The Spider's Web: A Celtic Mystery (A Sister Fidelma Mystery Book 5)
In the spring of 666 A.D., Sister Fidelma is summoned to the small Irish village of Araglin. An advocate of the Brehon law courts as well as a religieuse, she is to investigate the murder of the local chieftain. While traveling there with her friend Brother Eadulf, a band of brigands attacks the roadside hostel in which they are staying and attempts to burn them out. While Fidelman and Eadulf manage to beat back their attackers, this incident is only the first in a series that troubles them. When they arrive at Araglin, they find out that the chieftain was murdered in the middle of the night, and next to his body, a local deaf-mute man was found holding the bloody knife that killed him.
While everyone else seems convinced that the man's guilt is obvious, sister Fidelma is not so sure. As she investigates, she's convinced that there is something happening in the seemingly quiet town--something that everyone is trying very hard to keep from her. In what may be the most challenging and confusing situation that she has yet faced, Fidelma must somehow uncover the truth behind the chieftain's murderer and find out what is really going on beneath the quiet surface of this rural town.
not mean that he was not a man.’ ‘But why did he kill Eber and Teafa?’ demanded Crón, overcoming her resentment at what Fidelma had revealed about her relationship with her father. ‘I have said – he was an intolerant fanatic. Once he learnt that Eber was the father of Móen he was incensed against the immorality of it. Eber must be despatched to Gormán’s concept of hell and Móen, as a child of Eber’s incest, was to be punished by being accused of the murder. I have already explained that Teafa
Muadnat of the Black Marsh continues.’ As he sat down, he cast an expectant glance towards Fidelma and raised his stylus, for the record of the proceedings was made on wet clay inset in wooden frames and at the end of the sessions these records would then be transcribed to more permanent form in vellum books. Fidelma was seated behind a large ornately carved oak table, her hands placed palm downward before her. She leant back in her chair and looked steadily round at those who sat on the
simply motioned him to answer. ‘I farmed them as one,’ he admitted gruffly. Fidelma nodded impatiently, as if she had known the answer all along but was merely waiting for him to enunciate it. ‘The law states that the boundary fences between farms must be clearly maintained. This is the law under which you seek judgment, is it not so?’ she asked. Muadnat did not reply. ‘Did you maintain the boundary fences?’ ‘The farm that Archú now owns had been mine for years. I removed the boundary
their own protection until I can investigate the matter properly.’ ‘Agdae was kin to Muadnat, as, indeed, I was. He will not let his killer escape justice,’ Crón said coldly. ‘Then,’ replied Fidelma equally icily, ‘we must ensure that the killer is found – whoever he or she is.’ She turned and strode quickly from the assembly hall with Eadulf trailing in her wake. In a short while they were riding at a rapid pace uphill towards the distant high cross. The young warrior Crítán was already
night. But we carried them on our horses. Remember that I also paid for their lodgings? No, there was another motive and we have found it.’ ‘Then the reason was simply to keep the secret of whatever riches have been discovered in that cave?’ ‘I am sure. I think that I became sure yesterday.’ Eadulf looked helpless. ‘You have lost me, Fidelma,’ he confessed. ‘Yesterday we discovered an unknown body on Archú’s farm. It was a body of someone who was neither farmer nor warrior. The calloused