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Behold a Pale Horse and The Seventh Trumpet – Two Sister Fidelma Mysteries by Peter Tremayne

Posted By Claire on July 9, 2014

beholdI discovered the delights of Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma mysteries back in 2011 when I was sent The Dove of Death and The Chalice of Blood to review, and they are now books I choose to buy for myself and family and friends.

Behold a Pale Horse and The Seventh Trumpet are the 22nd and 23rd books in the Sister Fidelma series and they are as enjoyable as ever. Fear not if you haven’t read any of the others, each mystery is a stand-alone book, and you can pick up any title and enjoy it for what it is: an historical mystery. I’ve read them out of order and missed ones out and it did not affect my enjoyment of them at all.

The tagline of the books is “a mystery of ancient Ireland” and they are set in the 7th century AD. Sister Fidelma of Cashel is a dalaigh, or legal advocate, a royal princess and a religieuse, who proves to be skilled at unravelling mysteries and bringing perpetrators to justice, usually with the help of her sidekick Brother Eadulf. The mysteries are written by Peter Tremayne, real name Peter Beresford Ellis, who is a Celtic scholar and so creates Fidelma’s world perfectly in these novels. If you have enjoyed Ellis Peters’ Cadfael mysteries then you will love these. I’m completely hooked!

I don’t want to go into detail on the books and risk spoilers, so here’s just a brief rundown. Behold a Pale Horse is set in Italy and sees Sister Fidelma rushing from Rome to the monastery of Bobbio, in northern Italy, to see her former mentor Brother Ruadan before he dies. Unfortunately, what should have been a simple, but sad, visit turns into a dangerous adventure after her mentor warns her of the evil present in the monastery. The local warlords are threatening war, there is religious division and soon there are more murders – will Fidelma be able to put a stop to the bloodshed? Well, of course!

The Seventh Trumpet sees Fidelma’s brother the King calling on his sister to investigate the murder of an unknown nobleman whose stabbed body is abandoned by a stream. The only clue to his identity is an emblem but this doesn’t stop Fidelma and Eadulf from embarking on the mission. This is a thrilling tale of kidnap, intrigue and murder, with Tremayne at his best. I don’t know how on earth he can keep coming up with new storylines and plots, the twists and turns always work and are never too far-fetched. Perfect who-dunnits.
seventh trumpet

Book Details – The Seventh Trumpet

Blurb:
When a murdered corpse of an unknown young noble is discovered, Fidelma of Cashel is brought in to investigate, in Peter Tremayne’s The Seventh Trumpet

Ireland, AD 670. When the body of a murdered young noble is discovered not far from Cashel, the King calls upon his sister, Fidelma, and her companion Eadulf to investigate. Fidelma, in addition to being the sister of the king, is a dailaigh—an advocate of the Brehon Law Courts—and has a particular talent for resolving the thorniest of mysteries.

But this time, Fidelma and Eadulf have very little to work with—the only clue to the noble’s identity is an emblem originating from the nearby kingdom of Laign. Could the murder be somehow related to the wave of violence erupting in the western lands of the kingdom? The turmoil there is being stirred up by an unknown fanatical figure who claims to have been summoned by “the seventh angel” to remove the “impure of faith.” Fidelma and Eadulf, once again grappling with a tangled skein of murder and intrigue, must somehow learn what connects the dead noble, a murdered alcoholic priest, and an abbot who has turned his monastery into a military fortress. When it appears that things cannot get more complex, Fidelma herself is abducted, and Eadulf must rescue her before the mystery can be solved.

Series: Mystery of Ancient Ireland (Book 23)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (June 24, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250048567
ISBN-13: 978-1250048561
Available from Amazon.com, Amazon UK and your usual bookstore.

Book Details – Behold a Pale Horse

Blurb:
A perplexing case of murder and conspiracy in the pagan wilds of Northern Italy

In 664 A.D., just after the events detailed in Shroud for the Archbishop, Fidelma of Cashel takes an unexpected detour on her trip home from Rome. While in the port at Genua (modern day Genoa), Fidelma—sister of one Ireland’s kings and an advocate in her country’s law courts—receives word that one of her old teachers, Brother Ruadan, is reaching the end of his days. Determined to see her old mentor one last time, Fidelma takes the treacherous journey to a remote abbey in the countryside—a place where the old pagan religion still has a hold and where even the Christians are often in bloody conflict with each other. But after she hears her dying teacher’s last words, Fidelma’s most dangerous adventure has just begun. With one murder after the next and a vicious war in the offing, it is up to Fidelma, alone and on her own, to unravel an extraordinary conspiracy before it is too late

Series: Mysteries of Ancient Ireland Featuring Sister Fidelma of Cashel (Book 22)
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (June 25, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 125002997X
ISBN-13: 978-1250029973
Available from Amazon.com, Amazon UK and your usual bookstore.

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