to investigate the murder of the scholar Docán, she and the bodyguard Colgú had sent along witness an atrocity. This book has some very disturbing content, as evil is let loose due to greed and old grudges. There are also many complexities to this case that Sister Fidelma has to piece together before she can face the High Court to plead the case for Cashel. Lest we forget that the mid-7th century was definitely not a time of peace, love, and dulcimers this book will set us straight. There are several scenes of brutal murders in this book, and a great deal of sadness, even for the times as they were then. On the other hand, what I did find completely fascinating is the Brehon law and how logical so much of it is, especially for the times in which it was the legal governing body. In this book, we attend a Great Assembly where the advocates make their pleas, where witnesses and other people with information are questioned, and where the decision made by the highest authorities is final. Here, we meet Sechnassach, the High King of Ireland, along with Barrán, the Chief Brehon of Ireland, and Ultan, the Archbishop of Armagh, Chief Apostle of the Faith. Rich in historic detail and with a storyline that clips along at a fast pace, I found this to be a compelling read and one that held my interest throughout. When I am finished a book and it takes me a few moments to orient myself back in the “here and now”, it’s a sign that it was an exceptional read. This book did exactly that. In fact, this series specializes in that effect.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Clemens Schoonderwoert

    Read this book in 2010, and its the 4th, chronologically, volume of the wonderful "Sister Fidelma" series. The year is still AD 664, and Sister Fidelma back in her native Kingdom of Muman, Ireland, is called in to investigate the murder of a very respected scholar of Celtic Church when visiting Cashel. This scholar was also a comrade of the arrogant King of Fearna, and this same King now threatens war because of this murder to his friend. With little time on her hands, Fidelma must hurry to solve t Read this book in 2010, and its the 4th, chronologically, volume of the wonderful "Sister Fidelma" series. The year is still AD 664, and Sister Fidelma back in her native Kingdom of Muman, Ireland, is called in to investigate the murder of a very respected scholar of Celtic Church when visiting Cashel. This scholar was also a comrade of the arrogant King of Fearna, and this same King now threatens war because of this murder to his friend. With little time on her hands, Fidelma must hurry to solve this case before the land erupts into a war between her Brother, King Colgú of Muman and that arrogant King of Fearna. Fidelma will discover various leads than at first thought and at the same time she realises that her own life is in the balance, and so she's determined to bring to justice the culprit of this gruesome murder. What is to follow is an amazing and thrilling Irish mystery, in which Sister Fidelma will excel in her resolute thinking, and consequently she will succeed with her decisive actions to catch this killer before everything turns out of control. Highly recommended, for this is another excellent addition to this great series, and that's why I like to call this episode: "A Fabulous Sister Fidelma Mystery"!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

    Suffer the Little Children is both set in a refreshing time period for a mystery (7th century Ireland) and provides a rich environment of violence, intrigue, scholarly pursuit, and ecclesiastical change. I’ve personally just discovered this series of historical mysteries and I am fascinated by the legal and ecclesiastical differences between the Roman and Irish churches of the era. I was particularly fascinated by the existence of co-ed monasteries (obviously not the historical term, nor very pr Suffer the Little Children is both set in a refreshing time period for a mystery (7th century Ireland) and provides a rich environment of violence, intrigue, scholarly pursuit, and ecclesiastical change. I’ve personally just discovered this series of historical mysteries and I am fascinated by the legal and ecclesiastical differences between the Roman and Irish churches of the era. I was particularly fascinated by the existence of co-ed monasteries (obviously not the historical term, nor very precise but descriptive nonetheless). I’m particularly intrigued by the gender equality provided in Ireland at this time. The protagonist, rather more proactive in many ways that Brother Cadfael of medieval mystery fame, is a sister named Fidelma. She is not only a sister, but also a daleigh, an officer of the courts in Ireland’s kingdom. At this point in time, Ireland was divided into five kingdoms (each ruled by a king) with one High King. Suffer the Little Children deals with one of the old kingdoms attempting to regain control of a disputed province due to a murder which took place under a rival kingdom’s requirement of hospitality. Sister Fidelma needs to solve the mystery (with the body long since removed) and figure out a way for the kingdom to keep the disputed province. She must use her deductive powers plus her knowledge of the ancient laws in order to bring about a solution. I won’t give away any of the plot, but I will share some of my favorite lines from the book. When Sister Fidelma’s bodyguard suggests that the “Faith” expects too much of its practitioners, the good sister replies, “Perhaps. But the expectation of humankind should always exceed their grasp, otherwise there would be no progress in life.” (p. 102) She followed up with the following statement, “…if there is no doubt, there can be no faith.” (p. 103) In another conversation between the two, she suggests that destiny is an excuse to avoid choice (p. 121). Of course, Tremayne is a scholar in his own right and it shows, not only in details with regard to Medieval Ireland, but also in quotations such as the one from Diogenes that “…blushing is the color of virtue” (p. 190) and the one from Plato on injustice that suggests that humankind only censures injustice because it fears becoming the victim of it (p. 237). Or, there’s the one from a Brehon Moran of Tara , “…to be truly dead you must be forgotten entirely.” (p. 262). I also learned that an ollamh is Gaelic for scholar or professor, to this very day. The title for Suffer the Little Children comes from a very positive incident in the Bible when Jesus’ disciples were turning away children in order to let the Master focus on the “more important” people. So, Jesus was commanding the disciples to let them come to Him. In this novel, the reference to children is about as positive as references to the “Children’s Crusade.” There is more than one tragic connotation to this phrase within the novel’s plotline. Nonetheless, the mystery makes some interesting observations about society, ancient and modern. It is definitely solid writing and I savored it.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Suffer Little Children is the third novel in Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma historical mystery series. Set in Ireland in the mid-seventh century, the series features an Irish nun - Sister Fidelma - as its protagonist. Fidelma, however, is more than a nun, she is also dalaigh (lawyer) of the law courts of Ireland, and it is in this capacity that she is called upon to solve crimes. In Suffer Little Children Fidelma is asked by her brother to determine who killed a renowned scholar at an abbey wit Suffer Little Children is the third novel in Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma historical mystery series. Set in Ireland in the mid-seventh century, the series features an Irish nun - Sister Fidelma - as its protagonist. Fidelma, however, is more than a nun, she is also dalaigh (lawyer) of the law courts of Ireland, and it is in this capacity that she is called upon to solve crimes. In Suffer Little Children Fidelma is asked by her brother to determine who killed a renowned scholar at an abbey within his domain, and in so doing put a stop to a war being threatened as a result of the killing. The Sister Fidelma series is quickly becoming a favourite of mine. Not only does the series feature a smart, fascinating heroine in Fidelma, but each of the mysteries is engaging. I also love how Fidelma goes about solving them. One of the strongest aspects of this book, as well as of the others in the series, is that it showcases early Christianity in Ireland and how it differs from Rome. As Roman Catholicism takes further hold in Ireland it will be interesting to see how Fidelma, who doesn't agree with many of the tenets being put forth by Rome, adapts in future books. I can't wait to continue with this series! This review first appeared on my blog, Confessions of an Avid Reader.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What an creep. At least five times in 15 pages he describes another nun as ‘plump’ and ‘fleshy’. He’s actually worse when describing a male - 7 times in 10 pages , Rumann is described as fleshy, plump, corpulent, pudgy, wheezing, large faced, puffy. Note that he never described any other character that often. Unacceptable. Also he has a lip fetish - cannot count the many times he writes about lips ‘pushed out her lip’ ‘pursed her lips’ ‘bit her lip’. Over and over and over and over again in the What an creep. At least five times in 15 pages he describes another nun as ‘plump’ and ‘fleshy’. He’s actually worse when describing a male - 7 times in 10 pages , Rumann is described as fleshy, plump, corpulent, pudgy, wheezing, large faced, puffy. Note that he never described any other character that often. Unacceptable. Also he has a lip fetish - cannot count the many times he writes about lips ‘pushed out her lip’ ‘pursed her lips’ ‘bit her lip’. Over and over and over and over again in the few books I read of his. Enough.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    I very much enjoy the characters and the mystery. If only the author would only stop being so pedantic. I've given examples in other reviews on this series. For this book I'll choose the example of Irish words. Peppering in an Irish word now and then to set tone and time/place and atmosphere is to be expected. The thing is, any Irish words have to be translated if the meaning isn't obvious from context. But Tremayne peppers the text with Irish words and explains every one of them. Not only that, I very much enjoy the characters and the mystery. If only the author would only stop being so pedantic. I've given examples in other reviews on this series. For this book I'll choose the example of Irish words. Peppering in an Irish word now and then to set tone and time/place and atmosphere is to be expected. The thing is, any Irish words have to be translated if the meaning isn't obvious from context. But Tremayne peppers the text with Irish words and explains every one of them. Not only that, but he uses the same words over and over and still translates them every time. He used the word for "steward of the abbey" in Irish and with translation about four times in one chapter and it made me want to hurl the book across the room. A couple of options: 1) translate it once and then not again, no matter how many times you use it; or better yet, 2) only use Irish words sparingly and when the meaning is so obvious you don't have to tranlsate it for us. While I greatly appreciate how much history the author knows, I really don't appreciate the show-off-y-ness of having it constantly crammed down my throat. The mystery and the characters are the thing, the history important and what makes this series different but it's still only secondary. To Mr. Tremayne's editors, please! get a grip on your author. Put your foot down! Edit!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    A twisty plot. Fidelma’s brother is about to be king of Cashel, but the death of a scholar threatens war unless Fidelma can find the truth. Fidelma is less perfect this time, but the tough language, unfamiliar names, and somewhat turgid exposition are still not an easy read.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Suffer Little Children Earns 5/5 Abbey Secrets…Engaging Epic! I have become an eager fan of historical fiction, especially that which is centuries ago, somewhere in Europe or the British Isles, and includes a murder mystery to untangle. I often find myself googling the facts and details behind the fiction applauding the efforts the author made to bring about as true a representation of culture, society, roles of women, and the true events of the time. Case in Point: Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelm Suffer Little Children Earns 5/5 Abbey Secrets…Engaging Epic! I have become an eager fan of historical fiction, especially that which is centuries ago, somewhere in Europe or the British Isles, and includes a murder mystery to untangle. I often find myself googling the facts and details behind the fiction applauding the efforts the author made to bring about as true a representation of culture, society, roles of women, and the true events of the time. Case in Point: Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma Mystery. “Suffer Little Children” is the third book in the series set again in the seventh century, and as I discovered, the only book set in Ireland (Éireann), Sister Fidelma home. Sister Fidelma has been summoned by the King of Muman, her cousin, to return home immediately. Sadly, on her arrival, she discovers her cousin is gravely ill from the yellow plague; her brother, being his heir, would soon become King, and is distressed that his rule may come with war. The Venerable Dacán, a revered scholar, yet austere in personality, has been murdered and her well-known talents are sought and required to uncover the culprit and, as a result, avoid war. The new King of Laighin, a neighboring kingdom with whom they share centuries of animosity over a land dispute, is demanding, by law, an honor price for Dacán’s brutal murder, whose brother of the victim is a close advisor. Due to the impact of the murder and a complex set of familial connections to the Abbey Ros Ailithir where the murder occurred, the demand includes returning the disputed lands to Laighin or war between the two kingdoms is imminent. It may be a stretch, but Sister Fidelma concurs that if the murder details show the abbey culpable, then so is the King of Muman, and they will need to atone for the murderous crime…as is law. Her brother has commissioned her to investigate the incident and be prepared to present her findings, for or against her kin, in seven weeks time when the Great Assembly convenes or war will ensue…not much pressure, I’d say. Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma Mystery series is a huge favorite, and for this third journey she has a personal stake in the outcome of her investigation, but an serious outbreak of yellow fever, destruction of a small village, a little group of displaced children, dynamic at the abbey, impediments with her investigation, further perilous incidents, and a warship sitting in the harbor add intense pressure to her task and page-turning engagement to the reader, or in my case, listener. Tremayne’s well-developed story, epic in nature, and writing style is brilliantly compelling, very descriptive with vivid language to illustrate the different settings, diverse characters, and varied emotions in the drama. The abundance of characters mentioned direct or indirect to the story, names and terms in the medieval or Irish vernacular (although defined in context), and all the complex descriptions, might make one feel overwhelmed, but the entirety of the drama is enriched by such details. I am, however, listening to the extraordinarily talented Caroline Lennon whose narration helps make those details more comprehensible, smoother, and with accurate pronunciations (although, for this review, I had to look elsewhere for as many accurate spellings as I could find). Her natural voice is pleasant and she performs well the Irish accents depicting age and gender. Yes, it is an epic story (the audiobook has an 11:35:00 running time), but the scope of the murder where the body is no longer available, rugged nature of the seventh century, and lack of contemporary forensic techniques along with historical and religious references, detailed movements and mannerisms, and several side stories are extensive and need to be addressed. Marvelous…all the way through to the shocking conclusion!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    3.5, Ireland, 665 A.D. This is the first book in this series that actually takes place in Ireland. Here we meet Fidelma's brother and we learn about one of the devastating effects of the plague -- orphaned children. There's more violence here than there was in the first two books. I continue to be intrigued by the way of life that Tremayne describes. For example ... p 26: In the library were some "rods of the poets," wands of aspen and hazel wood on which the ancient scribes had carved their sagas, 3.5, Ireland, 665 A.D. This is the first book in this series that actually takes place in Ireland. Here we meet Fidelma's brother and we learn about one of the devastating effects of the plague -- orphaned children. There's more violence here than there was in the first two books. I continue to be intrigued by the way of life that Tremayne describes. For example ... p 26: In the library were some "rods of the poets," wands of aspen and hazel wood on which the ancient scribes had carved their sagas, poems and histories in Ogham, the ancient alphabet, ... p 272: By law, when a case was presented in court, the advocates (legal rep) could be fined for any of the following reasons: - abused each other, - incited those attending court to violence, - indulged in self-praise, - spoke too harshly, - refused to obey the orders of the court ... All of which are reasonable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Maggie Anton

    So far the Sister Fidelma novels are improving. The list of Principal Characters and where each resided was a big help, and the area map was nice as well. Compared to the first two volumes, There was less info-dumping and the mystery was intriguing in addition to being understandable. I didn't need to read it again to make sense of the ending. I intend to continue reading the series with The Subtle Serpent. So far the Sister Fidelma novels are improving. The list of Principal Characters and where each resided was a big help, and the area map was nice as well. Compared to the first two volumes, There was less info-dumping and the mystery was intriguing in addition to being understandable. I didn't need to read it again to make sense of the ending. I intend to continue reading the series with The Subtle Serpent.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    The Sister Fidelma Mysteries are a source of great enjoyment, entertainment, and conjecture about the Dark Ages. They are also a welcome respite and a safe haven for those of us who tire of over-the-top brutality and gore to be found in many new thrillers. Make no mistake; these are no sappy romances or comedies in disguise. The plots are sinister without being graphic. The intrigues are mysterious without resorting to the supernatural (if anything can happen then everything will be possible - i The Sister Fidelma Mysteries are a source of great enjoyment, entertainment, and conjecture about the Dark Ages. They are also a welcome respite and a safe haven for those of us who tire of over-the-top brutality and gore to be found in many new thrillers. Make no mistake; these are no sappy romances or comedies in disguise. The plots are sinister without being graphic. The intrigues are mysterious without resorting to the supernatural (if anything can happen then everything will be possible - in direct conflict with the purpose of who-done-its.) Here is an opportunity to enjoy reading and tax you detective skills without turning your stomach.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Solid, if slightly overlong.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Steady mystery, but it takes a long time to get to its conclusion.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    The Sister Fidelma mystery series is new to me. Suffer Little Children is the third book, but the only one I've read so far. It's set in ancient Ireland, a culture in which women enjoyed an unusual amount of equality. So Sister Fidelma is not only a nun from a noble family, but she also has an active career as a detective/lawyer which is a position highly respected in her society. She makes full use of her education and powerful social standing in solving her cases. I like her fiesty personality The Sister Fidelma mystery series is new to me. Suffer Little Children is the third book, but the only one I've read so far. It's set in ancient Ireland, a culture in which women enjoyed an unusual amount of equality. So Sister Fidelma is not only a nun from a noble family, but she also has an active career as a detective/lawyer which is a position highly respected in her society. She makes full use of her education and powerful social standing in solving her cases. I like her fiesty personality and her self-confident, active approach. The author is Peter Ellis who is a scholarly authority on ancient Gaelic history. He writes these mysteries under the pseudonym of Peter Tremayne. So I learned a lot about Ireland in the 7th Century. He throws in a lot of gaelic terms and becomes a bit pedantic in explaining them. But I did learn a lot. One interesting detail was that the Catholic Church was still in the process of adopting a standard of celibacy for monks and nuns. So at this point in Irish history, monasteries were often co-ed. Monks and nuns could serve together and also marry each other. I also really liked the Irish legal system in this period. Women had many "modern" rights under the law. The court proceedings at the end of the story where Fidelma lays out the details of her case are fascinating. There is a fair amount of violence in this story, including children who have been killed, so that wasn't pleasant. But it is a murder mystery after all, and the detective and the reader only encounter it after the fact. Also, I can handle it better on paper than in a film. Some reviewers characterize Sister Fidelma as a female counterpart to Ellis Peters' Brother Cadfael. I can see that comparison as valid. They are both detective clerics and the level of mystery is similar. Brother Cadfael is set later in medieval history than Sister Fidelma, but that doesn't make much difference to the average reader. I also think it can become amusingly confusing because of the names of the authors--Peter Ellis and Ellis Peters! But he writes as Peter Tremayne and Ellis Peters is also a pseudonym. This book paled in comparison to the Louise Penny mystery I read shortly before it, but it was pretty good otherwise. That would really be comparing apples to oranges anyway. So I recommend this book/series to history-mystery lovers and fans of Brother Cadfael.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    This is my first Sister Fidela mystery, set in 7th century Ireland. Thank goodness Tremayne included a map and a list of characters categorized according to their place in society. Otherwise I would have been totally confused because of the use of the old Celtic names of people and places, as well as expressions in dialogue. The book was interesting from the standpoint of giving an insight into the political situation in Ireland with its five kingdoms and its High King. It also shows the roles of This is my first Sister Fidela mystery, set in 7th century Ireland. Thank goodness Tremayne included a map and a list of characters categorized according to their place in society. Otherwise I would have been totally confused because of the use of the old Celtic names of people and places, as well as expressions in dialogue. The book was interesting from the standpoint of giving an insight into the political situation in Ireland with its five kingdoms and its High King. It also shows the roles of religion and secular law in the society of the time. The growing discord between the Celtic church and the Roman church provides a background to later rifts in Ireland. For these reasons I liked the book. The plot which revolved around the murder of a dedicated and highly esteemed religious scholar is intricate and intriguing. Without the list of characters, however, I would have been very confused. That lowered the book in my estimation. I don't appreciate having to stop to figure out who is whom, interrupting the flow of my reading. In addition, the very poor editing of the content was VERY frustrating!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    3.5 This is the best of the first three books in the Sister Fidelma series. This series has become my new, fun, not-too-serious, historical fiction set in Ireland in the late 5th century, complete with pagans, Christians, Latin, Romans, religieuse, government, and the church, that I can pick up between classics and other more cerebral reads. I am such a fan of the medieval setting - early, high, late - doesn't matter. Sister Fidelma is more flawed in this third book, which I appreciated, and the 3.5 This is the best of the first three books in the Sister Fidelma series. This series has become my new, fun, not-too-serious, historical fiction set in Ireland in the late 5th century, complete with pagans, Christians, Latin, Romans, religieuse, government, and the church, that I can pick up between classics and other more cerebral reads. I am such a fan of the medieval setting - early, high, late - doesn't matter. Sister Fidelma is more flawed in this third book, which I appreciated, and the cruel actions from those with self-serving goals are more grim than found in the first few stories. This particular copyright had a character list, but I would have appreciated, and often referred to, a pronunciation guide for the Irish names and language found throughout the book. With special thanks to my daughter for keeping me from completely bungling the Irish language, as it is important to me to respect and attempt the correct pronunciation. I would have been grateful had a map been included as well. Ah, I do love a map.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    One of the earlier books in Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series, Suffer Little Children reflects a certain lack of finesse found in later books. We don't feel emotionally connected to Fidelma and she seems more of an archetype of a fiery red-headed rebel-nun. Although there is a technical reading order, the books can stand alone. The problem is that every book recaps the same information (for new readers). For this reason, readers of the series may find elements like Fidelma's guilty pining for Eadu One of the earlier books in Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series, Suffer Little Children reflects a certain lack of finesse found in later books. We don't feel emotionally connected to Fidelma and she seems more of an archetype of a fiery red-headed rebel-nun. Although there is a technical reading order, the books can stand alone. The problem is that every book recaps the same information (for new readers). For this reason, readers of the series may find elements like Fidelma's guilty pining for Eadulf--well, tedious. The mystery itself, however, is very good. Tremayne throws twists and turns right up to the end. My frustration with this particular book is the dependency on code (Ogham, Irish language), making it impossible for the reader to even try to figure it out. I prefer his later works, like Act of Mercy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This is the third in the sister Fidelma series, and they just get better. Her brother calls upon her to use her position as advocate of the law courts and investigative skills to solve a murder of a scholarly monk who had been studying & teaching at an Abby in her brother's kingdom. The land where the monk came from was demanding retribution for the killing. Her brother, soon to be king oh Cashel (onr of the five kingdoms of Ireland in 644AD), sends his best guard to assist and protect her on th This is the third in the sister Fidelma series, and they just get better. Her brother calls upon her to use her position as advocate of the law courts and investigative skills to solve a murder of a scholarly monk who had been studying & teaching at an Abby in her brother's kingdom. The land where the monk came from was demanding retribution for the killing. Her brother, soon to be king oh Cashel (onr of the five kingdoms of Ireland in 644AD), sends his best guard to assist and protect her on the journey. As she faces danger and murder she finds herself missing her partner in her last two investigations, Eadulf. This is an exciting page turner that takes you back in time.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Janta

    I read this book when it came out in 1995 or so, but haven't since. I was a little disappointed with this re-read, TBH. The writing seemed oddly stilted, with lots of sentences that could have been compressed or tightened to convey the same meaning in a more dynamic way. (I do wonder if this was deliberate -- for example, did Tremayne choose to write in the way he did to reflect the way it would be if it were written in period-correct Irish?) I also thought the solution to the mystery was a bit I read this book when it came out in 1995 or so, but haven't since. I was a little disappointed with this re-read, TBH. The writing seemed oddly stilted, with lots of sentences that could have been compressed or tightened to convey the same meaning in a more dynamic way. (I do wonder if this was deliberate -- for example, did Tremayne choose to write in the way he did to reflect the way it would be if it were written in period-correct Irish?) I also thought the solution to the mystery was a bit cliche, though that's not entirely fair; yes, it was a courtroom scene, with two lawyers verbally sparring, but I admit the historical context makes it more interesting. A passing comment on the ebook edition: it almost certainly was scanned from a print copy or something, because there were a few misspellings (e.g., randomly substituting the number 6 for an accented lowercase letter o) as well as the wrong word choice from time to time ("find" instead of "fined", though I'm less certain how that happens with a scanned text...) Also, the cast of characters list and the author's note appear at the end of the text instead of the beginning as the author clearly intended.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sherry

    #3 Sister Fidelma is set in Ireland as Muman’s dying king summons Fidelma to request that she investigate the brutal murder of reknowned religious scholar Venerable Dacán who was visiting a remote monastery in their kingdom. A neighboring kingdom is demanding steep reparation and a bloody war threatens if Fidelma cannot solve the complex and sinister political forces around the murder. Fidelma’s brother, Colgú, heir-apparent to the throne of Muman, sends her to Ros Ailithir as Brehon to investig #3 Sister Fidelma is set in Ireland as Muman’s dying king summons Fidelma to request that she investigate the brutal murder of reknowned religious scholar Venerable Dacán who was visiting a remote monastery in their kingdom. A neighboring kingdom is demanding steep reparation and a bloody war threatens if Fidelma cannot solve the complex and sinister political forces around the murder. Fidelma’s brother, Colgú, heir-apparent to the throne of Muman, sends her to Ros Ailithir as Brehon to investigate the murder and plead for Muman before the High Court of Tara. Before arriving there with Cass, a Royal body guard, they discover the firing and brutal murders of a small village afflicted by the Yellow Plague, and rescue a religeuse sister and the young orphans she is caring for, taking them on to the Abbey as well. These innocents are pawns in the political intrigues that have led to the death of Declan which Fidelma must investigate and entangle to prevent war between two of the neighboring kingdoms of Éireanne.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ann

    Another enjoyable entry in the series which has been around a while but is fairly new to me. Sister Fidelma is a qualified lawyer as well as a member of a religious order. She's also wicked smart, AND closely related to Irish royalty of the 7th century CE. She is regularly called on to untangle knotty problems, especially those involving the suspicious deaths of prominent people. In this case, a monk visiting another religious community to study some history texts they have is killed. In response, Another enjoyable entry in the series which has been around a while but is fairly new to me. Sister Fidelma is a qualified lawyer as well as a member of a religious order. She's also wicked smart, AND closely related to Irish royalty of the 7th century CE. She is regularly called on to untangle knotty problems, especially those involving the suspicious deaths of prominent people. In this case, a monk visiting another religious community to study some history texts they have is killed. In response, the ruler of the area he's from demands the head of the house and the local king pay the price for his death. Sister Fidelma's job is to figure out who/how/why he was killed in order to prevent a war. Lots of Irish names which are hard to pronounce. It's not a problem reading silently but I'd not like to have to read most of it aloud. Still I enjoy it -- the ancient Irish were, by and large, an enlightened lot!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    This is the third of Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mystery novels and I found it the best of the lot so far. For one thing, this book is more geographically sweeping. Set in southern Ireland in the middle of the sixty century, Sr. Fidelma becomes involved in a serious disagreement between two kingdoms, one of which is ruled by her cousin. Oh, yes, there are massacres of little children, the mysterious death of an esteemed scholar, and a brave and handsome warrior detailed to guard her as she gallops This is the third of Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mystery novels and I found it the best of the lot so far. For one thing, this book is more geographically sweeping. Set in southern Ireland in the middle of the sixty century, Sr. Fidelma becomes involved in a serious disagreement between two kingdoms, one of which is ruled by her cousin. Oh, yes, there are massacres of little children, the mysterious death of an esteemed scholar, and a brave and handsome warrior detailed to guard her as she gallops across beautiful landscapes and sails to isolated, craggy island monasteries. Plot twists and turns abound and the reader is kept guessing to the end about how this will all "work out." All is rendered in beautiful language that gives us almost photographic images of Ireland those many centuries ago and unforgettable portraits of human beings who, in their hopes, dreams, foibles and weaknesses are just like us. A fun and interesting read!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Carl Williams

    Peter Ellis is a highly respected historian of Celtic studies; folks with any interest in that area of history are likely to have at least one of his books on their shelf. And under the nom de plume of Peter Tremayne, he shares his deep of social, cultural, and political knowledge in this series of clever mysteries centering around sixth century Irish nun and lawyer Sister Fidelma. This is the third in that series, and it doesn’t disappoint. Though I may have one bone to pick with Fidelma—“Spare Peter Ellis is a highly respected historian of Celtic studies; folks with any interest in that area of history are likely to have at least one of his books on their shelf. And under the nom de plume of Peter Tremayne, he shares his deep of social, cultural, and political knowledge in this series of clever mysteries centering around sixth century Irish nun and lawyer Sister Fidelma. This is the third in that series, and it doesn’t disappoint. Though I may have one bone to pick with Fidelma—“Spare me from the boredom of genealogy” (p. 194), there are twists and turns of plot amid a wealth of the cultural and social milieu of ancient Ireland. If you’re a fan of historical fiction or “cozy” mysteries, this series and this novel come recommended.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Bleyle

    The strength of this series continues to be the historical 6th century setting. This third volume in the Sister Fidelma series is the first time we find our traveling protagonist actually within her native Ireland which is the chief pleasure of this novel. Disappointing ending to this one though as plot resolution seems very forced and left me wincing a little as Sister Fidelma seems a bit heartless and out of her previously established character in seeming to value a tidy wrap-up as the tonic t The strength of this series continues to be the historical 6th century setting. This third volume in the Sister Fidelma series is the first time we find our traveling protagonist actually within her native Ireland which is the chief pleasure of this novel. Disappointing ending to this one though as plot resolution seems very forced and left me wincing a little as Sister Fidelma seems a bit heartless and out of her previously established character in seeming to value a tidy wrap-up as the tonic to grief for the many lives lost in this volume [yes, the book's title is more than a little appropriate]. I will read on though in this series and hope Tremayne returns to the better plotting found in the earlier novels.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Peter Tremayne is a masterful author who both understands history and can spin a wonderful yarn. Sister Fidelma, who lived in Ireland during the 7th Century, is a learned "attorney." Ireland, at the time, was very progressive in their views of women and their talent. It was only when England invaded and took over control that the role of women was relegated to a second-class citizenry. This story centers around the desire of a province to rid itself of control and a murder that offers the opportu Peter Tremayne is a masterful author who both understands history and can spin a wonderful yarn. Sister Fidelma, who lived in Ireland during the 7th Century, is a learned "attorney." Ireland, at the time, was very progressive in their views of women and their talent. It was only when England invaded and took over control that the role of women was relegated to a second-class citizenry. This story centers around the desire of a province to rid itself of control and a murder that offers the opportunity to do exactly that. Unwinding the murder, while placing herself in great danger, Sister Fidelma not only survives, but explains "who done it" and keep the province for her brother, the king.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    This was a good story for me, mixing history with a whodunnit, how can it go wrong. I thought the characters were believable and the plot was interesting. A good twist at the end I thought, where when it’s revealed you can see the pointers along the way. I enjoyed it as I have the others in the series so far, I am reading them in order on my kindle as I got frustrated with the library because the book I want always seems to be on loan. Like a lot of the really good historical novels I think you l This was a good story for me, mixing history with a whodunnit, how can it go wrong. I thought the characters were believable and the plot was interesting. A good twist at the end I thought, where when it’s revealed you can see the pointers along the way. I enjoyed it as I have the others in the series so far, I am reading them in order on my kindle as I got frustrated with the library because the book I want always seems to be on loan. Like a lot of the really good historical novels I think you learn a great deal as well as enjoying a good story. I am becoming quite the sister Fidelma fan she is almost up there with my beloved Cadfael and other favourite author Bernard Cornwell.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Caroline

    Once again, Sister Fidelma outwits her opponents. A well thought of, scholarly monk is murdered, an apparently almost motiveless killing. Sister Fidelma is charged by her brother to go and investigate this death, and has only a few short days to complete her mission. As she starts her investigation, it becomes clear that there is more to this crime than meets the eye. Eventually, after days of investigation, Sister Fidelma discovers the truth and stands as advocate for her brother, the king's, kin Once again, Sister Fidelma outwits her opponents. A well thought of, scholarly monk is murdered, an apparently almost motiveless killing. Sister Fidelma is charged by her brother to go and investigate this death, and has only a few short days to complete her mission. As she starts her investigation, it becomes clear that there is more to this crime than meets the eye. Eventually, after days of investigation, Sister Fidelma discovers the truth and stands as advocate for her brother, the king's, kingdom.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Daniel

    Peter Tremayne seems set in a comfortable stride now and he doesn’t seem intent on deviating from the path. That’s all fine but this instalment in the series is a little less interesting, historically, for me personally. The intricacies of ancient Irish allegiances seemed rather too complicated to make for interesting background material let alone work as a sub plot. I did like the change of scene though, and new characters, even if most are rather two dimensional. However, as easy listening det Peter Tremayne seems set in a comfortable stride now and he doesn’t seem intent on deviating from the path. That’s all fine but this instalment in the series is a little less interesting, historically, for me personally. The intricacies of ancient Irish allegiances seemed rather too complicated to make for interesting background material let alone work as a sub plot. I did like the change of scene though, and new characters, even if most are rather two dimensional. However, as easy listening detective fiction, it does the job.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    Geeze this was a good mystery, they always are, but it's a lot darker than the others I've read in this series. Like, they're always a little dark, there's always a murder, but this one gets pretty brutal pretty suddenly at the end. Thought I had figured out the mystery early and was a little disappointed but then BAM 11th hour twist. This is an overall amazing series and every time I finish one I feel a little sad that I'm one novel closer to having no new installments to read. Just delightful. Geeze this was a good mystery, they always are, but it's a lot darker than the others I've read in this series. Like, they're always a little dark, there's always a murder, but this one gets pretty brutal pretty suddenly at the end. Thought I had figured out the mystery early and was a little disappointed but then BAM 11th hour twist. This is an overall amazing series and every time I finish one I feel a little sad that I'm one novel closer to having no new installments to read. Just delightful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joan

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This is the third book in this series that I have read and in each one the same character type has committed the murder. Granted, there is a twist to this one but still. Tremayne must get more creative with his characters if I am to continue with this series to the end. That said, the story is fast-paced and has some interesting plot twists. Unfortunately, there were several typos in this edition.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...