Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma Mysteries Book 1)

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  1. Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma, #1) by Peter Tremayne
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Spara som favorit. Skickas inom vardagar. Laddas ned direkt. Even Brother Cadfael might have tolerated her' Kirkus Reviews As the leading churchmen and women gather at the Synod of Whitby in AD to debate the rival merits of the Celtic and Roman Churches, tempers begin to fray.

Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma, #1) by Peter Tremayne

Conspirators plot an assassination, while mysterious, violent death stalks the shadowy cloisters of the Abbey of St Hilda. When the Abbess Etain, a leading speaker for the Celtic Church, is found murdered suspicion inevitably rests on the Roman faction. As an advocate of the Brehon Court, she is called on to investigate the murder with Brother Eadulf, of the Roman faction. In November , Colgu was nearly assassinated by a mysterious religieux but survived, although badly wounded; the assassin also killed Chief Brehon Aedo, who had tried to protect Colgu.

In February , Colgu had recovered from his wound and Fidelma and Eadulf had been living somewhat peacefully in Cashel when an Anglo-Saxon deputation led by the Venerable Verax, brother of Pope Vitalian , and the arrogant Bishop Arwald of Magonsaete arrived at Cashel to debate the possible establishment by Rome of an Archbishopric in Ireland and which primacy in the Five Kingdoms might be considered as its seat.

Matters took a serious turn even before the debate began by the murder of Brother Cerdic, the delegation's emissary, before the delegation's arrival and became even more complicated by the discovery on the banks of the River Siur of three murdered men, one of whom was identified as The Venerable Vitricius of Palestrina, and that the only survivor was Eadulf's younger brother Egric.

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The debate quickly turned hostile; shortly afterwards, an attempt was made on Fidelma and Eadulf's lives and more murders were committed, including those of Rudgal the man suspected of leading the attack on The Venerable Vitricius , of Sister Dianaihm the bann-mhoar or female steward of Abbess Lioch of Cill Naile Killenaule , who had been asked to attend the debate and of Egric. With Muman's honor at stake Fidelma and Eadulf had to somehow unravel the truth and the reasons for so many killings see The Devil's Seal.


In May , preparations for the Great Fair of Bealtain in Cashel took a sinister turn when Eadulf and Aidan while returning to Cashel came across a partially burned wagon containing two bodies, one female the driver of the wagon disguised in male clothing and inside the wagon one male who appeared to have been dead for several days. Further examination determined the burning to be a case of arson and the two deaths due to poisoning. In the absence of Muman's Chief Brehon, Colgu immediately dispatched Fidelma and Eadulf; upon their arrival, they learned to their shock that their companion Gorman, who had been found at the scene of the crime, was being held as the chief suspect and that the Ui Fidgente religious, led by the vicious and vindictive Abbot Nannid of Mungairit, were demanding Gorman's death as punishment according to the Penitentials.

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  • With the backing of both Prince Donennach and the Ui Fidgente Chief Brehon Faolchair, Fidelma and Eadulf immediately began an investigation, mindful of the fact that any misstep on Fidelma's part could not only result in Gorman's execution but also spark both a civil upheaval within the Ui Fidgente and a war against Cashel see Penance of the Damned. In November , just before the eve of the feast of Samhain , Eadulf and Aidan discovered a man murdered in an unlit pyre, dressed in the robes of a religieux and killed by the ritualistic "three deaths".

    In their search for the killer, Sister Fidelma and Eadulf discovered that their investigation was linked to a book stolen from the Papal Secret Archives which could destroy the New Faith in the Five Kingdoms see Night of the Lightbringer. As drew to a close, Fidelma traveled to the Abbey of Finnbarr on a personal secret mission to question the abbot, but found that he had been murdered and the suspect, a young girl, had fled. In spite of Fidelma's refusal to reveal her real purposes which she had sworn an oath not to reveal to Eadulf and her other companions, they agreed to accompany her on this investigation.

    However, vicious rumors began to circulate of a plot by Fidelma's family, the Eoghannacht, to murder the High King and kidnap his wife, and Fidelma's refusal to confide even in Eadulf meant that not only that Fidelma's life was in danger but also that she would be truly on her own to face what was to happen see Bloodmoon. In , Fidelma received a letter telling of the ultimate fates of Bishop Leodegar and some of those connected with the Council of Autun see the epilogue of The Council of the Cursed.

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    Because of the death of her parents at an early age, Fidelma grew up quite independent and self-reliant; at times she refuses to delegate gathering of evidence to anyone, even Eadfulf although she does admit that Eadulf's "mind was just as sharp and penetrating as her own. She also admits quite freely that one of her worst faults is her temper, and she is constantly amazed that Eadulf shows so much patience with her: "She knew that she could not really contemplate an existence without Eadulf's support.

    Who else would tolerate her sharp temper, which she accepted was her biggest fault? However, in spite of her self-confessed shortcomings, she has proven herself to be devoted to family and friends and a caring and loving wife and mother although she does wish that her duties as a dalaigh didn't cause her to be away from her son so often and for so long. Brother Eadulf has appeared in all but three of the Sister Fidelma series of mystery novels, set in 7th-century Ireland. An Angle by birth from Seaxmund's Ham today "Saxmundham" in the Kingdom of East Anglia Eadulf refers to himself as an "Angle", while almost everybody else refers to him as " Saxon ", much to his annoyance , Eadulf was raised as a hereditary gerefa , or reeve , of his people.

    Eadulf was converted to Christianity by an Irish monk named Fursa sometime before the novels begin and subsequently educated in Ireland , studying first at Daru Durrow then medicine at the great medical school of Tuaim Brecain. He then undertook a pilgrimage to Rome to understand the differences between the ideas of the Church of Rome and those of the Church of Ireland, remaining there studying for two years and returning as a follower of Rome. In the novel The Devil's Seal , it is learned that he has a younger brother Egric, who, although both brothers were converted to Christianity, chose to follow the path of the warrior and that due to lack of news about him Eadulf believed Egric to be dead.

    It is also learned in the same novel that Eadulf's mother died from ergot poisoning when Eadulf was fifteen and that his father died from the Yellow Plague three years later. In the novel Absolution by Murder , which is set during the Synod of Whitby , Brother Eadulf was part of the deputation from Canterbury to the Synod, where he met Sister Fidelma for the first time. After the Synod's conclusion, both joined a party to Rome.

    After the events of that novel, he returned to Cashel with Fidelma and in subsequent novels they became almost inseparable companions and collaborators. Eadulf and Fidelma's intellectual and personal relationship develops throughout the series, despite another separation in which Eadulf reluctantly and partly at Fidelma's insistence intended to return to Canterbury. However, he almost never made it back to Britain, as at the abbey of Fearna he was charged with rape and murder and almost hanged a predicament that it seemed Fidelma would be unable to rescue him from.

    Eadulf convinced Fidelma to accompany him to Canterbury, and after concluding his business with Archbishop Theodore, he returned to Ireland with Fidelma. In , they entered into a trial marriage of a year and a day, during which their son Alchu was born. Unfortunately, as time passed, Eadulf's devotion to the world of the Faith began to clash with Fidelma's growing ambition to pursue a secular life devoted to the law. A serious emotional and physical breach was made between them when Fidelma announced her decision to renounce her religious vows and Eadulf sadly realized that he could not change her mind see The Dove of Death and The Chalice of Blood.

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    The Chalice of Blood concluded with Fidelma telling Eadulf that she had made her decision about her future and now he must come to a decision about his own, which he did Tremayne uses Brother Eadulf's status as an outsider to the Celtic communities in which many of his and Fidelma's cases take place to provide explanations about legal and cultural matters to his readers. This allows Tremayne to include many details about the history of the Celtic church and society, without overtly appearing to educate.

    Being a foreigner, Eadulf's status in Ireland is originally that of cu glas which translates as "grey dog" , meaning an "exile from over the sea" and a person without legal standing or honor price for a definition of this term, see "Status" in Early Irish Law ; however, his rank as techtaire emissary or ambassador between Archbishop Theodore and Fidelma's brother King Colgu gave him a high honor price of eight cumals a cumal being the value of three cows under Irish law see Our Lady of Darkness and since his marriage to Fidelma recognized and approved by her family he is now considered a deorad De an "exile of God" and has an honor price of half that of Fidelma's but he is not entitled to make legal contracts without her permission she is also responsible for any debts that he might incur or have any legal responsibility in the raising of Alchu.

    Despite these legalities, he is treated as an equal and a friend and accepted as a member of Fidelma's family. After the events of Dancing with Demons in the winter of , he was made a member of the Nasc Naidh , an elite corps of bodyguards to the kings of Munster, by King Colgu and entitled to wear the golden torc of that order. Brother Eadulf is a stolid man who provides a much-needed stability to Fidelma during emotionally difficult cases he knows that her insecurity stems from both her parents dying when she was very young.

    In many of the novels, Tremayne uses the same phrases with some slight variations to describe Fidelma and Eadulf's intellectual relationship:. Eadulf's courage and love of family are undeniable proven many times, including his rescue of their son Alchu in The Leper's Bell and of Fidelma herself in The Seventh Trumpet. His medical knowledge and assistance is often very valuable as well especially in The Devil's Seal when he must perform an emergency amputation , and Fidelma has often admitted that Eadulf has an uncanny ability to see the obvious that she has overlooked.

    On one occasion after a "cram course" in the Law of the Fenechus he acted as Fidelma's advocate to successfully get her released when she was charged with murder see Valley of the Shadow , although his use of a bluff to get a witness to admit to being paid for his testimony and thus discredit it shocked her sensibilities as a dalaigh , and he was able to provide a provision of law much to Fidelma's surprise that allowed her to provide an argument that led to the uncovering of a murderer see The Chalice of Blood. In The Seventh Trumpet , he demonstrated his own powers of deduction to such a degree that Fidelma remarked, "Every day, you become more and more a Brehon"; in The Chalice of Blood , she tells him: "As far as I am concerned, without you, your advice, your ability to analyse, I would not have succeeded in many of the investigations we have undertaken Part of Eadulf's charm is his honest humility, and despite all he has accomplished and the fame and respect he has earned while working with Fidelma he considers himself to be quite an ordinary man much to the amusement of Brother Conchobar, who in A Prayer for the Damned pointed out to him that Fidelma would never have chosen an ordinary man to share her life with.

    He is not a person who always feels comfortable in the hustle and bustle of a major castle town like Cashel, and often wishes that he and Fidelma could retire to a mixed religious community in a more secluded area although that dream had to be given up when Fidelma renounced the religious life. He is very humorous about his own shortcomings including poor horsemanship and seasickness and is normally a very tolerant and even-tempered person, but on a few occasions Eadulf has been provoked to the point where he has indeed lost his temper with another person and with Fidelma herself much to her astonishment; see The Leper's Bell and The Chalice of Blood.

    Nominally he remains an adherent to the Church of Rome he still wears a Roman tonsure , but over time, due in part to his debates with Fidelma, in part to his long-term residence and personal experiences in Eireann and in part to his personal interactions with both local and foreign Church dignitaries, his views have become much more moderate to the point where he has realized that he cannot blindly follow the changes in the Faith that come from Rome, such as and including the increased call for religious celibacy and the continual attempt to supplant the Laws of the Fenechus with the Penitentials.

    The differences between the societies she encounters and her native country is an ongoing theme throughout the series. Through Fidelma's adventures, Peter Tremayne introduces his readers to his views and interpretations of events and conflicts of 7th century Ireland. Major themes in the Sister Fidelma series include:. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.