Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Secret and Unlawful Killing

A Secret and Unlawful Killing (Cora Harrison, 2008) is the second in a series of mysteries set in 16th century Ireland and featuring Mara, a brehon (judge/magistrate) in the Gaelic legal tradition. For the most part it's a gentle, pleasant read, despite the necessary presence of several dead bodies and a certain sense of melancholy as Mara and others who've kept the old ways see the encroachment of English power and English culture even in their isolated corner of western Ireland.

2 comments:

Cora Harrison said...

Thank you for this. You're the first person to have commented on the 'fin de siecle' atmosphere. Fifty years later, Domhnall O'Davoren (I think of him as Mara's grandson!)at the law school of Cahermacnaghten was working fast to make sure that all the laws of ancient Ireland were recorded but after another fifty years little traces remained.

Susan Wilbanks said...

I'm surprised no one else has mentioned it. I remember thinking that the series would have a very different feel if you'd chosen to set it a few centuries earlier.

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