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Entertaining collection of mystery stories
on 28 November 2012
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.