By Peter Tremayne
In A.D. 664, King Oswy of Northumbria has convened a synod at Whitby to listen to debate among the Roman and Celtic Christian church buildings and choose which will probably be granted primacy in his nation. At stake is far various disputed issues of formality; Oswy's determination may possibly impact the survival of both church within the Saxon kingdoms. while the Abbess Etain, a number one speaker for the Celtic church, is located murdered, suspicion falls upon the Roman faction. so one can diffuse the tensions that threaten to erupt into civil conflict, Oswy turns to Sister Fidelma of the Celtic Church (Irish and an recommend for the Brehon courtroom) and Brother Eadulf of the Roman church (from east Anglia and of a kin of hereditary magistrates) to discover the killer. yet as extra murders ensue and a treasonous plot opposed to Oswy matures, Fidelma and Eadulf quickly locate themselves operating out of time.
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Additional info for Absolution by Murder (A Sister Fidelma Mystery) (Mystery of Ancient Ireland)
Brigid herself was ordained a bishop by Patrick's nephew, Mel, and her case was not unique. Roman clerics actually wrote a protest in the sixth century at the Celtic practice of allowing women to celebrate the divine sacrament of Mass. Armed with this background knowledge we may now enter Fidelma's world. This story is placed in the year ad 664. Principal Characters The Northumbrian Nobility Oswy, King of Northumbria Eanflaed, wife of Oswy Alhfrith, son of Oswy by his first wife Rhiainfellt, and sub-king of Deira Cyneburh, wife to Alhfrith, daughter of Penda of Mercia Wulfric, thane of Frihop, commander of Alhfrith's guard Alhflaed, daughter of Oswy by Rhiainfellt Ecgfrith, son of Oswy by EanflaedeaAelflaed, daughter of Oswy by Eanflaed At the Abbey of Streoneshalh Hilda, Abbess of Streoneshalh, cousin to Oswy Sister Athelswith, domina of Streoneshalh Canna, son of Canna, an Irish astrologer The church of Columba faction Colman, Bishop of Northumbria and Abbot of Lindisfarne Etain, Abbess of Kildare Cedd, Bishop of the East Saxons Cuthbert, Abbot of Melrose, brother of Cedd Chad, Abbot of Lastingham, brother to Cedd and Cuthbert Abbe, Abbess of Coldingham and sister to Oswy Sister Fidelma of Kildare, a ddlaigh or advocate of the law courts Brother Taran, of the land of the Picts Sister Gwid, of the land of the Picts The church of Rome faction Deusdedit, Archbishop of Canterbury Brother Wighard, secretary to Deusdedit James, also called Jacobus, an eighty-year-old Roman missionary to Northumbria Wilfrid, Abbot of Ripon and principal advocate for the Roman faction Brother Seaxwulf, secretary to Wilfrid Agilbert, a Frank, Bishop of the West Saxons (wessex) Brother Agatho, priest in service to the Abbot of Icanho Brother Athelnoth, a priest Brother Eadulf, a Saxon monk from the land of the South Folk Romanus, chaplain to Queen Eanflaed of Northumbria The man had not been dead long.
Abbess Hilda hesitated and shook her head. " Colman raised his eyebrows in surprise. " "No. He has been staying with Wilfrid at Ripon for several months. After all, it was Agilbert who converted and baptized Wilfrid to the faith. " "I know of Agilbert. A Prankish aristocrat. His cousin Audo is the Prankish prince who founded a religious house at Jouarre with his sister Telchilde as its abbess. Agilbert is well connected and powerful. " Colman seemed about to amplify his warning when there came a knock at the door.
Colman's thin mouth twitched in a slight sneer. "I suppose that is true for Northumbria. Speaking for myself, I can recall many important synods and assemblies. " The abbess decided to ignore the slightly condescending tone of the Abbot of Lindisfarne. It had been three I years since Colman had arrived from lona to succeed Finan as bishop of Northumbria. But the two men were totally dissimilar in attitudes. The saintly Finan, though considered by some a man of fierce temper, was sincere, courteous and eager to teach, treating everyone as equals.