“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Irish Ways And Irish Laws

I really don’t mention Cora Harrison as often as I should on these pages, possibly because she lives way out west in County Clare’s beautiful Burren, far beyond the reach of the radar perched precipitately atop CAP Towers.
  Be that as it may, Cora Harrison quietly works away producing very fine historical fiction featuring her series protagonist Mara, the lady judge who operates according to Ireland’s old Brehon laws at a time when London’s colonial ambitions are starting to make themselves felt abroad. It’s a fascinating backdrop which is explored again in the latest Mara offering, LAWS IN CONFLICT, with the blurb elves wittering thusly:
February, 1512. Mara, Brehon of the Burren, judge and lawgiver, has been invited to the magnificent city state of Galway, which is ruled by English laws and a royal charter originally granted by Richard III. Mara wonders whether she can use her legal knowledge to save the life of a man from the Burren who has been caught stealing a meat pie, but events soon take an even more dramatic turn when the mayor’s son is charged with a heinous crime. Sure there is more to the case than meets the eye, Mara investigates . . .
  Cora also writes award-winning YA novels, both mysteries and young Jane Austen stories, but it’s her adult historical novels that have garnered the serious praise in the US. To wit:
“Harrison, like Peter Tremayne in his Sister Fidelma series, provides a superior brand of historical mystery.” - Booklist

“Harrison combines meticulous period detail with a crafty puzzle and a sage, empathetic sleuth.” - Publishers Weekly
  So there you have it. If it’s a well-crafted tale set against a complex political backdrop and a stunning landscape you're after, clickety-click here.

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