The Gospel of Mary

Sister Deirdre--a feisty, young Irish bard and Christian nun--returns in the third installment of Philip Freeman's suspenseful mystery series set in sixth-century Ireland. Previously, courageous Sister Deirdre, from the order of Saint Brigid of Kildare, went on a mission to recover the stolen bones of the holy patron of the convent, and later hunted down a grisly serial killer brutalizing the nuns of Ireland.

In The Gospel of Mary, an old and gravely infirm British nun shows up at the monastery to deliver an ancient manuscript. On her deathbed, she asks Sister Deirdre to guard the papyrus roll--five centuries old--which is believed to be dictated by the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus. The contents of the scroll had been squelched by the head of the church in Rome--deemed a forgery--for fear it would undermine tenets of the Christian faith. To keep the lost scroll safe from powerful enemies, Sister Deirdre sets off with another nun across Ireland, charged with translating the Aramaic text to determine its authenticity. But as the women travel through Glendalough, and on to Clare Island and Armagh, henchmen from within the church in search of the scroll threaten their safety. Does the papyrus really contain the truth about the Mother of God?

Freeman (Sacrifice) creates another atmospherically absorbing mystery fortified by biblical and historical fact. By unraveling the plot of the translated text alongside Sister Deirdre's mission, this briskly paced narrative becomes even more dark and dangerous. --Kathleen Gerard, blogger at Reading Between the Lines

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