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The Dove of Death: A Mystery of Ancient Ireland

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Overview

In A.D. 670, an Irish merchant ship is attacked by a pirate vessel off the southern coast of the Breton peninsula. Merchad, the ship’s captain, and Bressal, a prince from the Irish kingdom of Muman, are killed in cold blood after they have surrendered. Among the other passengers who manage to escape the slaughter are Fidelma of Cashel and her faithful companion, Brother Eadulf.

Once safely ashore, Fidelma—sister to the King of Muman and an advocate of the Brehon law courts—is ...

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The Dove of Death (Sister Fidelma Series #18)

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Overview

In A.D. 670, an Irish merchant ship is attacked by a pirate vessel off the southern coast of the Breton peninsula. Merchad, the ship’s captain, and Bressal, a prince from the Irish kingdom of Muman, are killed in cold blood after they have surrendered. Among the other passengers who manage to escape the slaughter are Fidelma of Cashel and her faithful companion, Brother Eadulf.

Once safely ashore, Fidelma—sister to the King of Muman and an advocate of the Brehon law courts—is determined to bring the killers to justice, not only because her training demands it but also because one of the victims was her cousin. The only clue to the killer’s identity is the symbol of the dove on the attacking ship’s sails, a clue that leads her on a dangerous quest to confront the man known as The Dove of Death.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"... among the most authentically written mysteries being published. The mystery, historical details and sharply written personalities combine seamlessly."
--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)

"An intriguing lead and a tricky puzzle propel Tremayne's 18th whodunit."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"Essential for series fans and readers who enjoy mysteries with medieval and Irish settings."
--Library Journal

Publishers Weekly
An intriguing lead and a tricky puzzle propel Tremayne's 18th whodunit featuring seventh-century Irish legal advocate Sister Fidelma (after 2009's The Council of the Cursed). When pirates board the Barnacle Goose, the ship on which Fidelma and her husband, Eadulf, are sailing home after the previous book's events, the pirates' white-clothed, masked leader fatally stabs both the Goose's captain and a royal envoy who's Fidelma's cousin. Fidelma and Eadulf jump overboard to save their lives. A man in a small boat rescues the couple and takes them to the island of Hoedig, where Fidelma vows to devote her energies to identifying the murderer, a promise complicated by evidence that the brigands may be connected with a local nobleman. More murders and plenty of action follow on Hoedig. The ease with which Tremayne brings 670 C.E. Ireland to life more than makes up for a solution that's less clever than usual. (Nov.)
Library Journal
On board a ship returning from Rome, Fidelma of Cashel and her companion, Brother Eadulf, witness the murder of Fidelma's cousin and envoy of King Colgu by pirates and must jump into the sea before they, too, are slaughtered. Rescued by a monk, they soon find something is very wrong in the Kingdom of Alain the Tall. Drawing on his vast knowledge of ancient Ireland in his latest series entry (after The Council of the Cursed), Tremayne continues his fascinating exploration of medieval religious communities caught between the Rule of Benedict that preached strict sexual abstinence and the Irish tradition of mixed monasteries where marriage was allowed. VERDICT Essential for series fans and readers who enjoy mysteries with medieval and Irish settings.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312609276
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 9/27/2011
  • Series: Sister Fidelma Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 369,735
  • Product dimensions: 8.26 (w) x 5.52 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Meet the Author

PETER TREMAYNE is the fiction pseudonym of Peter Berresford Ellis, a renowned Celtic scholar who has written over 30 books on the Ancient Celts and the Irish. As Tremayne, he is best known for his stories and novels featuring 7th century Irish religieuse Fidelma of Cashel. He lives in London.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • 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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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Not bad...

    But not the best one of Mr Tremayne's mysteries. This one seemed ti focus overly much on historic details that seemed unimportant and not enough on the story itself. The story that was there was good and the mystery unique. Looking forward to the next one

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