From Publishers Weekly
An intriguing lead and a tricky puzzle propel Tremayne's 18th whodunit featuring seventh-century Irish legal advocate Sister Fidelma (after 2009's The Council of the Cursed). When pirates board the Barnacle Goose, the ship on which Fidelma and her husband, Eadulf, are sailing home after the previous book's events, the pirates' white-clothed, masked leader fatally stabs both the Goose's captain and a royal envoy who's Fidelma's cousin. Fidelma and Eadulf jump overboard to save their lives. A man in a small boat rescues the couple and takes them to the island of Hoedig, where Fidelma vows to devote her energies to identifying the murderer, a promise complicated by evidence that the brigands may be connected with a local nobleman. More murders and plenty of action follow on Hoedig. The ease with which Tremayne brings 670 C.E. Ireland to life more than makes up for a solution that's less clever than usual. (Nov.) (c)
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Sister Fidelma and her companion-husband Brother Eadulf reappear in an all-new medieval adventure distinguished by the attention paid to both suspense and historical detail. Returning home aboard an Irish merchant ship after the divisive Council of Autun (Council of the Cursed), Fidelma, Eadulf, and their shipmates are beset by marauding pirates, who ruthlessly murder both the captain and Fidelma’s cousin, special envoy to her brother, Colgú, king of Muman. Barely escaping with their lives after jumping overboard, the two are determined to exact justice for the crime. As more atrocities are committed, Fidelma, an advocate of the law courts of seventh-century Ireland, employs her keen intellect and heightened powers of observation in pursuit of some uncomfortable truths. Tremayne, a master of the medieval mystery, continues to shine as he sheds light on the twists and turns of both church history and the remarkably enlightened political and legal position accorded to women in seventh-century Ireland. --Margaret Flanagan