Publication Date: March 2, 2018
Liafinn Press: eBook & Paperback; 310 Pages
Liafinn Press: eBook & Paperback; 310 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: Muirteach MacPhee Mystery, Book 4
Scotland, 1375: Muirteach MacPhee and his wife Mariota visit Edinburgh Castle, assisting the Lord of the Isles in his negotiations with King Robert II. A trading vessel arrives at the nearby port of Leith from the far away Norse settlement in Greenland. The ship brings unexpected diversion and carries coveted wares: gyrfalcons, unicorn’s horns, and fine furs. Both King Robert and the Lord of the Isles desire the rare birds, easily worth a king’s ransom.
Muirteach and Mariota, unaccustomed to the sophistication of castle life, initially find pleasure in the heady and flirtatious glamor of the royal court. Then sudden and unexpected cruelty, followed by the senseless death of a beautiful young girl, plunge the couple into a murky sea of alliances and intrigue that stretches from Scotland across the icy western ocean to the far northern lands of the Norse, leaving trails of treachery and murder in its wake.
AMAZON | BARNES AND NOBLE | INDIEBOUND
Praise for the Award-Winning Muirteach MacPhee Mysteries
“McDuffie brings. this period to life in such a way that the reader is transported. Her characters are rich and multi-faceted. . . the perfect blend of history, rich in historical detail, and a mysterious investigation.” -The Most Happy Reader
“A superb mystery, and historically correct in every aspect. McDuffie knows her Scottish history and this period intimately and is a powerful storyteller.” -Reading the Ages
“Well-paced and engrossing.” -Kirkus Reviews
“A good choice.” -Library Journal
“Well worth reading.” -CelticLady’s Reviews
A fan of historical fiction since childhood, Susan McDuffie spent such vast amounts of time reading stories set in the past that she wondered if she had mistakenly been born in the wrong century. As an adult her discovery that Clorox was not marketed prior to 1922 reconciled her to life in this era. Susan’s childhood interest in
was fueled by family stories of the McDuffie clan’s ancestral lands on Colonsay
and their traditional role as “Keeper of the Records” for the Lords of the
Isles. On her first visit to Scotland Scotland
she hitchhiked her way through the Hebrides,
and her initial visit to Colonsay and the Oronsay Priory ruins planted the
seeds for her medieval mysteries. Those seeds have grown into the Muirteach
MacPhee mysteries, set in medieval during the Celtic Lordship
of the Isles. The series includes A MASS FOR THE DEAD, THE FAERIE HILLS (2011
New Mexico Book Awards “Best Historical Novel”), THE STUDY OF MURDER (New
Mexico/Arizona Book Awards Finalist 2014), and THE DEATH OF A FALCON. Susan
frequently presents at workshops and conferences and regularly reviews
historical fiction books for the Historical Novel Society’s “Historical Novels
Susan lives in
and shares her life with a Native American artist and four cosseted cats. She
enjoys taking flamenco dance classes in her spare time. Susan loves to hear
from readers and can be contacted via Facebook or
through her website. New Mexico
Flattered, I departed with Ingvilt and Peter, leaving Gudni and Gybb playing knucklebones by lantern light.
Outside it had grown dark. Peter carried a lantern. Ingvilt took my arm and I found the lingering touch of her fingers on my sleeve sent little thrills down my spine.
“So, my lady, you are to leave the court, I hear?”
“Aye. My husband fears contagion.” Ingvilt gave a little shiver as she spoke.
“Your poor maid. I will pray for her soul’s repose.”
“She was a pleasant, lively girl. I shall miss her sorely.”
“When will you leave?”
“My lord has some business to conclude, so we shall most likely leave a day hence.”
“And where are his estates?” I asked.
“To the north and west. Near
. A lonely place.
And my lord is often occupied while we are there.” She sighed a little sigh.
“But I must go where my lord bids me.” Aberdeen
“I am sure you also are busy while you are there.”
“Yes, there is much to manage.” Ingvilt laughed, and ran a pink tongue over her lips. “I prefer life at court, to be truthful.”
I swallowed, my throat suddenly dry. “I have little experience with court life.” I gazed into her eyes, losing myself for a moment in the vast green of them, like the cool waters of the northern sea. “Although I have enjoyed my days here, my lady. Court life is most diverting.”
Ingvilt’s laugh tinkled again through the darkness of the night. “Indeed, it can be, Muirteach. It can be most diverting.”
We reached the lodgings and I bade the lady goodnight, taking her hand and pressing it once again to my lips; savoring her scent, the soft feel of her flesh beneath her gloves. The moment seemed to last for a lifetime. Then the door of Ingvilt’s lodging clanged shut, like the gates of heaven closing against the damned, and I turned forlornly and went across the street to my own lodgings and my own wife.
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