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The Spider's Web (Sister Fidelma, #5)
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The Spider's Web (Sister Fidelma #5)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  614 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In the spring of 666 A.D., Sister Fidelma is summoned to the small Irish village of Araglin. An advocate of the Brehon law courts as well as a religieuse, she is to investigate the murder of the local chieftain. While traveling there with her friend Brother Eadulf, a band of brigands attacks the roadside hostel in which they are staying and attempts to burn them out. While ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 2nd 1999 by Minotaur Books (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 957)
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Still enjoying this series, maybe because I like hearing about the old Irish legal systm as well as the beliefs of the early Irish people and the different ideas within the Catholic church.

7/7/12 *I have revisited this review and plan to revisit the next few. I have been pondering why I read one book after the other and can barely put them down but turn around and fairly consistently rank them a 3. I know initially I was unhappy that the "bad guy" seemed obvious to me from nearly the beginning
Sharee Johnson
Excellent mystery around a 7th century Irish community---where there is no straight path to the truth, only a spider web of intrigue. Sister Fidelma is a Brehon Court Advocate (Judge) and goes to learn the truth about murders in the community. This is a tremendous book for history buffs of Ireland. It explores the conflicts between the early Catholic Church in Rome and the Christian Church in Ireland, which was built on traditional laws of the Irish. Most of all, for me, some of the theological ...more
Interesting, but not something to make me go out and buy everything else by this author.

I found the descriptions of medieval Irish law intriguing, but the main character was a bit too perfect.
Makes you want to visit Ireland and makes you want to read all the others in the series!
Laura Edwards
Love this series. Only one thing bothers me a little. Since the first two books were set outside of Ireland, I can understand people's (especially men) reaction to finding a woman holding such a high and important position. But when the setting reverts to Ireland in the next few books, why is Fidelma encountering the same reactions? We are told in the foreword that women enjoy an independent and equal life to men. Surely, the Irish characters shouldn't react with such surprise to find a female a ...more
It is 700 A.D. The Roman empire has crumbled. It is a period in history known as the "Dark Ages". But not in the country we know today as Ireland. It was governed by a set of sophisticated laws known as the Brehon Laws. These laws gave more rights and protection to women than any other western code law at that time or since! There were famous sites of learning where young men (and young women) were trained. Students from every corner of Europe came to Irish universities to receive their educatio ...more
This series has so much to teach about the very modern Ireland of the 7th century. Modern in law, the equality of women, and as I found out in this book, in treatment of diverse peoples. A deaf-mute-blind man figures into this mystery, and who knew that Irish law forbade mistreatment or discrimination against such people. Each of these books details the complex and humane legal system of the time. Also of interest in all the books is the acrimonious battle for the Christian souls between Rome, w ...more
I'm going to take a break from Sister Fidelma, at least for a while. I've now read several books in the series (in order) and am disappointed that her character experiences no development or progress, although the plots are interesting. Perhaps the characterization problem is a result of her being presented as near-perfect from the beginning, although she has her flaws--they aren't acknowledged. And I'm growing weary of the "summation" of the story at the end of each book, with facts coming out ...more
Enjoyable historical mystery and a pleasant surprise to find a book set in Araglin, a part of the country I am very familiar with. Overall the story is good fun, although I found the identity of the villain and their motives a bit underwhelming.
This is a fantastic detective story set in a time period more used to fantasy/historical novels. The historical knowledge and fair-mindedness of the author to all faiths comes through strongly. Sister Fidelma is a strong, independent and fair woman whose Christian beliefs of acceptance and understanding balance her strong belief in the justice system she is responsible for. The story twists and turns, and you truly do not see the end coming. I have not read Peter Tremayne before but will most de ...more
Emmy Kuipers
Another pleasant read. Sister Fidelma once again comes to bring the law to a medieval Irish community and comes across the ageless vices of human beings.
Skye Bryant
Fifth in the series that just keeps getting better.
One of the best in the Sister Fidlema series, at least among the first five which I have read.
This is one of the more entertaining though maybe a bit less credible of the Sister Fidelma mysteries. It seems to suggest that the idea of small town ignorance, secrets, and secret sin goes back for centuries. Always interesting to learn of 7th century Irish landscape and culture
This is the third Sister Fidelma mystery I have read, and probably my favorite of the ones I've encountered. While she is always a bit anachronistic, I enjoy the history presented with the story, and this time the reveal, while obvious, was not similar to the first two.

Sister Fidelma is annoyingly perfect, so I had a hard time getting into this book. Halfway through, the interesting plot kept me going. Tremayne inserts a bit of Irish history as it transitions to Catholicism which also makes this book a little more enjoyable.
Sister Fidelma solves a complex murder, actually only one of five, in a kingdom and also unveils many other crimes. A priest who thinks of glorifying God by killing sinners, incest, imbezzelment and lying. Through the story we discover more about the times.
Mary Newcomb
Sister Fidelma untangles a particularly confusing set of mysterious deaths in a sleepy little valley. While I believe she came to the correct conclusion, it was hard to see that until her summation.
sorella fidelma mi piace sempre di più!
brillante racconto, anche se qualcosa si può tranquillamente intuire
A good mystery.. A bit confusing at first, but once you get in to it you can't put it down..
Bev Hankins
The Medieval time period isn't my favorite. But I do like Sister Fidelma! Three & 1/2 stars.
The first Sister Fidelma book. My library doesn't have them all - so started with #5.
A perfect story. Nice turns. Well plotted and narrated
Joyce Lagow
5th in the Sister Fidelma series.[return][return]Colg
Another good entry in the Sister Fidelma series.
Mary Devlin
I enjoyed it very much. Definitely worth reading.
Little gems of Irish history in each book
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Peter Berresford Ellis (born 10 March 1943) is a historian, literary biographer, and novelist who has published over 90 books to date either under his own name or his pseudonyms Peter Tremayne and Peter MacAlan. He has also published 95 short stories. His non-fiction books, articles and academic papers have made him acknowledged as an authority on Celtic history and culture. Under Peter Tremayne, ...more
More about Peter Tremayne...

Other Books in the Series

Sister Fidelma (1 - 10 of 25 books)
  • Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma, #1)
  • Shroud for the Archbishop (Sister Fidelma, #2)
  • Suffer Little Children (Sister Fidelma, #3)
  • The Subtle Serpent (Sister Fidelma, #4)
  • Valley of the Shadow (Sister Fidelma, #6)
  • The Monk Who Vanished (Sister Fidelma, #7)
  • Act of Mercy (Sister Fidelma, #8)
  • Hemlock at Vespers (Sister Fidelma, #9)
  • Our Lady Of Darkness (Sister Fidelma, #10)
  • Smoke in the Wind (Sister Fidelma, #11)
Absolution by Murder (Sister Fidelma, #1) Shroud for the Archbishop (Sister Fidelma, #2) The Subtle Serpent (Sister Fidelma, #4) Suffer Little Children (Sister Fidelma, #3) Act of Mercy (Sister Fidelma, #8)

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