In September of 666 A.D. an aged monk and a set of relics disappear from the Abbey of Imleach. The missing monk is a matter of great concern for the abbey. But the relics are a disaster of a much higher order. They are the priceless holy relics of St. Ailbe, the man who brought Christianity to the Irish kingdom of Muman, converted and baptized its king, and founded the abbey. The relics are the political symbol of the entire kingdom and their disappearance threatens to disrupt its continued peace and stability.

On a visit to the Abbey of Imleach, Sister Fidelma is asked to investigate. With the help of her friend and travelling companion, the Saxon monk Brother Eadulf, Fidelma begins to slowly unravel the mystery behind the twin disappearances. But there are dark forces at work, which will stop at nothing, even murder to achieve their aims.

Lack of copies and lousy weather meant our regular meeting did not follow its traditional format this month. Few of us were able to access a copy of The Monk and the torrential rain kept our numbers down, so instead we had a relaxing, informal chat about crime and mystery novels, the different writing styles and shared authors and title information for further reading. Roger suggested Dennis Wheatley, in particular the Roger Brooks series for an interesting fictional take of the Napoleonic War, and we also carried on further, discussing authors such as Lindsay Davis and Paul Doherty.

Those of us who have read Tremayne find his writing style to our liking. Very easy to read with plenty of chronological facts mixed with the fiction. The whole historical aspect of these novels makes for interesting reading and it was noted that it would only be a scholar of the subject that would not gain some knowledge from them. It seems that historical and period mysteries are proving to be quite popular with our group. Thanks to Noeline for introducing us!

The most wonderful thing about a book club is the many directions a discussion can take you and we found ourselves moving onto fantasy books and films and also many authors we have enjoyed in the past. It turned out to be a wonderful wet afternoon conversation that ended up in voice recognition software! Let no one say topics are limited in the world of book clubs!