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Sister Fidelma Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sister Fidelma Books

Absolution by Murder (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shroud for the Archbishop (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Suffer Little Children (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Subtle Serpent (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spider's Web (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Valley of the Shadow (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Monk Who Vanished (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Act of Mercy (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Our Lady Of Darkness (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Smoke in the Wind (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Haunted Abbot (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Badger's Moon (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Leper's Bell (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Master of Souls (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Prayer for the Damned (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dancing with Demons (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Council of the Cursed (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dove of Death (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Chalice of Blood (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Behold a Pale Horse (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seventh Trumpet (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Atonement of Blood (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Devil's Seal (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spiteful Shadow (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Second Death (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lair of the White Fox (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Penance of the Damned (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Night of the Lightbringer (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bloodmoon (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blood in Eden (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shapeshifter's Lair (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The House of Death (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Heretic (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Revenge of the Stormbringer (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Sister Fidelma Collections

Hemlock at Vespers (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whispers of the Dead (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sister Fidelma, who is a female character, is the featured protagonist in the convent-related “Sister Fidelma” series of books authored by Peter Tremayne. Incidentally, Peter Tremayne is the pen name of a septuagenarian British author; his birth name is Peter Berresford Ellis and he has also written books using the pen name Peter MacAlan. The very first book portraying Sister Fidelma was initially published in September 1994, titled Absolution by Murder, and the Sister Fidelma series of books is shelved in the mystery and historical fiction genres.

The endearing noun ‘Sister’ in the name Sister Fidelma is synonymous with a woman who is associated with a religious organization, especially the Catholic Church. This term gives a reader the drift of the plot in the Sister Fidelma series. As such, the protagonist is a religious sister. Unlike the religious sisters in latter-day churches, who are known especially for their celibacy, the time-frame in this series was a tad bit laid-back. For instance, the clergy had the liberty of marrying. During that time-frame, which is the 7th century A.D., it is evident that there was absence of priestly celibacy. Protagonist Sister Fidelma has two occupations. On the one hand, she is a religieuse–religious person. On the other hand, she is a notable and much sought-after dalaigh–this means that she was an Irish advocate attached to the Brehon Court.

The first novel in the serialized Sister Fidelma, Absolution by Murder, takes places in the 660s, during an historic era known as the Synod of Whitby in the famed ancient Northumbria kingdom. During this period, which is significant in the Sister Fidelma series, a meeting was convened in a bid to decide if the Christian church should adopt the usages associated with Celtic institutions or Roman factions. A crucial figure in this meeting was King Oswy, the then king of the Northumbria kingdom. Peter Tremayne creates a scenario whereby each faction is angling for the adoption of their respective usages at all costs.

The quest for religious supremacy, which is between the Roman church and the Celtic church and whereby each institution is lobbying for preferential treatment from King Oswy, takes a gory twist after a high-profile murder. The pin which bursts the balloon on this whodunit Sister Fidelma series is the killing of Abbess Etain. Incidentally, Etain is a powerful church leader fronting for the Celtic Church. Ordinarily, the person of interest, whomever it did it, was or had to be associated with the Roman church, the counterpart and renowned rival of the Celtic Church. The Roman church is fingered for the murder. The case is so sensitive such that the followers of both institutions may wage war against each other, leading to a civil war.

In his royal wisdom, King Oswy summons two representatives, a delegate from each religious institution. Sister Fidelma comes in in this context. She is associated with the Celtic Church. By the same token, there is Brother Eadulf; this religious brother, who hails from East Anglia and whose family tree has a lineage of magistrates, is affiliated with the Roman institution. King Oswy has mandated both Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf to embark on a sleuthing mission and pinpoint the murderer. But it is not entirely smooth for the two. The situation moves from bad to worse in the wake of a series of murders and, worse still, the possibility of toppling the king looming large.

Sister Fidelma Notable Awards and Accolades
The author of the Sister Fidelma series of books has clinched various awards and garnered accolades by virtue of the books contained therein or other literary works. An example is the 2008 book titled The Council of the Cursed. This book, which is the nineteenth in the Sister Fidelma series, has since been translated into French. The version, which is titled Le concile des maudits, won the Historia Prize in 2010; this French award recognizes historical crime novels.

In 2004, author Peter Tremayne received a civic award from the Mayor and the Council of Cashel. In 2006, East London University proffered to him the Doctor of Letters degree, albeit honoris causa (because of honor). In 1987, writer Tremayne was made a Cornish Gorseth bard. In 1989, Tremayne clinched the Irish Post Award by virtue of his advancement of historical studies on Ireland. There are other honors such as when, in 1989, Tremayne was declared the Scottish 1820 Society’s Honorable Life President.

Sister Fidelma TV Shows and Movies
There are no film adaptations of the Sister Fidelma series. However, there have been efforts to do so in the past. For instance, the Sister Fidelma series had been optioned by a film production based in Dublin; however, the film rights have since been annulled. The author’s 1980 book titled Dracula, My Love, the 1973 novel called The Hero, and the 1987 book titled Rising of the Moon had also been earmarked for film adaptation but they were not filmed.

Best Sister Fidelma Books
There are almost thirty books in the Sister Fidelma series. All of them are impressive. Even then the following are the best two books in the said series. The first and aforementioned book, Absolution by Murder, is arguably the best. Another equally remarkable one is the 1995 book titled Shroud for the Archbishop. This book, which is the second in the Sister Fidelma series of novels, also takes place in 664 and involves an archbishop elect called Wighard of Cantebury; he is found killed in his quarters, which is located in Lateran Palace, and Brother Ronan Ragallach, the presumed suspect, is apprehended by the security personnel while leaving the scene of crime. However, Bishop Gelasius thinks otherwise upon considering the missing artifacts. Should the suspect be arraigned in court without due process and proof, then the archbishop’s murder might inspire a war between Saxon kingdom and Irish kingdom. By and by, Sister Fidelma and Brother Eadulf are summoned and they start sleuthing. Soon a series of murders follow hard on their heels.

Other Book Series You May Like
Bibliophiles who read the Sister Fidelma series also enjoyed the following medieval books. The first one is Sister (Dame) Frevisse series authored by Margaret Frazer; this features protagonist Sister Frevisse who is a novice detective and proprietor of a hostel in the medieval Saint Frideswide monastery. Another much sought-after book is the Burren Mysteries penned by Cora Harrison; it takes place in the early 1500s in Burren, Ireland, and mostly revolves around jurist Mara and Donn O’Brien, a medieval Thomond king. Furthermore, there is Paul Doherty’s Hugh Corbett series; this series is all about a secret agent during the era of King Edward I of England.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Sister Fidelma

3 Responses to “Sister Fidelma”

  1. P J Foy: 12 months ago

    Plots and history fantastic, people interestingly humanized. Cannot locate “Spiteful Shadow” and “The Lair of White Fox” Awaiting continuation of series that is fun not filled with obsentaties and rampant explicit sexual BS which ruin a good story.

  2. Dani Feierstein: 2 years ago

    Great fun to read. I can’t wait for the the latest one- Death of A Heretic to arrive. I just ordered it.

  3. Robert Mitchell: 3 years ago

    The seventh century seems a nicer place than the twenty first. I have most of the Fidelma books and will be looking out for more. Apart from the characters and plots the history is brilliant, especially the legal and religious aspects. The archaeology is less convincing. Irish homes and monasteries were not the impressive structures of the stories.


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