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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining collection of mystery stories
If you haven't read any of the series featuring Sister Fidelma then the short stories in this volume would be a good place to start. Fidelma is a nun but she is also trained as an advocate of the law courts in Ireland which used the Brehon laws and she is often asked to solve mysteries which don't always include a murder. This collection of well-crafted and interesting...
Published on 28 Nov. 2012 by Damaskcat

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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The same sentence in every story.
I picked up this book in hopes to broaden my horizons after the excellent Ellis Peters. Sadly, Peter Tremayne is no Ellis Peters. I found every story redundant, predictable, and poorly written. Tremayne definitely tells, never shows. I found Fidelma simply annoying.
Added to that, every story makes sure to hammer home Fidelma's position and rank, usually with the...
Published on 24 Oct. 2008 by Chaucer rules


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining collection of mystery stories, 28 Nov. 2012
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
If you haven't read any of the series featuring Sister Fidelma then the short stories in this volume would be a good place to start. Fidelma is a nun but she is also trained as an advocate of the law courts in Ireland which used the Brehon laws and she is often asked to solve mysteries which don't always include a murder. This collection of well-crafted and interesting stories make entertaining reading and in the process you can pick up information about a less well known period of history.

I liked Sister Fidelma herself and enjoyed reading all these stories. Long before forensic science had started to make its mark, crimes were simpler to detect but also more complex because less information was available to the sleuth. Even Fidelma is prone to admit that some of her detection is guesswork, intuition and bluff.

Bodies are found in strange places - such as a tomb which had not been opened for over a thousand years. Church relics go missing - the blood of the Blessed St Gertrude as do more materially valuable items such as crosses and chalices. A hanged man apparently manages to stab himself at the same time as the hanging and arrows are broken off in wounds. Jealousy, envy and most of the seven deadly sins are found as motivations for the crimes. Sometimes justice and the law demand different outcomes.

These short stories all take about half to three quarters of an hour to read so they are ideal if you are commuting or want something short to read before sleep. If you enjoy historical crime novels and short stories then give Sister Fidelma a try.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable mystery short story collection, 3 Feb. 2008
Though Sister Fidelma has appeared in four novels, she has also starred in fifteen short stories that make up this wonderful anthology, HEMLOCK AT VESPERS. Peter Tremayne places his stories in order of publication date and allows the audience to observe how much the author and the character have matured. Readers learn why Sister Fidelma changes her references to herself, dissociates from a religious community, and how that impacts the seventh century amateur sleuth.

All the stories in this anthology are well written and self-contained as the essence of the main character comes alive each time while retaining a consistent level of excellent storytelling. That enables the audience to understand and empathize with Sister Fidelma. The stories also provide incredible insight into "Dark Ages" Ireland without slowing down the pacing. Mr. Tremayne is one the leaders of the historical mystery whether the plot is full-length novel (see VALLEY OF THE SHADOW) or a short story.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Celtic Short Thrillers, 3 Sept. 2002
Sister Fidelma is the protagonist in this book of short stories. She is a nun and lawyer in Celtic Ireland during the seventh century. She is more than that however, she is a detective and solves crimes (usually murders) quickly and with great logic. These stories have been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine to the Mammoth Book of Historical Detectives. Tremayne shows exceptional knowledge of the law system of the ancient Celts yet creates most readable fiction. There are several novels featuring Sister Fidelma.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hemlock at vespers, 15 Nov. 2012
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This review is from: Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
I have this on my kindle. It has been very good for short trip reading. The stories are most enjoyable and not totally predictable - as you would expect from sister Fidelma and Peter Tremayne.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Edition of Hemlock at Vespers, 10 Dec. 2011
By 
B. M. Ives (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
There are a LOT of stories in this anthology, this means there is a lot of repetition, for example of the descriptions of Fidelma, which can get a bit tedious. However it is still enjoyable.
The worst thing is the formatting of the display in the Kindle edition. The space after paragraphs is VERY large. On some pages, where there is short and snappy dialogue taking place, there can be very few words on a line with a large break then a few more words. This ghets very distracting and means that you have to press the turn page button every few seconds.

PLEASE sort it out!
Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Anthology 1)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, 11 Mar. 2014
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This review is from: Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
I really like stories from Celtic times and this book really hits the spot. Great for readers of all ages.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Anthology 1) Kindle book, 3 Jan. 2013
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This review is from: Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
Sister Fidelma in short story form is just as good if not better than in the novels. These stories provide some of the background to Fildema's attitudes and actions in the novels. Intriguing, entertaining and informative. I woould highly recommend that readers start at the beginning of the series with "Absolution by Murder".
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5.0 out of 5 stars Irish Legal system in Early 7th Century detective stories, 4 Sept. 2014
By 
Jo Varma (Tyne and Wear, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 9) (Kindle Edition)
just discoved the 'peter tremayne' books and have read his historical book as Peter Ellis ..celtic scholar ... if you like that period in history and a little detective story. This is a compendium of 15 short stories and the introduction is worth reading. Have yet to start reading the Sister Fidelma novels and only have one so far.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Whets the appetite for more if you are a beginner., 25 July 2013
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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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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars These Books Get Better and Better, 3 Feb. 2007
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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.

The year is Ad 666, Sister Fidelma is journeying to a remote valley. The inhabitants of the place are still worshipping in the ancient way. Almost at the end of her journey, Fidelma and her travelling companion come across the bodies of 33 young men. They have been ritually killed and laid out in an ancient druid symbol. Is the ritual slaughter the work of the local people or has Fidelma come across something far more sinister?
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