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Badger's Moon by Peter  Tremayne
Review by Gayle Surrette
Signet Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 045121904X
Date: 05 July, 2006 List Price $6.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Young single women are being brutally killed during the full moon and after the third murder, the villagers demand the three strangers at the abbey be turned over to them for justice. The clan leader Becc stops the riot and sends word to Colgú for assistance. Sister Fidelma is sent to investigate and see that the law is served and the killer brought to justice. Fidelma finds that there seems to be many intertwining threads of hate, bigotry, and greed some of which may impact the case making the solution more difficult to achieve. Nonetheless, Sister Fidelma uses all her senses and logic to view the evidence and piece together facts to find the killer.

Badger's Moon is the thirteenth of the Sister Fidelma mysteries. Luckily for me in this case thirteen is not an unlucky number for I enjoyed this Irish mystery and look forward to many more visits with Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf and in fact this book ends on a cliffhanger for the next book. You don't need to have read the previous books to enjoy this one, as there is a historical note that explains many of the cultural and religious mores of Ireland in the 7th century.

In fact, I read the historical notes first and then the pronunciation guide before starting the book. The writing was straightforward and descriptions and historical and political digressions were smoothly entered into the narrative so that you hardly notice that you are also getting a bit of an education in Irish history as you read. This historical background is helpful in that gives you enough of the historical climate to not get dragged out of the book when something happens that just seems way too modern for the time period. I found myself constantly muttering to myself about how much freedom and control over themselves that women lost between the 7th century and when we got the vote in the 1900s.

One of the reasons that I read books is to learn. Tremayne's writing is clear and concise and while his background is in Celtic history, he never lets the background of the story intrude on the narrative plot line. However, the background is so rich and clear that you find yourself learning about history without realizing you are doing it. Since Celtic history has been an area that I've wanted to learn more about this series is going to be a perfect vehicle to learn more of an era, culture, and people that has interested me -- and with tight plots and suspenseful mysteries thrown in how could I miss.


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