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Suffer Little Children by Peter Berresford…
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Jusqu'ici (et j'en suis au tome 5 des aventures de Fidelma) mon préféré ! ( )
  CyCy | Oct 2, 2008 |
3rd in the Sister Fidelma mystery series.

The scene is set in Ireland, where Fidelma’s brother , Colgú, designated heir of the kingdom of Muman whose king lays dying, has asked her to solve the mystery of the murder of a noted scholar, Dacan. Dacan was the brother of the archbishop of the neighboring kingdom of Laigin; war is threatening between the two kingdoms because Laigin is demanding a compensation from Muman, holding the kingdom responsible for the death of Dacan. The death price, the return of a subkingdom, Osraige, would cause war.

Fidelma has been summoned by her brother to solve the case before the hearing in front of the High King that will surely set off a war. She travels to the abbey to investigate in her official role as dálaigh or advocate of the courts. On her way, she and her warrior escort witness the brutal destruction of a village, which is burned to the ground and in which children have been slaughtered. They pick up a refugee sister who has three children with her, one a baby that dies before they can get to the abbey. The other are two boys who are reluctant to have much to do with Fidelma and her escort, or anyone in the abbey once they arrive.

The plot involves political intrigue around the succession to the throne of Osraige. There are plenty of twists, turns, and baffling developments in the case before Fidelma argues her case in the court of the High King.

The plot here is much improved over the first two books, and the writing marginally so. It’s still pretty mediocre when not downright bad. But the plot keeps the reader going. At least we don’t have a travesty of a Nero Wolfe ending where all the suspects are gathered together in one room to hear Nero Wolfe pronounce doom on one of them. This time, it’s a trial, and believe me, that truly improves the ending.

Better but not outstanding. ( )
  Joycepa | Mar 24, 2008 |
While all of the books in Tremayne's Sister Fidelma series are engaging, the earlier works, such as this one, are less developed in terms of Fidelma's psychological profile. Beyond her general chutzpah and quiet love for Brother Eadulf, we don't get the same insight that is revealed in later works such as Act of Mercy (Sister Fidelma Mysteries).
While Tremayne's historical knowledge is to be applauded, the application to the mystery makes the reading a bit arduous. Sometimes the historical lessons are a bit heavy-handed, and I found myself resenting the fact that the mystery's solution was dependent upon a working knowledge of 7th century Old Irish.
That said, this book, like the others in the series, is a solidly fun mystery and an enjoyable read. ( )
  rebcamuse | Jan 10, 2008 |
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Lasset die Kindlein zu mir kommen und wehret ihnen nicht... (Markus 10, 14)
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Meinem alten und sehr lieben Freund Christopher Lowder. Dank Arnold Bennett und dem "Six Towns Magazine"
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