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It had been an early spring in the west of Ireland. In the kingdom of the Burren, mild south-westerly winds from the nearby Atlantic Ocean had put a temporary end to winter frosts by the middle of January.

Order of Blossom Valley Mysteries Books

By the second day of February the sunken lanes in its valleys had been filled with pale yellow primroses and dark purple violets. Soon afterwards the willow had begun to quicken and burst forth into fluffy buds, the pink haze of the tiny herb robert spread over the ditches and the grass of the fields was sprinkled with cowslips.

An early spring, said the optimists who began making plans for moving their cows to summer pasture. Read Chapter One. Booklist writes: "An unusual and beguiling murder mystery set in a sixteenth-century Ireland that is as lovely, innocent, and enchanting as Camelot—until murder befouls the setting. Then one of the pilgrims is found murdered, his body spread-eagled and naked in crucifixion pose behind Kilnaboy Church. Was the killer one of the pilgrims or, more frightening, someone from the Burren?


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Cora Harrison's eleventh Burren mystery, Verdict of the Court Net Galley review: "I try very hard to save five star ratings for books that really make a special impression on me. This was one of those books.

Murder by Natural Causes (1979)

I've read other books in the series and have always enjoyed them very much, but this one was so full of suspense and tension that it catapulted onto a different level. Even though she and Turlough live apart most of the time they have had a warm and loving relationship in their ten year marriage and have one son, Cormac.


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  • Mara and her students are going to Bunratty Castle to spend Christmas with Turlough and others gathered at the castle to celebrate the season as well as the twentieth anniversary of his reign as the king of the three regions The mystery involved would have been entertaining enough by itself, but when the additional plot element was introduced it signalled a change in the whole dynamic of relationships long established and hints at new possibilities for future novels. Definitely an absorbing reading experience and highly recommended for readers who enjoy historical mysteries.

    Under Irish law in the 16th century, murdering a close relative is punished by setting the guilty party out to sea in a boat without oars.

    All Natural Murder (Blossom Valley Mystery Series #2)

    When a boat without oars containing the body of an unidentified man drifts onto the shore of the Kingdom of the Burren, the locals assume that the dead man must have been a kin-slayer. Mara concludes that someone murdered the goldsmith and hoped to disguise the cause of death. Mara herself is an interesting character and clearly shows that in some civilisations and eras women could become powerful and were given the same educational opportunities as men.

    I checked all these places out recently in Ireland. It is imperative that you start this series if you like Irish, Medieval or Historical Mysteries, or just a great read.

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    These novels are always an interesting learning experience to see how advanced the culture was regarding the appreciation of the capabilities of women. After her strangled body is found roped to a stone pillar in the valley of Oughtdara in southwestern Ireland, the list of suspects grows longer by the day. Her husband Aengus, a gentle shepherd, had endured her foul mouth and shameful taunts for a good forty years.

    These include her near-adult grandson and her young son, one of whom shows strong aptitude in law, while the other merely goes through the paces. The novel is set almost wholly outdoors, and although late March brings gusts and rain, the land is a vision of stark beauty, with great swaths of rock interspersed with tufts of green, and heavy mists occasionally obscuring the nearby mountains, sky, and ocean. The Irish legal system is fascinating to learn about, too.

    This is a terrific read for anyone wanting immersion in another time and place.

    Book Summary

    To weave a satisfactory mystery in with the history of the O'Davoren clan of law scholars and the O'Briens of Thomand, Corcomroe and the Burren is masterful indeed. I recommend you start at the beginning of this fine series. Cora Harrison's historical detail and her perspective on the period never fails and the characters are vivid and memorable. Mara is indeed a woman to be admired.

    Her mind is swift. She is reflective and powerful in her understandings, yet always lovingly heeding the situations of the people involved Another engrossing novel set in the late Middle Ages in Ireland, reflecting a rich heritage of law and Justice attuned to the peoples of the land, a sophisticated and often compassionate system to be admired, more communal than adversarial.

    It features as sleuth Mara, the Brehon of the Burren.

    Book Review

    Now in late middle age, Mara continues to serve as a judge dispensing justice under Brehonic law and also solving mysteries. A new judge metes out unduly harsh sentences to five miscreants and is then found gruesomely and creatively murdered. The item All natural murder, Staci McLaughlin represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Rome Jervis Public Library.

    This item is available to borrow from 1 library branch. Creator McLaughlin, Staci. Language eng.


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