This is the 4th book in the Burren Mystery series from Cora Harrison and describes the events leading up to the marriage of Mara, Brehon of the Burren (a judge) to King Turlough O'Brien who is ruler of the Burren. A violent murder takes place in Corcomroe Abbey on Christmas Eve, but was the victim the intended target, or was it a case of mistaken identity?
A little background information: the Burren is a unique limestone landscape in co. Clare, Ireland, steeped in history dating back 1000s of years. You cannot travel more than a mile or so without coming across some ancient ruin: a megalithic tomb or crumbling medieval church. Many of the places mentioned in the book(s) can still be identified and visited today.
I've visited the Burren several times and can picture the scenes and places Cora Harrison so vividly and accurately describes. All her characters are well developed: I feel a great warmth and affection for Mara, the Brehon judge, and have go to "know" her well through the 5 books written so far (as of June 2010). Mara's young scholars at the Burren law school are also clearly defined, from quiet young Hugh, to reliable Fachtnan, and there are many other characters to get to know throughout the series.
I recommend you read these books in the order they were published, as events do move on and characters develope from book to book:
1 My Lady Judge 2 Michaelmas Tribute (published under "A Secret and Unlawful Killing" in USA) 3 The Sting of Justice 4 Writ in Stone 5 Eye of the Law
A super medieval mystery series with extremely likeable characters.