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My Lady Judge
Burren Mystery #1

by Cora Harrison

      Following hot on the heels of Peter Tremayne’s popular sleuth Sister Fidelma is Mara, wise brehon (judge) of the people of the Burren. On Beltane Eve people eagerly climb up the slopes of Mullaghmore Mountain to light the bonfire and have a good time. Then they come down again... but one man remains behind because he has been murdered. Mara must find out whodunit, and discovers that just about everybody had a reason to wish the victim dead.

Reading this book is like stepping into a warm bath, portraying as it does a near-perfect community where for the most part people live in harmony with their neighbors, the laws are sensible and humane and women can have careers and obtain divorces.

Unfortunately, I do not know enough about Ireland in this period to be able to tell how factual this actually is, and reading it had me in the same pensive state I am in when I read one of Peter Tremayne’s books. This aside, Ms Harrison weaves a compelling yarn and has painted in a lush and appealing backdrop for it. Mara teaches a law school where her students range in age from ten to eighteen, looking after them more like a mother than a teacher. Jolly King Turlough Don O’Brien comes calling, and Mara settles disputes among her neighbors, tends her pretty garden and hunts wolves with her wolfhound Bran. It is the sort of book that one is sad to end, as it paints such an appealing picture of how life ought to be that the series is bound to have great appeal, and run and run. If you want a feel-good read, this is definitely the feel-good book of 2007 so far.

Reviews of other titles in this series

My Lady Judge #1
Michaelmas Tribute #2
The Sting of Justice #9
Verdict of the Court #11
Condemned to Death #12
A Fatal Inheritance

The Book

Macmillan UK
4 May 2007
Historical Crime - 1509, Western Ireland
More at Amazon UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006