Condemned to death : a Burren mystery / Cora Harrison.

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    • Abstract:
      Summary: When Mara, Brehon of the Burren, is summoned to the sandy beach of Fanore, on the western fringe of the kingdom of the Burren, she sees a sight that she has never witnessed before during her thirty years as law-enforcer and investigating magistrate: a dead man lying in a boat with no oars. Immediately her scholars jump to the conclusion that the man has been found guilty of kin-murder. The Brehon sentence for this worst of all crimes is that the murderer be towed out to sea and left to the mercy of wind and waves and the ultimate judgement of Almighty God. But Mara notices something odd about the body, something which arouses her suspicions. And something familiar about the boat in which he lies. Soon she has embarked on a full-scale murder investigation. And gradually suspicion dawns that someone near and dear to her is involved in the murder.
    • ISBN:
      9780727884428 (hbk)
      0727884425 (hbk)
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


LJ Reviews 2015 February #1

In 16th-century Ireland, killing a relative is punishable by death; the condemned is put out to sea in a boat with no oars. When such a body washes ashore on a beach in the Kingdom of the Burren, most assume that the dead man had been a kin slayer. However, Mara, Brehon of the Burren (investigating magistrate), has some concerns about the victim and the boat he arrived in. When her suspicions are verified, the law enforcer uses all of her skills to discover the facts behind the man's death. As details emerge, Mara discovers that the truth may be worth its weight in gold. VERDICT In her 12th book in the series (after Verdict of the Court), Harrison serves up another tightly paced mystery enhanced with a wealth of historical tidbits about medieval Ireland. Devotees of Peter Tremayne's "Sister Fidelma" series and readers who crave strong historical female leads will admire Mara's strength and intelligence.

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PW Reviews 2014 December #4

Harrison has never been better than in her 12th historical starring Irish investigating magistrate and law school dean Mara (after 2014's Verdict of the Court). Under Irish law in the 16th century, murdering a close relative is punished by setting the guilty party out to sea in a boat without oars. When a boat without oars containing the body of an unidentified man drifts onto the shore of the Kingdom of the Burren, the locals assume that the dead man must have been a kin-slayer. Mara's oldest scholar, Domhnall, later tells her that he thinks he recognizes the corpse as that of a goldsmith from Galway, a city farther up the Atlantic coast that's governed by English law, which punishes kin-slayers by hanging. Mara concludes that someone murdered the goldsmith and hoped to disguise the cause of death. As Mara's sleuthing leads her to a clever and disturbing solution, Harrison seamlessly integrates law and social history (e.g., Mara notes that the emergence of the merchant profession obligates setting a legal penalty for killing one). Agent: Peter Buckman, Ampersand Agency (U.K.). (Feb.)

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