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Death on the Holy Mountain (Lord Francis Powerscourt) Hardcover – April 1, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dickinson's witty, highly literate seventh Lord Francis Powerscourt novel (after 2007's Death on the Nevskii Prospekt) provides a lively portrait of turn-of-the-last-century Ireland, where the English investigator and his wife, Lady Lucy, track down missing ancestral paintings of Anglo-Irish overlords, rescue kidnapped noblewomen from Irish nationalists and unmask murderers defiling the sacred Croagh Patrick pilgrimage. Large dollops of Ireland's long bloody struggle for independence counterpoint snatches of the country's famed song and poetry as Powerscourt thrashes out his inner dilemma against the labor pains of modern nationhood, torn between his aristocratic English heritage and the Ireland of his youth that he still loves deeply. Meanwhile, Ireland's religious and political leaders juggle fanaticism against practicality and Celtic voodoo against political expediency. Though Lady Lucy's role here is subordinated to Dickinson's evident relish in historical settings, architecture, art and poetry, this novel provides splendid entertainment and a wealth of insights into still-smoldering resentments and conflicts. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Lord Francis Powerscourt’s seventh case brings him to Ireland in 1905. Someone is stealing family portraits and a few Old Masters from the estates of the Protestant gentry. The owners have received no ransom notes, and the art is not up for sale anywhere. The perpetrators up the ante when some of the wives of the gentry disappear. Lord Powerscourt’s family is originally from Ireland, so the landlords trust him, but they are still not forthcoming with information. The Catholic locals are not at all welcoming. As the investigation proceeds and Powerscourt begins to close in on the culprits, he finds his life in danger. Dickinson, an honors graduate in classics at Cambridge, has crafted a story that is rich in historical detail. His full-bodied characters give readers a genuine feel for the unrest in Ireland at the beginning of the twentieth century. Lovers of British historical mysteries will enjoy Powerscourt’s latest adventure. --Barbara Bibel

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Product Details

  • Series: Lord Francis Powerscourt
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Soho Constable; First Edition edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569475032
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569475034
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,735,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts VINE VOICE on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First Sentence: The box was brown and tightly bund with string.

Someone is stealing ancestral portraits, and a few old masters, from the homes of the landed Protestant gentry in Ireland. Being of that descent, yet having given up his Irish family home, Lord Francis Powerscourt is asked to find the culprit. The question is whether it is a case of traditional theft, or an attempt to force the land-owner Protestant's out of Ireland. When theft turns to murder, the stakes are raised.

I always enjoy Dickinson's writing but this was dryer and more focused on history than murder than his books I've read so far.

Dickinson's wonderful wry humor is still there, as is his perceptiveness. There is a wonderful comparison of two clergymen; the Catholic priest and the Protestant minister. His introspection is there as well; Powercourt's dilemma as to whether he is for or against the Irish struggle.

The descriptiveness of his writing always appeals to me. He involves all the senses and allows you to see, hear, smell and taste the elements of the story. I particularly liked that he included songs of the period. His characters are well defined and alive. Powerscourt, Lady Lucy and, particularly Johnny Fitzgerald are always a pleasure to rediscover.

The plot, in this particular book, was a bit heavy-handed with Irish history. It was fascinating and I did learn a lot, but it also rather overshadowed the suspense of the story. It was a shame as Dickinson can do suspense very well.

Even so, this was a pleasure to read, kept me involved and certainly anxious to read the next book in the series.

DEATH ON THE HOLY MOUNTAIN (Hist/Enq. Agent (PI)-Lord Francis Powerscourt-Ireland-1905) - G+
Dickinson, David - 7th in series
Constable, 2008, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 9781845296032
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Porkchop T. on May 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Lord Francis Powerscourt series, I pre-ordered this book. I'm sorry to say it was a disappointment. I WAS hoping this book would have less of the grizzly murder and torture scenes David Dickinson seemed to delight in in his previous books like Death of a Chancellor and Death on the Nevskii Prospekt. However, in Murder On The Holy Mountain there is only one murder, briefly described. At the very end of the book, almost as an afterthought, Dickinson mentions that, yes, the victim was horribly tortured. Oh. This book was SO tame it seemed like it was written by a different author.
The book is short on story and long on filler. There is a sub-story about donkeys that goes nowhere. There are songs, poetry and even parts of the Latin Mass quoted liberally. If you're looking for a mini-course in the woeful political history of Ireland, this book is for you. I found it distractingly didactic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. Ruedinger on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's just been in the last couple of years that I found David Dickinson's "Lord Frances Powerscourt" mystery series. With every book there is more things to learn about Great Britain and with this book, Ireland. That's the "Easter Egg" of his books - learning historical facts about Great Britain as a back drop to a wonderfully written mystery. No wasting your money here!
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