Set in 1509 in the Burren on the western coast of Ireland near the River Shannon. Mara is the Brehon, the judge appointed by King Turlough Don O'Brien, to dispense justice in the Burren according to Brehon law. Mara runs a law school for six scholars as well as holding regular courts.
At the end of April people gather at the Burren for Mara's court and judgements are passed. That night hundreds of people including the law scholars, Mara, and King Turlough Don O'Brien, ascend the Mullaghmore Mountain to celebrate the coming of May Day, and at midnight to light the great bonfire.
But after all return home, one man's body lies on the mountain until Mara gets an inkling that something is wrong. It seems that many have known that he is dead, but none is willing to own up to the killing.
This story is set against an interesting backdrop of ancient Brehon law, quite different to the Roman and British law that we are accustomed to. Although this is a murder mystery it is a fairly placid cozy tale. The story is read by Caroline Lennon in what seems to me to be an authentic Irish brogue. Not an earth shattering story, but it is the first of the series, and I would read another quite willingly, if only to learn more about Mara and King Turlough Don O'Brien.
My rating: 3.8
Cora Harrison's own site is here.
She has published 26 children's novels.
1. My Lady Judge (2007)
2. Michaelmas Tribute (2008) /A Secret and Unlawful Killing - US title (2008)
Her fiction for children:
Treachery at Midnight (Book two)
Murder Strikes Again (Book one)
Drumshee Timeline Series
Secret Spy from Drumshee (book 13)
Dark Days at Drumshee (book 12)
Titanic Voyage from Drumshee (book 6 new edition)
Famine Secret at Drumshee (book 5 new edition)
World War II Rescue at Drumshee (book 11)
Murder at Drumshee (book 10)
Viking at Drumshee (book 9)
The Drumshee Rebels (book 8)
millennium@drumshee (book 7)
Secret of 1798 (book 4)
Secret of Drumshee Castle (book 3)
Secret of the Seven Crosses (book 2)
Nuala & her Secret Wolf (book 1)