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Cora Harrison Historical Fiction

Updated on September 18, 2014

Justice from The Burren

Cora Harrison has written a large number of novels but I read her historical fiction based in Ireland.

I've enjoyed the stories, murder mysteries, set in The Burren, a tiny, rocky area just south of Galway Bay.

The series features Mara, a Brehon, who solves crimes and pronounces judgement in 16th century Ireland. The mysteries are satisfying, Mara herself is immensely likeable and I love the glimpse of ancient Irish Law.

Finding Mara by accident

It was by accident that I found Mara and the murder mysteries. A second hand bookshop and a hardback copy for a ridiculously low price.

My ancestors originated from The Burren, here was a chance to read a novel set in this semi-mythical place revered by my family. After the first few pages, I was beguiled.

The Dolmen where Mara gives her judgements

The first book in the series

My Lady Judge: A Mystery of Medieval Ireland (Mysteries of Medieval Ireland)
My Lady Judge: A Mystery of Medieval Ireland (Mysteries of Medieval Ireland)

The sky, on that morning of the eve of Bealtaine, 1509, was a clear bright blue with wisps of bog-cotton clouds drifting slowly across.

By the time the May Day fires were lit, a man lies dead on the mountain. It's up to Mara, the Brehon, to sift the clues surrounding this murder, to arrive at the conclusion and to deliver her judgement


Brehon of the Burren Series - The first seven

As I read my way through the series, I'll add the latest. So far I've read seven, and I give each and every one of these novels 5 stars

  1. My Lady Judge

    A Murder on the Mullaghmore Mountain on the Mayday festival.

  2. Michaelmas Tribute : A Burren Medieval Mystery 2

    Trade and celebration are usual for the Michaelmas Fair - not murder

  3. The Sting of Justice : A Burren Medieval Mystery 3

    Sorley the Silversmith is stung to death by bees after a hive is thrown into his room. And there are plenty of suspects!

  4. Writ in Stone: A Burren Medieval Mystery 4

    Two days before Christmas, Mahon O'Brien is bludgeoned to death as he kneels at the altar of the Cistercian Abbey. But was he even the intended victim?

  5. Eye of the Law: A Burren Medieval Mystery 5

    Iarla , who claims he is the son of local noble Ardal O'Lochlainn, is found murdered, a knife plunged in his eye, outside the cave of Balor, the one-eyed god

  6. Scales of Retribution: A Burren Medieval Mystery 6

    In premature labour, Mara calls for the physician, Malachy, only to find he has been poisoned. Who would murder in such an horrific manner?

  7. Deed of Murder: A Burren Medieval Mystery 7

    Three of Mara's law students go missing and one turns up dead. Treason is revealed and, from across the sea, the treacherous hand of Henry VIII

Ruins of the O'Davoren Law School

Ruins of O'Davoren Law School

Ruins of a stone fort that was used by the 17th-century law school of Donal O'Davoren. The school is referred to in the books of the Burren

The Beautiful, Bare Burren

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© 2013 Susanna Duffy

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      theatre 4 years ago

      haven't read these yet but will do so based on your reccomendations

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      Ask_Me 4 years ago

      The old Irish laws are better than the ones today

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      Agapantha 4 years ago

      I like the background of the society in the Burren books. Fascinating!