Saturday, April 9, 2011

Book Review: Shroud For The Archbishop by Peter Tremayne

Synposis (from

The second book in the first-ever Irish medievalmystery series features Celtic nun Sister Fidelma assigned to investigate the horrible death of Wighard, Archbishop Designate of Canterbury. In the autumn of A.D. 664, the Archbishop is found dead, garrotted in his chambers, and a monk has been arrested fleeing the scene of the crime. Convinced of his innocence, Sister Fidelma joins Brother Eadulf of the Roman Church to find the truth, but instead they find too few clues, too many motives, and a trail strewn with bodies....

Avid Reader's Review:

4 Stars

Shroud For The Archbishop is the second novel in Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mystery series.   Set in Rome during the 7th century, this novel brings the heroine, Sister Fidelma of Kildare, to Rome on a mission for the Archbishop of Ultan.   Also in Rome are the Archbishop Designate of Canterbury, Wighard, and his secretary, Brother Eadulf.    Events in Rome turn sinister when Wighard is found murdered in his room, and an Irish monk is accused of being the killer.   In attempt to prevent any conflict that might arise from Wighard's murder, the Church calls upon Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf to solve the case.   The solution, however, turns out not to be as simple as it first seems, and Fidelma most use all of her problem-solving ability and logic to crack the case. 

Although I had a suspicion about who the ultimate culprit would end up to be, it didn't detract from my enjoyment of the novel.   One of the things I'm enjoying most about this series is not only the characters themselves, especially Fidelma, but also the history that is imparted in it.   There existed quite remarkable differences between the Church of Rome and the Church of Ireland during the 7th century, and these differences feature quite prominently in the series.   It's great to read a historical mystery series that focuses on the history just as much as it does on the mystery.