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The Spider's Web (Sister Fidelma #5)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  936 Ratings  ·  40 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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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
Patricia
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
...more
Booknblues
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval, mystery, ireland
In his book The Spider's Web, Peter Tremayne continues his Sister Fidelma series set in seventh century Ireland. This series contains a great many details and insight into life at that time. Tremayne accurately describes life in a village, the belief system held and many of the prejudices of these villagers.
Fidelma is an astute sleuth and is relentless in her pursuit of the truth. She comes to life in this series. Tremayne describes her so well that you know her reactions to many situations.

Wh
...more
Lisa
Jan 30, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Douglas
Makes you want to visit Ireland and makes you want to read all the others in the series!
Martina Kovaříková
Very challenging to figure the whole plot and who was behind it all. Fidelma comes to small valley to investigate a murder, but then discovers this is not the only death in the valley. While the deathss seems to be unrelated... I admit I found it rather difficult to guess who is behind it all, although the name did cross my mind.
I have to however admit that Fidelma can at times get on my nerves, although overall I find the books enjoyable read.
Pat Frayne
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this mystery. the last half of this book was a page turner. I was certain I had figured out who the murderer was and how the book would end, but I was left guessing until the last few pages. I would strongly recommend this book to mystery lovers.
K Hancock
I'm done with this series. Quite predictable, seems like key background info is just cut and paste from book to book. Interested only in seeing how one particular relationship turns out, but life is too short to keep reading these books.
Kathie D
September 2017 book club book/Peggy It was good.
Laura Edwards
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Denise
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Lisa
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
Crystal
Sep 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sister-fidelma
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
Argum
Fidelma begins by holding court as a judge which introduces us to some folks fighting over a farm. Then Eadulf comes along with a message from her brother to go be sure the murder of his chieftain is handled correctly in a small town, the home of the fighting farmers. More than a group of fighting relatives is lurking in the valley. A boy who can't speak, hear, or see is accused of murders and no one communicates with him or tries. Bandits are roaming the area. People are lying to Fidelma.

I saw
...more
Tina
Aug 03, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nancy Ellis
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so glad this is only the fifth book in the series and I have several more yet to read before I am caught up! These stories never disappoint in their rich historical detail, beautiful characters, and intricate plots. Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf are together again investigating the death of a village chieftain. One death leads to another, one possible motive leads to many. I hope the author never tires of writing these, because I will never tire of reading them!
Ana Elena Romero
Quizá esta nueva novela sea de los mejor ambientadas en el contexto en el que se desenvuelven las historias de Sor Fidelma.
Esta vez nos centramos en la vida de una pequeña aldea (rural) ganadera en la que todos se conocen y casi están emparentados.
Interesante narrativa histórico-policíaca en la que nuevamente Tremayne borda el género en un relato breve pero bien construido sobre una trama sólida.
Genial
David
Oct 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Joyce
Oct 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
Carmen
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mimi
Sep 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
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.

Melia
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Laura
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another good entry in the Sister Fidelma series.
Jeanne
Sep 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little gems of Irish history in each book
Skye Bryant
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Fifth in the series that just keeps getting better.
Bev
The Medieval time period isn't my favorite. But I do like Sister Fidelma! Three & 1/2 stars.
Elerwen
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
sorella fidelma mi piace sempre di più!
brillante racconto, anche se qualcosa si può tranquillamente intuire
Joanna
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book in the series where I hadn't guessed the killer by the end. I had the killer on my shortlist of suspects, though.
Diane
Dec 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Sister Fidelma book. My library doesn't have them all - so started with #5.
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16291
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. As Peter Tremayne, he ...more
More about Peter Tremayne...

Other Books in the Series

Sister Fidelma (1 - 10 of 30 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)
“We are a people who question all things and only through our questions can we hope to arrive at the Great Truth and we must stand by the Truth even if we stand against the world.” 2 likes
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