The Brehon Judge, Mara, returns in this second historical murder mystery set in the Burren in north-west Ireland. It is 1509 and people are gathering for the Michaelmas Fair, but an angry undercurrent is marring the celebrations. Ragnall MacNamara, the unpopular steward of the MacNamara clan, is found murdered and Mara is called upon to investigate. Another death soon follows to complicate the picture.
Mara needs all her professional wits about her – especially since an unexpected marriage proposal is distracting her thoughts – to get to the bottom of this knotty case. And, when she finally pinpoints the awful truth, it seems that she must inevitably hurt the person she loves the most.
Once again, Cora Harrison brings 16th century Ireland beautifully to life and her Brehon detective, Mara is a fantastic protagonist – an absolute one-off and yet refreshingly real. Her dignity and intelligence are beacons that guide the reader through a murky story of greed and vengeance.
A Secret and Unlawful Killing (US)