“Absolution by Murder” by Peter Tremayne
This is the first in the Sister Fidelma series and is a mystery of Ancient Ireland. Sister Fidelma is an advocate of the courts and she rules on issues of law. There is a foreword in this book that assures the reader that women did have such power and prestige in the 7th century. It was a time when the Catholic Church in England and Ireland was deciding whether to adhere to the gentler, earthier teachings of the Apostle John or go with the harsher, more disciplined teaching of the Apostle Peter and particularly Paul. This caused quite a bit of turmoil and threats of civil war. The story opens with this quotations from Ammianus Marcellinus (c. AD 330-95): “No wild beasts are so cruel as the Christians in their dealing with each other.” I was interested to learn about the International Sister Fidelma Society which has a very thorough, well-constructed website at www.sisterfidelma.com. If you liked “How the Irish Saved Civilization” by Thomas Cahill (LARGE PRINT 941.501 CA), you’d probably enjoy reading this series of more than 20 titles.