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The Dove of Death: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

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  • Posted October 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Once again, Peter Tremayne brings to life ancient times with his latest exciting Sister Fidelma mystery

    In 670, married couple Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf sails home aboard the Irish merchant ship the Barnacle Goose after attending the deadly Council of the Cursed. Off the Breton Peninsular, pirates with a dove on their sail attack. In the pursuing melee, the masked apparent brigand leader known as the Dove of Death stabs and kills the captain Murchad and Fidelma's royal cousin Bressal, who was the envoy of King Colgu of Muman. Fidelma and Eadulf leap from the vessel, but are fortunate when a monk at sea rescues them. He takes the pair to Hoedig Island.

    On Hoedig, Fidelma vows to unmask the Dove of death so she as a law advocate can bring this murderer to justice. As she makes inquiries, other homicides occur and she soon fears her investigation has placed her and her husband in peril as the clues seem to tie the Dove and his killers to the local aristocratic host.

    Once again, Peter Tremayne brings to life ancient times with his latest exciting Sister Fidelma mystery. The story line focuses on Fidelma's investigation, but the audience also observes the problems the Irish religious orders have with the new Rule of Benedict that demanded rigid sexual abstinence; as that dictum went against several centuries of tradition. Fast-paced and loaded with action, fans of ancient mysteries will want to sail along side of Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf as they are detoured on their way home.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Recommended for Those Who Like Their Mystery Travels in Olden Times

    In the mood for a leisurely cruise? Don’t book your passage on the Barnacle Goose, the tragic ship in Peter Tremayne’s “The Dove of Death.” When overtaken by pirates in 670 A.D., the ship is taken captive, along with the people on board, with the exception of those killed and the two who escape—Sister Fidelma and her companion, Brother Eadulf. Saved by a local monk, they find themselves stranded in a small Breton fishing village.
    Eadulf is relieved to have been rescued, while Fidelma, a king’s sister and a legal advisor, thirsts for justice for the dead. Aided by their rescuer, Brother Metellus, they start the dangerous and arduous search for the pirate ship in the countless coves surrounding the island.
    As a latecomer to Tremayne’s ancient Ireland series, I still managed to enjoy the book overall. Tremayne seems to find the word “said” to be a four-letter word to be used sparingly. Instead he often has characters smiling or shrugging their dialogue, a contrivance I found annoying. There were also too many characters whose names began with the letter “B,” making the story confusing at times.
    Those quibbles aside, I enjoyed learning about the lifestyles and the weaponry of the time, as well as striving to figure out who was the mysterious pirate leader. I recommend Tremayne for those who like their mystery travels in olden times, rather than set in the faster-paced Internet world.
    Reviewed by Kari Wainwright for Suspense Magazine

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