Friday, October 7, 2011

The Chalice of Blood-Peter Tremayne

The Chalice of Blood

Peter Tremayne

Minotaur, Oct 25 2011, $25.95

ISBN: 9780312551216

Already a dalaigh advocate of the law, Sister Fidelma of Cashel asks her brother King Colgu of Mumen to appoint her as the Chief Brehon magistrate. He conditionally agrees, but insists she first look into the suspicious death of scholar Brother Donnchad.

Abbott Iarnla asked the king to investigate the death of the Brother who recently feared for his life. He was found dead in his locked cell with stab wounds on his body yet his corpse seemed restful rather than frantic. Additionally manuscripts he was working on appear missing. Accompanying Sister Fidelma to the island where the Abbey of Lios Mor is located is her Brother Eadulf, Even before reaching the abbey, someone tries to assassinate the two investigators. At Lios Mor, cooperation is not forthcoming from most of the residents.

This is a great seventh century locked room Mystery of Ancient Ireland. As always the setting comes to life in this strong historical series (see The Dove of Death). While the lead couple struggles with divisive personal issues that enhance the plot as both lose some focus on the mission, it is the brilliant locked cell inquiry that makes Peter Tremayne’s The Chalice of Blood an excellent thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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