on 15 June 2005
Fast paced and suspenseful, this latest Sister Fidelma mystery novel was a real page turner and should not be overlooked.
All is not well at Cinel na Aeda: some mad person has been violently killing the young girls of the village. So far there have been three such deaths, each has been brutally cut up, and each was murdered when the moon was full. The chieftain of the village, Becc, is at his wit's end as to how to proceed -- his chief brehon is dead, and three strangers (all religious) who are currently staying at the Abbey of Finbarr are suspected by the villagers of having committed the murders -- and because he is a cousin of Colgu (the King of Murman and Fidelma's brother) Becc decides to go to ask Colgu for help. Or specifically to ask that Fidelma, a well known advocate of the courts and crime solver, come to Cinel na Aeda to investigate and help apprehend the murderer. A new mother, Fidelma is finding motherhood not all that it is cracked up to be and is almost relieved to be asked to solve this latest puzzle, much to her companion, Brother Eadulf's chagrin. But he agrees to go along with her to the village and to help her investigate. And Fidelma will need Eadulf's help for the case is very perplexing indeed and things at the village are very tense: the three girls were well liked and the villagers are scared and angry and ready for revenge. Confronted with prejudice against the mysterious strangers, closed mouth villagers and a lack of evidence, Fidelma will need to use every bit of her reasoning faculties in order to sort out this puzzle and so catch a seemingly insane killer...
Rich in historical and cultural detail and complete with a mystery subplot that actually invites the reader to reason along with Fidelma, "Badger's Moon" was a treat to read from beginning to end. The book was fast paced, and the suspense and tension was evenly maintained throughout. And not only were there enough red herring suspects and plot twists to keep any mystery addict happily preoccupied, the author also added a psychological element into the mix by juxtaposing a crisis that Fidelma was personally facing at the latest twist her life has taken (motherhood) and her not so nice (but completely understandable) feelings she had about it all. So that all in all readers are in for a very intriguing and compelling read, especially since they will be able to solve the mystery along with Fidelma -- though I'm not so sure about the cliffhanger at the end, even if it does make for some very slick marketing.
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.
The Sister Fidelma novels are taking on almost cult proportions and are becoming ever more popular with each offering from the author, whose obvious knowledge of the times and subjects he writes about shines out like a beacon on the shore.
When a series of horrific murders are committed in the Kingdom of Muman Sister Fidelma and brother Eadulf are called to restore order and find the killer. The victims are all young girls who have been killed with unspeakable violence on three consecutive full moons. The local people believe that three dark strangers from the distant land of Ethiopia, who are staying as guest of the Abbey at Finbarr must be the culprits and an angry mob attacks the abbey leaving the inmates in fear of their lives . . .
on 24 October 2013
As is often the case with Peter Tremayne's books, the plot is right out of the classic mystery mould. Clues, multiple goings-on, lots of theorising (some correct, much of it incorrect) and a clever yet simple solution to everything. Plotwise, this is almost perfect. The murderer isn't obvious, and the cynical sleuth might be surprised that everyone (apart from Fidelma, of course) overlooked the crucial clue. But it's a very satisfying mystery all round. Not the hardest to solve - I solved it, after all, but played perfectly fair and I did miss a bit of the solution. Full of character and, best of all, it invites you to play along. A great entry into a great series.
Full spoiler-free review at classicmystery.wordpress.com
on 13 September 2013
Another exciting Who Dunn-it from the master of historic intrigue. Peter Tremayne not only gives great insight into the Brehon Law system of the time, his words paint such vivid pictures of the Age. Sister Fidelma, the haughty and pedantic sister to Colgu, the King of Mummen, tantalisingly unravels yet another tangled mystery. Not a book to make you 'sleepy' at bedtime because once you get into the nitty gritty of the story....you can't put it down.....still reading at 5 a.m!!