Sunday, November 20, 2016

An Unjust Judge- A Sixteeth-Century Burren Mystery - Cora Harrison ~ Always superb!

I received this ARC from Netgalley. Cora Harrison's Burren series has been a favorite for a long time and this one did not disappoint me at all. I had not figured out who the murderer was even to the very end, and why the murder happened at all remains a mystery.

There was a fine cast of characters, some of whom like the absent Cormac, young son of Mara the Brehan, have come into existence in this series. Her Grandson who possibly will inherit as Brehon if English laws do not inhibit that exchange happening is another and early in the series we met King Turlough O'Brien. Always, a fine mystery and it's resolution, is juxtaposed against other forms of justice which exist at this time in Ireland in the English speaking districts.

This murder of the "unjust judge" was complicated by the presence of the retired Brehon's nephew who had hoped to inherit, but was a protégée of  Stephen Gardiner's,  presumably sent to disrupt the Gaelic legal system. In fact, the storyline indicates the presence of many Brehons and Lawyers in training who could pursue law gathered in this one place at the same time. 

One of the final few scenes in the book included a  giant congor eel who attacked one of the suspects, sort of a chilling type of retribution. Life was harsh in the Burren and  their isolation  was both a protection and a risk factor. 

Brehon Mara's husband,King Turlough Donn’s rule of three kingdoms, threatens to be minimized by these same Anglo ruling forces, who call him a "captain" and not a king. As always, historical facts are woven into a fine mystery which includes great depth of  likeable characters.

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