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Shroud for the Archbishop [Paperback]

Peter Tremayne
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Sept. 21 1995 A Sister Fidelma Mystery: a Celtic Mystery
Wighard, archbishop designate of Canterbury, has been discovered garrotted in his chambers in the Lateran Palace in Rome in the autumn of AD 664. The solution to this terrible crime appears simple as the palace guards have arrested Brother Ronan Ragallach, as he fled from Wighard's chamber. Although the Irish monk denies responsibility, Bishop Gelasius is convinced the crime is political and that Wighard was slain in pique at the triumph of the pro-Roman Anglo-Saxon clergy in their debate with the pro-Columba Irish clergy at Whitby. There is also a matter of missing treasure: the goodwill gifts Wighad had brought with him to Rome and the priceless chalices sent for the Holy Father Vitalian's blessings have all been stolen. Bishop Gelasius realises that Wighard's murder could lead to war between the Saxon and Irish kingdoms if Ronan is accused without independent evidence. So he invites Sister Fidelma of Kildare and Brother Eadulf to investigate. But more deaths must follow before Fidelma is finally able to put together the strange jigsaw in this tale of evil and vengeance.

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About the Author

Peter Tremayne is the fiction pseudonym of a well-known authority on the ancient Celts, who has utilised his knowledge of the Brehon law system and 7th-Century Irish society to create a new concept in detective fiction.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurray for Sister Fidelma! Aug. 16 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I first met Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma in a book borrowed from the library. I read all the volumes of this series in my library, then decided I'd like to read the whole series. This is the first book, and as delightful as the rest.

Sister Fidelma has a lot to offer as a series detective. For one thing, she's intelligent, determined, and unfailingly just. For history buffs, she opens the door into medieval Europe. This book takes place in seventh-century England, although most of the series takes place in Ireland. For Celtic lovers, Fidelma herself is not only Irish, but an expert in Irish law and customs of the time (the author, Peter Tremayne, is a scholar specializing in medieval Ireland). Fidelma is very vocal about the superiorities of the Celtic Christian Church to the encroaching ways of Rome, creating an interesting thread of tension for those who, unlike Fidelma, know that Rome is going to win that war. For women looking for a role model of liberated womanhood, Fidelma, princess, nun, judge, detective, and, in later books, wife and mother, is superb.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good story. Well written and full of interesting historical ... Aug. 22 2014
By Charlie - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good story. Well written and full of interesting historical information. I can easily see why it has made a successful collection of books. My minor criticism is the over-glorification of Celtic traditions and Brehon laws and that comes from an Irishman born and bred! Of course the author is totally correct in that these traditions and laws were way superior as a fair system of government compared to the rest of Europe (not called the dark ages for nothing). We still had slaves and harsh conditions for very many. I have found the description of the Irish/Celtic church and it's differences with the Roman Church very interesting. When this information comes from such a distinguished Celtic scholar as Peter Beresford-Ellis then it must be a truthful picture. I have now read the first two books in the series and intend to read more.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fallout from the Snyod at Witby June 18 2014
By Raven - Published on Amazon.com
Shroud for the Archbishop by Peter Tremayne

About the series: May be spoilers! Sorry!
The Sister Fidelma mysteries are set mainly in Ireland during the mid-seventh century AD. Sister Fidelma is not simply a religieuse, a former member of the community of St Brigid of Kildare. She is also a qualified dalaigh, or advocate of the ancient law courts of Ireland. She is also a Princess, Colgù mac Faίlbre Flaind - King of Muman (Munster) being Fidelma's older brother. She solves mysteries with the help of Brother Eadulf, a Saxon from Seaxmund’s Ham, whom she later marries. They have a son, Alchu.

About the author:
Peter Tremayne is a pseudonym for Peter Berresford Ellis, a recognized historian and expert on Celtic Studies. He also is an expert on the early Irish Catholic Church and the laws of ancient Ireland.

Our book begins with Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf being contacted by Bishop Gaius of the Lateran Palace in Rome. Wighard, Archbishop of Canterbury, has been discovered dead in his chambers. Upon examination, it seems that someone has garroted Wighard to death.

Suspicion falls upon a young Irish religieux, Brother Ronan Ragallah. He was actually caught as he fled from Wighard's chambers. However, Ronan denies having anything to do with the murder, claiming he only discovered the body and fled because he was frightened.

Bishop Gelasius, the nomenclator now in charge of running affairs at the Lateran Palace, is convinced the crime is political. According to him Wighard ‘s murder was done because of the triumph of the pro Roman Anglo-Saxon clergy the Synod ow Witby.

Complicating the matter, the goodwill gifts Wighard had brought with him to Rome and the rich chalices entrusted to Wighard for the Holy Father Vitalian's blessing have all been stolen. Obviously, if Ronan had killed Wighard, he certainly had no time to conceal such treasure.

Fearful that mishandling of the murder and accusing Ronan without something to confirm his guilt may cause war between the Irish and the Saxon’s, Bishop Gaius needs Fidelma and Eadulf to investigate the crime and discover the truth. But the matter is far from simple and there will be additional murders before the case is brought to a successful conclusion.

Tremayne again weaves his magic, the layers of religious, political, and personal consequences built up like a cake from the finest pastry chef. This book is a real page turner for aficionados of historical and religious mystery. A solid five stars out of five thriller!

Quoth the Raven…
5.0 out of 5 stars Educational June 11 2013
By Patricia Wood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have the entire series of Fidelma books and I love them all. They are fascinating. I am learning much about the church in medieval times and society. For instance, women had equal rights and celibacy was not a requirement for being in the religious order.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good murder mystery Nov. 23 2012
By Crete - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the second of a large series featuring Sr. Fidelma. I read it a long time ago but always worth the re-read.
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