May's Reviews > Absolution by Murder

Absolution by Murder by Peter Tremayne
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it was ok
bookshelves: historical-mysteries, mysteries

Historical mysteries are a tricky balancing act. On one hand, the author should paint a realistic portrait of the period and needs to include the necessary details to describe the setting in which the mystery takes place. On the other hand, the author should also write a compelling and interesting mystery. Often, historical mysteries fall into either the category of a history book with a run-of-the-mill mystery or the category of an interesting mystery with insufficient or inaccurate historical detail.
This book falls into the former category. The author is clearly well-informed about the period (664 AD during a split between the Roman and Celtic churches) and writes about the shifting political alliances and complex religious issues with confidence and authority. But when I am able to guess who the murderer was within 10 pages of the murder, I know the mystery is not compelling. If you want to learn more about this relatively unknown period, the Sister Fidelma mysteries seem like a good way to absorb the information painlessly and easily. And I really like that the main character is a woman. But there are better historical mystery novelists out there--ones who can write knowledgeably about the period and produce a compelling mystery at the same time.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
July 8, 2019 – Finished Reading
July 11, 2019 – Shelved
July 11, 2019 – Shelved as: historical-mysteries
July 11, 2019 – Shelved as: mysteries

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