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Michaelmas Tribute
Burren Mystery #2

by Cora Harrison

      The Michaelmas Fair is an occasion for merrymaking, trade, and paying tribute to the lord of the clan. But the MacNamara clanís steward, Ragnall, has raised the tribute, and has even been caught helping himself from peopleís homes. When his body is found in the churchyard in a shallow grave, there are plenty of suspects, and Mara, the Burrenís Brehon, must discover whodunit. Then there is a suicide, or is this murder too?

I confess to ignorance about early 16th century Ireland and base my scanty knowledge of Brehon law on the novels of Peter Tremayne and this new series. It certainly seems to be enviably sensible in most respects, and when reading these books, set in an almost idyllic setting, the word "cozy" is never far from my mind. Whether I am reading cold fact, wishful fantasy or somewhere in between is a matter for conjecture. Mara and her school, her two suitors and the other characters are enjoyable to read about, and very much a product of their surroundings. This is a tortuous plot, and I certainly didnít guess it all, but it does almost fill the pages of what is a fairly long book and kept me entertained. The English are shown as being a bad lot, and there is a foreshadowing of what is to come for Ireland that makes me think of Conquistadors and pre-Columbian civilizations. Reading this is like having a warm bath, although not as much as the first book My Lady Judge (also reviewed on this site). The author has wisely let a little cold water in this time...

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
2 May 2008
1405092254 / 9781405092258
Historical Mystery / 1509 Burren, Ireland
More at Amazon UK

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008