Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mystery Book Review: Death on the Holy Mountain by David Dickinson

Mysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Death on the Holy Mountain by David Dickinson. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.

Death on the Holy Mountain by David DickinsonBuy from

Death on the Holy Mountain by
A Lord Francis Powerscourt Mystery

Soho Constable (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-56947-503-2 (1569475032)
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-503-4 (9781569475034)
Publication Date: April 2008
List Price: $24.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): In 1905, Lord Francis Powerscourt investigates a series of art thefts from stately homes of the Protestant gentry in Ireland. Then people begin to vanish. As Powerscourt closes in on the killer his own life is threatened and his patriotism is questioned.

Review: Lord Francis Powerscourt is hired to investigate a burglary at an estate in Ireland in Death on the Holy Mountain, the seventh mystery in this series by David Dickinson.

The estate in question is Butler Court, one of many owned by Gervase St. Clair de Bonneval Brandon, 8th Earl of Lincoln. A number of oil paintings, portraits of eight generations of the Earl's family, have been stolen. And it is not the only theft in the area. Other homes have been targeted as well. The only common factor is that all the estates are owned by Protestants. Could the thefts be political? The Irish Catholic workers on the estates are demanding freedom from English rule, but this seems to be a particularly ineffective way of accomplishing their goals. Especially since, at least in Lord Brandon's case, the paintings stolen weren't particularly valuable. It isn't until a body is found at the summit of Croagh Patrick, Ireland's Holy Mountain, that Powerscourt is able to gather enough information to identify the thieves and determine the true reason behind their actions.

Death on the Holy Mountain is written in an expressive manner, describing the beauty of Ireland and the expansive estates that include ancestral homes surrounded by massive amounts of land, trees, lakes, and rivers. The story, set in the early 20th century, is exceptional in the way the author infuses the history and plight of the Irish citizens and the constant conflict between the Protestants and Catholics over the rule of Ireland into the story, and at the same time effortlessly incorporating all this into a credible mystery. Death on the Holy Mountain is a terrific novel and highly recommended.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Death on the Holy Mountain and to Poisoned Pen Press for providing an ARC of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2008 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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