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Writ in Stone (Burren Mysteries) Hardcover – 4 Aug 2009


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers Ltd (4 Aug 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727868128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727868121
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 14.9 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 954,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By L. J. Roberts TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Jan 2010
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: The Burren, on the west coast of Ireland, is a land of white stone and dark gree-blue sea, encircled by swirling terraced mountains of gleaming limestone, soft fertile grass and hard rock; tiny jewel-bright flowers and wind-torn asymmetrical trees; great pagan stone monuments and small ruined Christian churches and abbeys.

Mara, responsible for justice in Burren, Ireland, is set to marry King Turlock, ruler of three kingdoms in Northwest Ireland. He announced he would hold a solitary vigil in the abbey church by the tomb of his ancestor at dawn. When Brehon is awakened to an uproar of voices proclaiming the King has been murdered, she knows it is not true as he was with her. The victim is the King's brother. But who was the intended victim?

I was trying to figure out what about this series appeals to me as much as it does. One answer is the author's descriptive abilities. Harrison is a very evocative writer, not only of era and location, but of people as well. I can "see" what I'm being told and that adds a real richness to the story. It allows the story to become real in my head.

Another answer is the history. Learning about a time, place and, particularly, a system of law only known to me because of this series, is something I value. It also adds a background layer of suspense as you sense the time coming when English law will outlaw Brehon law in the 1600s. When an author can educate, as well as entertain, they gain my respect.

The characters are very well drawn; I felt their personalities. Mara is a very intelligent, strong and capable woman, holds a position of high authority and respect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrs finch on 5 Sep 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
once again, cora harrison delivers with an excellent read! she really is the queen of historical fiction, when you read a cora harrison book you really get transported to the burren and the story just blows you away! dont ever stop cora!!!! well done!!!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Sarnia Cherie on 28 Jun 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the 4th book in the Burren Mystery series from Cora Harrison and describes the events leading up to the marriage of Mara, Brehon of the Burren (a judge) to King Turlough O'Brien who is ruler of the Burren. A violent murder takes place in Corcomroe Abbey on Christmas Eve, but was the victim the intended target, or was it a case of mistaken identity?

A little background information: the Burren is a unique limestone landscape in co. Clare, Ireland, steeped in history dating back 1000s of years. You cannot travel more than a mile or so without coming across some ancient ruin: a megalithic tomb or crumbling medieval church. Many of the places mentioned in the book(s) can still be identified and visited today.

I've visited the Burren several times and can picture the scenes and places Cora Harrison so vividly and accurately describes. All her characters are well developed: I feel a great warmth and affection for Mara, the Brehon judge, and have go to "know" her well through the 5 books written so far (as of June 2010). Mara's young scholars at the Burren law school are also clearly defined, from quiet young Hugh, to reliable Fachtnan, and there are many other characters to get to know throughout the series.

I recommend you read these books in the order they were published, as events do move on and characters develope from book to book:

1 My Lady Judge
2 Michaelmas Tribute (published under "A Secret and Unlawful Killing" in USA)
3 The Sting of Justice
4 Writ in Stone
5 Eye of the Law

A super medieval mystery series with extremely likeable characters.

I look forward to more from Cora Harrison!
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6 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bookwoman on 16 May 2010
Format: Hardcover
There seems to be a lot of historical murder mystery series around at the moment. Why choose this one? Well, the blurb makes it sound intriguing - a female judge in the west of Ireland in the early 16th century investigates a murder on the eve of her wedding to a local king, and all the suspects are trapped by a fierce snowstorm in a remote abbey.
Unfortunately, I came straight to this from reading the Ariana Franklin series, which features another female crime investigator and her team (though this time in 12th century England) - a far superior read. Why?
There is the skeleton of a good story here. It's an original setting with an interesting-sounding female heroine, there is a good shipwreck scene and the murderer is unveiled very well.
A lot of it is down to the dialogue. A more skilful writer can, in a scene or two of conversation, more finely draw characters and their thoughts and relationships than by writing pages of clunking prose like this. If you read out the dialogue, none of it sounds real and all the characters sound the same. She keeps telling us what people are thinking instead of showing us. I didn't feel I got to know the main protagonist, Mara, at all (contrast this with Ariana Franklin's heroine Aliena and her warm relationships with her little gang of ill-assorted helpers). Mara just moves the plot along by interviewing each suspect in turn. I'm also afraid that, when you're already struggling to remember who's who, the difficult to pronounce (for us non-gaelic speakers) place and character names - Murrough, Turlough, Teige, Fachtnan - just make it all that much more of a slog.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Murder in the 1500s 29 Jan 2010
By L. J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: The Burren, on the west coast of Ireland, is a land of white stone and dark gree-blue sea, encircled by swirling terraced mountains of gleaming limestone, soft fertile grass and hard rock; tiny jewel-bright flowers and wind-torn asymmetrical trees; great pagan stone monuments and small ruined Christian churches and abbeys.

Mara, responsible for justice in Burren, Ireland, is set to marry King Turlock, ruler of three kingdoms in Northwest Ireland. He announced he would hold a solitary vigil in the abbey church by the tomb of his ancestor at dawn. When Brehon is awakened to an uproar of voices proclaiming the King has been murdered, she knows it is not true as he was with her. The victim is the King's brother. But who was the intended victim?

I was trying to figure out what about this series appeals to me as much as it does. One answer is the author's descriptive abilities. Harrison is a very evocative writer, not only of era and location, but of people as well. I can "see" what I'm being told and that adds a real richness to the story. It allows the story to become real in my head.

Another answer is the history. Learning about a time, place and, particularly, a system of law only known to me because of this series, is something I value. It also adds a background layer of suspense as you sense the time coming when English law will outlaw Brehon law in the 1600s. When an author can educate, as well as entertain, they gain my respect.

The characters are very well drawn; I felt their personalities. Mara is a very intelligent, strong and capable woman, holds a position of high authority and respect. She also has a bit of Holmes' powers of observations and Miss Marple's ability to appear guileless, who Harrison has very smartly balanced that with Turlock; a king who has been a warrior all his life and tends to react first. While not romantic suspense, by any means, the relationship between Mara and Turlock is nicely done. Surrounding them are multitude of diverse characters and personalities adding layers to the story.

I did appreciate that, in this book, Mara's law students had a much less substantial role in solving the crime. The story is well plotted providing lots of possible suspects and motives along the way. It also raises the issue of canon law versus secular law.

I very much enjoyed this book and recommend it to all those who enjoy historical mysteries.

WRIT IN STONE (Hist Mys-Mara, Brehon of the Burren- Ireland-1509/Middle Ages - VG
Harrison, Cora - 4th in series
Severn House, 2009, UK Hardcover - ISBN: 9780727868121
Holds its own in this genre. 8 Jan 2014
By Kenneth McIntosh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I;ve read all the Caedfael mysteries and most of Sister Fidelma. If you enjoy Celtic Medieval mysteries this series introduces a likable heroine, plenty of detailed information and a mystery that will indeed keep you guessing until the end. I read this one over Christmas break as it takes place at that season.
Welcome to Medieval Ireland! 14 Dec 2013
By plb3 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Following a murder in the abbey's church the day before Christmas, Mara--a Brehon for the territory--must solve the mystery quickly. She is doubly motivated to solve the murder since the real target was the King whom Mara is to marry on Christmas Day. Since the monastery is trapped in deep snow, the killer must be one of those within its walls, but Mara quickly discovers that there are multiple suspects, each of whom has motive and opportunity. The arrival of two students and a visiting Brehon provide her with more associates as she desperately looks for the clue which will reveal the killer who has now added her to the list of those to be murdered.
This novel is a fine read, filled with interesting details about Irish law and customs and rich characters for the reader to enjoy and worry about.
Medieval law mystery - excellent read 9 Sep 2013
By Pam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who love historical fiction, and enjoy Irish history, this is the series for you. Celtic law is different from what became our law - it is more forgiving in some ways and harsher in others. I enjoy learning about the differences in an interesting story line.
Another excellent medieval mystery 16 July 2013
By Susan Rossbach - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Another excellent medieval mystery by Cora Harrison. Great insight into life in those times. Would recommend you read them in the order they were written because small details mention incidents in previous books but books could be read in any order.
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