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Publisher: Headline
Release Date: September 2003
ISBN: 0755302230
Format Reviewed: Hardback
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Genre: Historical Crime [7th century, Ireland]
Reviewed: 2004
Reviewer: Rachel A Hyde
Reviewer Notes:  

Badger’s Moon
By Peter Tremayne

       Sister Fidelma is back for the thirteenth time and is staying at her brother the King of Muman’s palace following the birth of her son. Motherhood hangs heavily on her hands, so it is with great relief when she is summoned to discover the murderer of three young girls in the lands of the Cinél na Aeda. All three were slain at the time of the full moon, and the finger points towards the three Ethiopians staying at the nearly Abbey of Finbarr. But there are more suspects than this: the chieftain’s bloodthirsty heir, a mysterious hermit who instructs people about the moon’s powers, and an abusive tanner whom nobody likes to name just three.

      There are more red herrings here than on a fishmonger’s slab, and as usual Peter Tremayne delivers up a rattling good tale. It is interesting to read of feisty superwoman Fidelma’s post-natal blues, and her marriage with Eadulf is certainly not one made in heaven, which adds a very real touch to the tale. As usual, there is the inevitable rosy glow surrounding Tremayne’s depiction of Golden Age Eire as a sort of lost Utopia which does not ring quite true, although as I base my assumption upon my reading of other novels and textbooks set at this time, I am no authority to question it apart from the fact that it seems too perfect. I applaud the inclusion of a guide to the pronunciation of the Irish words, as well as the usual useful preface to this little-known period, but whatever you think of Tremayne’s historical knowledge, his skill as a writer of page-turner whodunits is indubitable.