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Scales of Retribution [Paperback]

Cora Harrison

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Book Description

Dec 1 2011
June, 1510: the Burren, west coast of Ireland - Upon going unexpectedly into an early labour, Mara is alerted to the disappearance of Malachy, the local physician. Mystery follows birth, as shortly after the entrance of her son into the world the body of Malachy is discovered. But who stands to profit from this death and who therefore are Mara's lead suspects? For starters there is Malachy's new wife and her two sons, not to mention the very daughter who helped to deliver Mara's child. But soon we discover that the list of people bearing Malachy a grudge is even longer that Mara could have anticipated.
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (Dec 1 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184751331X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847513311
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.8 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,106,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Cora Harrison published twenty-six children's books before turning to adult novels with the ‘Mara’ series of Celtic historical mysteries set in 16th century Ireland. Cora lives on a farm near the Burren in the west of Ireland. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.9 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Historical Mystery Should Be! Jan. 12 2013
By Mimbelina - Published on
"Above all, do no harm." Physicians through the ages, including those in sixteenth century Ireland, have made that promise to those they serve. For that reason, they have been given the esteem and respect of the community. But when a physician forgets his first priority and seeks after riches and wealth, to the detriment of his patients, to whom does he answer? Who can call him to account or punish him for his wrong actions? Someone has done just that in the Burren, poisoning the corrupt physician Malachy and causing him a horrific death. Though Mara, Brehon of the Burren, knows that Malachy deserved punishment, she also knows that his secret and unlawful killing must not be allowed to go unpunished. So many people had a motive for wanting him dead, though. His own daughter, Nuala, whom he denied the rights of education and attempted to deprive of her inheritance. His new wife, who believes that she'll inherit his land and practice. The local wolfmaster whose closest pet was brutally killed by Malachy's hand. The tenants and landholders who suffered as a result of his mistreatment. Any of them had the means and opportunity to slip something into his cup, but who was angry enough to do it? Though she's only recently risen from her near-death experience giving birth and is struggling with feelings of inadequacy as a mother, Mara dedicates herself and her students at the law school to solving the murder and clearing Malachy's daughter of suspicion. Beset with worries about her husband the king, who is away at battle with the Earl of Kildare, and over the recent failure of two of her students, Mara finds the case challenging to deal with and must work hard to overcome the distractions and find the murderer before he strikes again.

Cora Harrison transports us to the beautiful land of the Burren, writing with such vivid descriptions that it's easy to picture Mara's surroundings and world. She provides a wealth of historical detail, including excerpts of ancient Brehon law at the beginning of each chapter, creating a perfect background for her intricate plot and well-drawn characters. The book stands above many of the others in the series for its wonderful depiction of Mara's torn feelings between her responsibilities as a mother and those she holds as Brehon of the Burren. How similar is her position to today's working mom! The mystery is, as usual, wonderfully complex with a variety of suspects and a very surprising (to this reader, at least) conclusion. I heartily enjoyed the book and continue to recommend this series highly.

My favorite quote was one excerpt from the Brehon code: "It is one of the great tenets of Brehon law that a woman's right to have a baby is a solute. She may even leave her husband, if he is unable to give her that baby, go to another man to become pregnant and then return to her husband - and no reproach may be made." What a vastly different interpretation from today's take on a woman's right to choose!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best series Nov. 6 2012
By Anita L. Cooley - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This author takes me to Ireland out to the limestone, into the farms, fields, and mountains. I can feel the warmth of the sunshine or chill of the rain as I curl up with Mara. Each book is a treasure to me. I would rate it higher than 5 if possible.
5.0 out of 5 stars Another riveting mystery from Cora Harrison Jan. 5 2014
By plb3 - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In this, the 6th book in this series, Mara finds herself caught in a difficult and frightening situation. Her child has arrived very early, and the delivery has left both of them weak and teetering on the edge of death. Simultaneously, the kingdom's doctor is found dead, and his daughter (Mara's charge) is a prime suspect. With her husband away at war with England and with her students about to leave for the summer, she must rely on their ability to quickly gather evidence as she tries to balance her fragile health with the demands of being the Brehon. This plot will keep readers on the edge of their seats as it moves towards its unusually intense ending.
5.0 out of 5 stars history Sept. 22 2013
By Karen Garnich - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really like Harrison' characters - I have all of her books in this series, except the most recent. It is reminiscent of the Sister Fidelma series byt Peter Trmayne, but I like this better. It is a bit later in Ireland's history and brings in the emerging invasive British influence. Trmayne's is a nice prelude, setting up the transition between the church beginning's and the more traditional views that are seeming to wane in Harrison's. Love it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Scales of Retribution. Feb. 12 2013
By Berys Rowe - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book which gave a very good insight into the ways of the law in the 14th century in the Burren.
As events unfolded you were given a brief outline of the laws of the time at the beginning of each chapter. I found this book very hard to put down and it was easy toiagine yourself back in that era.

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