“Once again, Cora Harrison brings sixteenth-century Ireland beautifully to life and her Brehon detective, Mara, is a fantastic protagonist—an absolute one-off and yet refreshingly real.” —The Historical Novel Society on A Secret and Unlawful Killing (Editors’ Choice)
The year is 1509 and autumn has come to the Burren in western Ireland. It’s a time of harvest and preparation for the winter to come—the end of summer and, for some, the end of life. When Mara attends the funeral of a local priest of the Burren, the last thing she expects to discover is another corpse on the church steps—a man stung to death by bees.
Sorley, the silversmith, was a greedy and distrusted man: there would be no shortage of people who wanted him dead. But who really stood to profit from his murder? As Mara investigates, she must use all her cunning and prowess as a judge to bring the sting of justice to a killer with a hate-filled heart and a murderous mind.
“Harrison’s stellar third novel set in the Irish kingdom of Burren blends a fair-play murder puzzle with a convincing portrayal of early 16th-century Ireland. . . . Ellis Peters and Peter Tremayne fans who have yet to discover Harrison will be overjoyed.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Readers who enjoy Irish history and tales won’t be disappointed by Harrison's well-plotted mystery, the third in her series featuring Brehon Mara, a 16th-century judge . . . her elegant style produces an enjoyable story.”—Romantic Times
"Sixteenth-century Irish law is surprisingly egalitarian and complex, governing all aspects of life from marriage and inheritance to the keeping of bees . . . enjoyable, providing intriguing insight into medieval Irish justice.”—Kirkus