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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.
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The perfect companion for all history enthusiasts is the ROMA VICTRIX WINE BEAKER Calix Imperium, Roma Victrix Pewter wine beaker

Sister Fidelma is back for the thirteenth time and is staying at her brother the King of Muman’s palace following the birth of her son. Motherhood hangs heavily on her hands, so it is with great relief when she is summoned to discover the murderer of three young girls in the lands of the Cinél na Aeda. All three were slain at the time of the full moon, and the finger points towards the three Ethiopians staying at the nearly Abbey of Finbarr. But there are more suspects than this: the chieftain’s bloodthirsty heir, a mysterious hermit who instructs people about the moon’s powers, and an abusive tanner whom nobody likes to name just three.

There are more red herrings here than on a fishmonger’s slab, and as usual Peter Tremayne delivers up a rattling good tale. It is interesting to read of feisty superwoman Fidelma’s post-natal blues, and her marriage with Eadulf is certainly not one made in heaven, which adds a very real touch to the tale. As usual, there is the inevitable rosy glow surrounding Tremayne’s depiction of Golden Age Eire as a sort of lost Utopia which does not ring quite true, although as I base my assumption upon my reading of other novels and textbooks set at this time, I am no authority to question it apart from the fact that it seems too perfect. I applaud the inclusion of a guide to the pronunciation of the Irish words, as well as the usual useful preface to this little-known period, but whatever you think of Tremayne’s historical knowledge, his skill as a writer of page-turner whodunits is indisputable.
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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 . . .
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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
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on 25 July 2013
Received in good condition well within the expected time. If you are a beginner with Sister Fidelma then try and start at the beginning of the series. It will pay and make your experience so much better.
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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 can't put it down.....still reading at 5 a.m!!
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on 3 January 2013
An excellent mystery but is Mr Tremayne slipping a little? I guessed who one of the culprits might be very early on in the book. However it has taken me 13 books to make my first correct guess! I highly recommend that readers start at the beginning of the series with "Absolution by Murder". Each book is a challenging puzzle and you learn so much about 7th century Ireland too.
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on 24 September 2013
I had recently admired "Smoke in the Wind" and found that held more tension so it was not one of the famous Sister Fidelma series that I would give 5 stars to - but still a very worthwhile novel of Peter Tremayne's. He includes so much fascinating information about great Celtic period.
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on 2 February 2013
I can never work out for myself who is the culprit in Peter Tremayne's books about Sister Fidelma , once started on I can not put the book own till I have found out.....I love all the history of of Ireland that is part of the story too.
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on 16 January 2015
The series is better read chronologically and is back in Ireland just after the birth of Fidelma's and Eadamund's son. An interesting murder mystery. Some aspects of life are timeless....
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