Atonement of Blood
Minotaur Books, Jul 22 2014, $26.99
In 670 AD at Cashel, to honor the blessed Colmán mac Lénine, Muman King Colgú hosts a gala. Among those attending are his sister dalaigh law courts advocate Fidelma and her husband Brother Eadulf. The couple plan to spend quality time with their son Alchú who resides at his uncle’s castle while his parents traveled to conduct investigations.
During the feast, a religieux guest Brother Lennan of Mungairit Abbey fervently screams “Remember Liamuin” as he stabs the monarch in the chest before killing brave Brehan Aedo who jumped between the assassin and the ruler. Commander of the King’s Bodyguard Caol kills the murderer. As gravely injured Colgú fights for his life, Fidelma investigates the attempted regicide and homicide. Her only useful clues from the deadly gala are the fanatic’s final reiterated diatribe and the abbey located inside of rebellious Ui Fidgente; where many oppose the merging of the Five Kingdoms under Colgú.
The 24th Mystery of Ancient Ireland Sister Fidelma mystery (see The Seventh Trumpet and Behold a Pale Horse) is a fascinating whodunit as the sleuthing couple risks their lives to follow the clues into hostile territory. Fidelma is at her best interviewing, watching and drawing conclusions that a seditious conspiracy threatens the Five-Kingdom alliance; while also praying for her sibling.