Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Exclusive track - Ed Sheeran Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
24
Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma)
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.59+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 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.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 July 2017
No problems
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 20 June 2017
Good
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 February 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.
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 September 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.
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 15 November 2012
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.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 10 December 2011
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)
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 11 March 2014
I really like stories from Celtic times and this book really hits the spot. Great for readers of all ages.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 24 November 2016
I am not a fan of the short story genre and while Sister Fidelma appears to be as capable as in the full length versions there is no Eadulf to make the "escape" somewhat humorous or indeed the tales more intriguing. All power to Fidelma and as I now have just purchased the entire collection no doubt I will have more short stories to read.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 3 January 2013
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".
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse