"If there is anyone who has emerged from the crowded field of medieval mysteries to take the place of the late Ellis Peters, it is Peter Tremayne." --Denver Post on Master of Souls
Ireland AD 670: When an eminent scholar is found murdered in his cell in the Abbey of Lios Mor, fear spreads among his brethren. His door was secured from the inside, with no other means of exit. How did the murderer escape? And what was the content of the manuscripts apparently stolen from the scholar's room?
Abbot Iarnla insists on sending for Sister Fidelma and her companion Brother Eadulf to investigate the killing. But even before they reach the abbey walls, there is an attempt on their lives. As the mystery deepens, Fidelma and Eadulf must also wrestle with problems of their own, problems which threaten to separate them forever...
In Tremayne's superior 19th full-length seventh-century Irish historical (after 2010's The Dove of Death), Sister Fidelma has decided to forsake her life as a religieuse, in order to apply for the position of Chief Brehon, the leading investigating magistrate, of her brother Colg 's kingdom. Colg makes Fidelma's acceptance to the post conditional on her looking into an apparently impossible murder. Brother Donnchad, a renowned scholar, whose disposition had recently altered dramatically and who feared for his life, was found stabbed to death in his cell, though oddly he was lying on his bed "as if in repose." In addition, the cell's door was locked from the inside. To further complicate matters, Colg designates Brother Eadulf, Fidelma's long-standing companion, from whom she has become estranged, to assist her in the case. The clever solution, one of the author's best, enhances a pitch-perfect reproduction of medieval Ireland.