Cover of a Sister Fidelma mystery by Peter Tremayne.

Detective in Ireland

Fidelma is the Sherlock Holmes in a series of thrillers written by the British novelist Peter Tremayne. No blood curdling stories but still entertaining and interesting because of their setting in Ireland in the seventh century.

Fidelma is a nun in the convent of Saint Brigid in Kildare, Ireland, as well as a dálaigh, a kind of police inspector in charge of solving crimes.

Ireland had already been converted to Christianity at that time, but practiced it in its very own – Celtic - way. The Irish were always quarrelling with Rome when it came to liturgy and ecclesiastic rituals.

The differences of opinion ranged from the date of Easter to celibacy and the position of women. There were quite a few differences in practice when compared to the rest of Europe.

A position of leadership, from the meanest tribal head to the highest king, was not automatically transferred from father to son. Every potential leader had to proof his – or her – suitability for the position and was chosen by a family council that consisted of at least three generations.

The books have been translated into twenty languages. Sister Fidelma has a fansite.

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