• Shroud for the Archbishop

  • A Sister Fidelma Mystery
  • By: Peter Tremayne
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (331 ratings)

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Shroud for the Archbishop

By: Peter Tremayne
Narrated by: Caroline Lennon
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Publisher's Summary

Wighard, archbishop designate of Canterbury, has been discovered garrotted in his chambers in the Lateran Palace in Rome in the autumn of AD 664. The solution to this terrible crime appears simple, as the palace guards have arrested Brother Ronan Ragallach as he fled from Wighard's chamber. Although the Irish monk denies responsibility, Bishop Gelasius is convinced the crime is political and that Wighard was slain in pique at the triumph of the pro-Roman Anglo-Saxon clergy in their debate with the pro-Columba Irish clergy at Whitby. There is also a matter of missing treasure: the goodwill gifts Wighad had brought with him to Rome and the priceless chalices sent for the Holy Father Vitalian's blessings have all been stolen. Bishop Gelasius realizes that Wighard's murder could lead to war between the Saxon and Irish kingdoms if Ronan is accused without independent evidence. So he invites Sister Fidelma of Kildare and Brother Eadulf to investigate. But more deaths must follow before Fidelma is finally able to put together the strange jigsaw in this tale of evil and vengeance.

©1995 Peter Tremayne (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What listeners say about Shroud for the Archbishop

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

it would take me to long to list everything.

I read the first book and found it ok. the main character was a little annoying at time and a little condescending to her partner but over all tolerable. so believe me when I say she has become insufferable in the book. not to munchen in the last book her advocating for her religious house and some hold over customs for the days of the pagans was a little heavy for some one of the time but acceptable. in this book she shows so much disdain for the church and so much praise for the old pagan customs that I find myself wondering why is she not a pagan. this is the second book and I will not be going on to the thread. this is in mo way all the issues with the book but please understand I had high hopes for this and am very disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

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Good mystery, story telling a bit wooden

Overall, I enjoy the Sister Fidelma series. This is the second book in the series, set in the seventh century and following the mystery solving Irish religious Sister Fidelma and her sidekick and amour, the Saxon Brother Eadulf. The author is Peter Berresford Ellis (writing under the name Peter Tremayne) who is a noted British historian and he includes some great historical details. This mystery was well thought out. I had an inkling of who the guilty parties might be, but the story was still good. The plot doesn’t drag but keeps a good pace. There are a few things I don’t like so much. Tremayne doesn’t seem to be a natural storyteller and so the plot is not nearly as smooth as say a Steven Saylor or Ruth Downie novel. Tremayne’s storytelling feels a bit wooden. Tremayne also tends to have very black and white characters and sides, often representing causes he feels strongly about. So Fidelma and Irish church are all good, and seem like progressive Episcopalians from the 1990s transported back to the seventh century. The Romans and Saxons are often the bad, corrupt, money-hungry conservatives. It would be nice to have a bit more complexity. I also find Sister Fidelma to be a bit pedantic and uptight. Tremayne tries too hard to make her the feminist superwoman - I think she’d be a more likable character if she had some foibles. All in all though, my criticisms are minor and this is a book well worth a read.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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History and culture-A; mystery-C

There are over a dozen of Peter Tremayne's Sister Fidelma mysteries, so if you want to learn about early medieval Europe, this is one of the most painless ways to do it, since the author is an expert in the history, literature and culture of this period in real life. Sister Fidelma is a "detective" (the concept didn't exist in her time, of course) on par with Hercule Poirot in that she knows her value and expertise and doesn't let anyone stand in her way. The actual mystery plots (so far--this is book 2) seem rather mechanical, but I trust Tremayne learns a few tricks as the series continues. Caroline Lennon's narration is effective.

1 person found this helpful

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was 3 hours longer than it needed to be

The story was great to start, but drug on for many more hours. Extremely dull.

1 person found this helpful

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Sister Fidelma is my new addiction

Sister Fidelma joins the ranks of Sherlock Holmes, Isaac Bell and Annja Creed of stories I can't get enough of. I admit that I was baffled right up to the end, and I really hoped that it was the mean abbess instead of the ######. ;-) I love Caroline Lennon's voicing the tale, and more than anything, I love Fidelma's honest appraisal of the Church of Rome, and it's way of doing things, as opposed to the simple and direct faith of the church of Columbus Cille. We'll done, and on to Book 3!

1 person found this helpful

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meh...

Ok storyline. Narrator was good, but hard for me to casually listen to and understand. It was a turn up the volume and concentrate to distinguish words. Male narrators work better for me, or Davina Porter.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating!

Great story read perfectly - I am engaged throughout the entire telling of the story. Wonderful narration and gripping plot. Unexpected twists and turns.

1 person found this helpful

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lovely narration; wealth of historical detail

I really enjoyed this, especially since the historical detail covers a place (Rome) that I have visited - so interesting to get a glimpse into early medieval life there. The narrator is also fantastic, makes the story and characters easy to follow.

My only irritant with the series is that Sister Fidelma isn't very likeable. I kind of get it, neither is Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot, and they both treat their sidekicks terribly. But here Eadulf is intelligent and perceptive - he's no Captain Hastings - and they are supposed to be romantically involved. Which to me makes her treatment of him hard to take. Even though the brilliant but socially inept detective is a standard trope, I wish it wouldn't be so universal.

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YES!! THANK YOU (female American Baptist pastor)

LOVE THIS SERIES... LOVE SISTER FIDELMA'S powerful, fully feminine and brilliant character & her consistency re Biblical ethics yet a Christian realist! I am not fact-checking historicity as i read re early church settings in the various lands of 4th century(?) but feels researched and I LOVE the way author engages linguistics throughout and cross-cultural medleys/ people groups...messy humans in the "catholic=universal" Church of our forefathers.

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Earns 5/5 Roman Autumns...Engagingly Epic!

Peter Tremayne’s Sister Fidelma Mystery is my new favorite series set to be one of my Top Five Surprises in 2021! The stories have an epic historical focus from which I’ve learned a great deal, incorporating real events and fascinating historical figures, creating a realistic seventh century environment through descriptions and use of language almost poetic in its style, and cleverly fictionalizing with a complex murder mystery with several suspects and motives to challenge my inner amateur detective. Case in point: Book 2 “Shroud for the Archbishop.”

Sister Fidelma, an advocate of the law, was set to return to Ireland after doing well to uncover the details behind three murders, including her mentor, and expose an assassination plot against the King of Northumbria (Absolution by Murder), but she has received orders from her superiors to travel instead to Rome. She secretly is pleased since it allows her to keep in the company of Brother Eadulf with whom she partnered in that investigation and has become interested. It’s a warm autumn of 664 A.D. Rome and the Northumbria King’s dictate, more political than based on the merits of the recent debate in Whitby, has lead several to Rome including Wighard who seeks to be ordained by the Holy Father in his new position as the Archbishop of Canterbury. However, he is found murdered and many of the treasured gifts planned to be presented to the the Holy Father are missing. Robbery gone wrong? or has the conflict left behind in Northumbria reared itself? Brother Ronan Ragallach, who was caught outside Wighard’s cubicle, seems the obvious killer, yet he professes his innocence. Sister Fidelma has been asked by Bishop Gelasius to seek answers due to her “singular ability of solving puzzles.” Partnered again with Brother Eadulf to avoid any sense of bias that could be misinterpreted by opposing factions, they look closely at the matter finding more than they bargained.

Tremayne’s mystery is complex and compelling with a plethora of characters that might seem daunting, however there is a smaller central set of characters to follow making it easier to read, or in my case, listen. What compelling research! I enjoyed the historical, cultural, and religious information woven in, like the intricacies surrounding the religious hierarchy, details of the society of the seventh century, and conversation about the catacombs below the streets of Rome. Tremayne’s writing style is also a factor in my enjoyment with descriptive language to create realistic pictures of the environment and character appearances and the banter does well to illustrate the varied personalities. I can pontificate on the benefits of experiencing books thru the audio version, but needless to say, I am a real fan! Here, Caroline Lennon is brilliant! Her narrative tone is pleasant portraying various accents, and her changes in tone illustrate emotions, personalities, and gender. I was totally engrossed in the book, and am eager to continue with the series.