St. Martin's, March 2005, 23.95, 255 pp.
Sister Fidelma of Cashel, an advocate of the law courts in Ireland in mid-seventh century Ireland, married her beloved Brother Eadulf of Seaxmund's Ham from the land of the South Folk and has a month old son. Fidelma is not contented to rest in luxury in the home of her brother King Colgu of Muman. She yearns to apply the law so that she can win justice for whoever needs her help.
Her cousin Becc, a chieftain, asks Colgu for an advocate to find the killer of three young girls who were murdered in the past three months on the night of the full moon. When she and Eadulf go to Becc's territory, she finds frightened and angry villagers. Many believe that three monks who come from Africa are the killers because the murders started soon after they arrived. A distraught person related to one of the victims blames the man who married his ex-wife after she divorced him. Fidelma must cut through layers of lies and deceptions if she is to find out who the killer really is.
Even in an enlightened country such as mid-seventh century Ireland, the three black African monks are feared and mistrusted because of their skin color. The protagonist interrogates people, sifts through misleading clues and works with her beloved companion Eadulf.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner