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She is compassionate, wise and has a great deal of experience of life in spite of her apparent seclusion from the world.

If you want to read something different in the way of historical crime fiction then I recommend this book.

While Mara is still recovering from her ordeal, the unpopular local physician, Malachy, whose estranged 14-year-old daughter, Nuala, assisted in the birth of Mara's son, dies of poisoning.

Maras oldest scholar, Domhnall, later tells her that he thinks he recognizes the corpse as that of a goldsmith from Galway, a city farther up the Atlantic coast thats governed by English law, which punishes kin-slayers by hanging.

Mara concludes that someone murdered the goldsmith and hoped to disguise the cause of death.

As Maras sleuthing leads her to a clever and disturbing solution, Harrison seamlessly integrates law and social history (e.g., Mara notes that the emergence of the merchant profession obligates setting a legal penalty for killing one).

1 June 2011: The Montgomery Murder has been declared winner of the Lancashire Fantastic Book Awards from a shortlist of five books.

Click here for the London Murder Mysteries series Jill Weekes Recommends This Book Strongly: This is a well written and interesting historical mystery set in Ireland in the 1920s.

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