Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sting of Justice-Cora Harrison

Sting of Justice
Cora Harrison
Minotaur, Nov 24 2009, $24.99
ISBN: 9780312372699

In the Kingdom of Burren in western Ireland in the year 1509, the land is rich with minerals especially silver washing out of the mountain and free for anyone who sees it. That is until Sorley Skerrett the avaricious silversmith bought the land and opened a silver mine. Over the decades that mine became a festering sore spot on the once pristine mountainside. Now affluent and influential, he is petty and spiteful with many angry enemies who want to spit on his grave.

While sitting in a room in the church he attended, someone crashes a hive through the window to the floor. Allergic to the venom, Sorley dies immediately. Mara the Brehon of the Burren rules it murder and she starts an investigation. She finds many suspects as the victim was universally detested by those he destroyed with his unethical business ventures. Perhaps those who hate him more are those who had the misfortune of being in his personal life like his ex wife. Everyone had the opportunity as Mara finds she has a lot of work ahead to sift through this case.

Although almost a millennia in the past, fans of Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma Ancient Irish mysteries will want to read this terrific medieval whodunit as the legal system has evolved from the seventh century to the sixteenth. Mara is terrific as the only LADY JUDGE in Ireland looking into A SECRET AND UNLAWFUL KILLING again. The support cast is three dimensional as they bring time and place alive. The official inquiry is well done as Mara slowly works her way to the killer. Cora Harrison provides another strong historical murder investigation as this series is one of the sub-genre’s best.

Harriet Klausner