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Absolution by Murder (A Sister Fidelma Mystery: A Celtic Mystery) [Paperback]

Peter Tremayne
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
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Book Description

5 Jan 1995 A Sister Fidelma Mystery: A Celtic Mystery

As the leading churchmen and women gather at the Synod of Whitby in 664AD to debate the rival merits of the Celtic and Roman Churches, tempers begin to fray. Conspirators plot an assassination, while mysterious, violent death stalks the shadowy cloisters of the Abbey of St Hilda. When the Abbess Etain, a leading speaker for the Celtic Church, is found murdered suspicion inevitably rests on the Roman faction.

Attending the Synod is Fidelma, of the community of St Brigid of Kildare. As an advocate of the Brehon Court, she is called on to investigate the murder with Brother Eadulf, of the Roman faction. However, the two are so unlike that their partnership is described as that of a wolf and a fox - but which is which?

More gruesome deaths follow and the friction among the clerics could end in civil war. Can the solution to the mysteries avert such a conflict?

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Absolution by Murder (A Sister Fidelma Mystery: A Celtic Mystery) + Shroud for the Archbishop (A Sister Fidelma Mystery: a Celtic Mystery) + Suffer Little Children (A Sister Fidelma Mystery: A Celtic Mystery)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Headline; New Ed edition (5 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747246025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747246022
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 98,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.

Product Description

Book Description

The brilliant and evocative first novel in the Sister Fidelma series brings 7th-century Ireland vividly to life

About the Author

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Compelling 21 Jan 2002
This book is one of the most addictive I've read. Peter Tremayne's knowledge of the Celtic world has allowed him to create a set of characters which are extremely vivid and life-like. By mixing in historical characters such as King Oswy of Northumbria, and by setting it during the Synod of Whitby, his story becomes even more realistic. The plot is as exciting as it is historically detailed. In 664 AD at the Synod of Whitby reprentatives of the Roman and Celtic churches met to decide if the North of England should follow the rule of Rome or Columba (the Celtic church). Before the debate starts the main speaker of the Celtic church is murderd. Suspicion falls on the Roman faction, but is it that simeple? Fidelma thinks not. Another murder follows and it looks like it's been solved, but then another murder is committed and Fidelma must finally confront the killer in true 'Agatha Christie drawing-room' style. I could tell you the whole plot, but I won't - GO BUY THIS BOOK!! Highly recommended. Keep up the good work Mr Tremayne.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
In Sister Fidelma Peter Tremayne has created a serious rival for Cadfael's crown ! As one would expect from the pen-name of one of Britain's foremost scholars of the Celtic period, the setting and period details are simply breathtaking in their accuracy and vividness. In the first full-length novel featuring Fidelma, the plot concerns the pivitol Synod of Whitby and the ongoing debate between the Celtic and Roman branches of Christianity, with dark murder and mayhem stalking the synod attendees. It is particularly refreshing to see a fully rounded character in Fidelma, not simply a cypher for the resolution for the mystery. Read this and you will certainly want to read the rest of the excellent series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Murder in the 7th century 22 Aug 2006
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
The author Peter Tremayne obviously has a great knowledge of Ireland in the 7th century and also on Irish Law. His Sister Fidelma book are attracting what can only be described as a cult following, but they are of interest to anyone who likes historical novels or mysteries. This series of books are set in Ireland in the 7th century, a time when there was total equality for women. The lead character is the beguiling Sister Fidelma. She is a brilliant scholar, a leading authority on Irish law and the sister of a king.

Sister Fidelma is attending an ecclesiastical conclave at Whitby in the year 664. While she is there a major proponent of the Celtic way of religion is murdered. Fidelma a fellow follower of the Celtic way is asked to investigate. She is paired with the ideological opposite, Brother Eadulf on the Roman side. Eadulf is shrewd well educated and smitten with the sister.

In an age before celibacy had become a part of religious life, intellectual and physical sparks fly between the two clerics and when two monks are also killed the plot thickens . . .
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real flavour of the times 23 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Tremayne is undoubtedly brave in setting such a well-trodden genre as the detective novel in a period which we know so little about, but his huge breadth of knowledge on 7th century Britain and of the Celts means that, whilst reading Absolution by Murder, the first Sister Fidelma novel, one never gets the feeling that these events could not have happened. Without boring the reader, Tremayne paints a detailed and thoroughly convincing canvas of a North British monastery community.
Sister Fidelma is a worthwhile detective, and, whilst occasionally her effasiveness becomes tedious, her character is full of zest and is likeable. Brother Eadulf, the Saxon monk, plays his role of the less-clever-than-the-main-sleuth sidekick well, and (which is a change) he is usually on the same level as Fidelma, finding some stuff out for himself. His character is also well-rounded and lively. The entire cast of characters in this widely-populated novel are almost without exception uniquely-characterised - Tremayne seems to take great pleasure in creating such odd misfits of characters, out of whom we must select the murderer!
The plot of Absolution by Murder is exciting, and the added suspense of a deadline set by the King for Sister Fidelma to unravel the foul murder at hand is well-used. Twists and misdirections abound, the author knows precisely what to do, and how to make the reader believe he or she knows the outcome, before sprining the climactic revelation in a rather anachronistic "Now I'm sure you're all wondering why I brought you all here tonight" gathering at the end.
Well-written and detailed, Ansolution by Murder is a good, light novel which will appeal to both fans of detective fiction and of historical novels. Sister Fidelma will go far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
In 664 AD,a synod is held at Whitby.At stake is the fate of the Christian church in Britain;whether the Celtic church will be allowed,or only the Roman rite.Sister Fidelma is an Irish nun of the Celtic church and also an advocate of the Brehon courts who is asked to investigate the murder of one of the delegates,an Irish Abbess and Fidelma's kinswoman.Br.Eadulf,a,saxon monk,is called on to assist in solving the mystery.Amid political intrigue,mounting relious factionalism,and the added complication of the plague,they must tread an increasingly dangerous path. Sr.Fidelma is an easy addictoin to acquire.Mr. Tremayne effortlessly imparts a great deal of history,making his book informative as well as pleasurable.It is salutory to be reminded in our secular age that religion can matter enough to some that they will kill or die for it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good read and the first in a series of 21 ...
A very good read and the first in a series of 21 similar stories highlighting the lost Celtic way of life that we should be embracing today. Read more
Published 6 days ago by Bill Henderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely
I found this a very enjoyable read, great to take on holiday would recommend to family and friends who would like this kind of "who done it".
Published 5 months ago by BTH
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolution by Murder (A Sister Fidelma Mystery: A Celtic Mystery)
They just get better the more I read them. Once again brilliant from start to finish, Thank you so much.
Published 7 months ago by Doreen Clark
3.0 out of 5 stars Murder in Whitby
The humourless heroine finds love in this book, but not till after throwing her weight about a lot, in the style of "do you know who you are talking to". Read more
Published 9 months ago by M. Gallacher
5.0 out of 5 stars sharing
Bought this for a friend who is keen on Celtic religion etc. as I am. I have read all these and he was most interested. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mo Bentley mbbentley
5.0 out of 5 stars Vary Enjoyable
This is not the first book I have read of Peter Tremayne's; the first book of his I ever read, and in fact the vary first novel I ever read, was his The Ants which I brought from... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Traffic
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
Having completed all the Caedfael novels of Ellis Peters, I was searching for something with the same flavour. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Coyley@
1.0 out of 5 stars How does a book this bad ever get published...
...let alone become the first of a series which apparently confers some prestigious positions and awards upon its author? How do I hate thee? Let me count the ways. Read more
Published 17 months ago by S Sims
4.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed!
Really enjoyed reading the first of this series (had recently picked up a much later one). Interesting times historically as well as a well-written novel.
Published 18 months ago by Bronwen Dove
5.0 out of 5 stars Where is Whitby
This is the first adventure in which I met the intrepid double act. They are called to solve a murder at a church synod in Whitby - I know I had to look it up. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Marlene
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