Cora Harrison

Cora Harrison

Mullaghmore mountain on the Burren, County Clare, Ireland

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Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Marianne,

I was particularly pleased to hear that you were caught up in the story immediately. I worried a bit in case it was too slow and not dramatic enough.

I plan that Mara’s own life, her life as professor to her scholars, and her problems, joys, successes, and love interest, continues throughout the stories, alongside her professional life as Brehon of the Burren where she will have to deal with any infringements of the law in that kingdom.

‘Michaelmas Tribute’ will be published in the USA in August, but under the name of ‘A Secret and Unlawful Killing’ – same book: different name.

Thanks for writing,

Thu May 29 19:18:30 2008

Marianne writes from USA (FL)
Having just finished MY LADY JUDGE, I came here to see when the next would be and am delighted to find that there are FOUR more books. I checked the Barnes & Noble site for your second, MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE and am very disappointed to find that it is not available in US as yet. So sad.

I was caught up in the story immediately! Learning of the ancient ways of law in Ireland is absorbing. Your characters are not only believable but ones you would like to meet. I hope you will keep the love interest but between the King and her old childhood friend ---hmmmm --- Also love the dogs :)

I have already emailed a pal who is as avid a reader as I am and planned to pass the word to many more.

I am looking forward to many more pleasurable hours reading your stories (even the children's)!


Thu May 29 00:55:50 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Prish,
I'm so delighted that you liked Michaelmas. I must say that I was rather pleased with it myself - the ending worked out well, I thought.
It's rather nice writing those books because it seems to be a sort of Golden Age for Ireland as contrasted with the sorrows and tragedies of the next few hundred ywars of futile rebellion.

Tue May 27 15:59:59 2008

Prish Hawkes writes from England
Dear Cora
I have just fininshed the Michaelmas Tribute, which I loved ; there is only one downside to finishing the book ..I now have to WAIT for ages until I can read the next installment of Mara's aventures and cases to solve!!! what will I do????
I would like to add that I think the ending is exellent , it is extremely dramatic and leaves you longing ( as above!) to know what happens next.!

Tue May 27 13:11:28 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Ms Judge,
That's really interesting about the surname 'Judge' and its relationship to the brehons. Of course, it does make sense that it would be translated into English if a descendent emigrated to America. There were a couple of famous law families in Sligo in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries: The Mac Egan family and the family of Dubhaltach Mc Firbhisigh, who attended the law school of Domhnall O'Davoren of Cahermacnaghten in the Burren.
Thank you for comparing my Mara to your daughter. I feel very complimented and wish Caroline the best of luck in her chosen career.

Mon May 26 13:05:14 2008

Susan Judge writes from USA
Dear Ms Harrison,

I am a Judge by marriage and have a daughter named Caroline who is so much like your heroine the Brehon of the Burren in "My Lady Judge "that I had to write to you. She has always been a life force and has had an unerring sense of justice since childhood; my husband and I feel strongly that she embodies the spirit of his Brehon ancestors. She graduated Magna from Harvard Law School and is doing great work as a lawyer fervently opposed to the death penalty), and your novel makes us even more interested in the Brehon tradition of law.
We traveled to Ireland several ears ago when our son graduated from medical school and went as far north as Sligo where we believe the Judge clan originated. My middle child Christi

Mon May 26 01:47:07 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Thanks, Marie. I'm glad you liked Michaelmas.
The next book, which is now being copy-edited, is called 'Sting of Justice' - the following one is 'Writ in Stone' and I am halfway through number five - Eye of the Law'.

It would be nice if they came out more quickly, but I suppose that my publishers want to build up the fan list!

Thu May 22 10:10:30 2008


I just purchased Michaelmas Tribute and am loving it. It's going to be tough waiting another year to get the next installment - particularly in light of the ending of Tribute. Great job! Please keep them coming

Thu May 22 10:05:27 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Patricia,
I'm delighted to hear that your book club enjoyed MY LADY JUDGE and I hope that you like MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE as much.
I think that the point about buying yourself out of punishment is one that has interested a lot of readers. I feel that to answer that question you have to go back to the concept of the honour price: translating the Gaelic term literally, this is the 'the price of his face'. I think of the analogy of the English term 'to lose face'.
Any lord (and he would have to be a lord to pay the heavy fine without help from the clan) who continually committed murder would certainly lose face with his clan and this in turn might lead to him being deposed and perhaps declared an outlaw.
Hope this explanation hel

Fri May 2 18:24:39 2008

Patricia Stephens writes from Ireland
We've just finished reading My Lady Judge in our book group and it was a great success, one of the best books we've done. We found a lot to discuss, some discussion points from Panmacmillan website and some of our own.
Brehon Law is fascinating, it seems very logical and very fair. However, we have a question for you.
If a man can buy his way out of murder what's to stop a wealthy man from doing just as he pleases and commiting any crime he wants. ?

I just got your 2nd book Michelmas Tribute and can't wait to start it.

Fri May 2 17:37:08 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Tim: Thanks for this - it's lovely that I have converted you to fiction. I hope that you like MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE as much - more about Mara's personal life in this!

Pat: I think that if govermments took on board something like Brehon law then the world might be a better place. Perhaps I'm being naive, but I think that a law which is community based might work better than the present system.

Johanna: That's an interesting question. I think what would happen to someone like this is that his clan would disown him and would refuse to help him to pay any further fines. He would then become a 'cu glas' a stray dog, and would lose all right to live in his own kingdom and be protected by its laws. He may well just end up as a slave.

Mon Apr 21 19:22:38 2008

Johanna writes from US
I loved your book '"My Lady Judge" and wanted to write and tell you. I thought that the characters were great and I
I was wondering what would happen to a serial murderer under Brehon Law.
Like Tim, I thought that Mara was a great character.
And Turloug was a sweetie. I hope they get together.
Keep writing, Cora. I love your books.

Mon Apr 21 18:15:25 2008

Pat McCabe writes from UK
Dear Cora,
I write to tell you very much I enjoyed My Lady Judge. My wife read it first and insisted that I read it and I am very glad that I did so. Like your other correspondents I found Brehon Law very interesting. I had never heard of it before, though my wife said there was something about it in the Ellis Peters books.
I must congratulate you on your website. We both loved the pictures and plan to visit the Burren some time.

Mon Apr 21 16:47:15 2008

Tim Dougall writes from U.K
My Dearest Cora,

I loved “My Lady Judge”.

I tend to prefer non fiction, i.e., enjoying books about history, crime and countries etc., however … you managed to combine all of these “likes” into one novel. You gained my immediate interest with the historical information and background to the times, the background and setting of the Burren and the comparison between the English/Irish legal systems, whilst providing such “real” characters.

Mara’s relationship with her students and Turlough showed great warmth and sensitivity, mixed with worldly wise knowledge and a touching sense of humour and intimacy.

I can only but thank you for a “ripping good yarn”!

Aye Yours
Tim (Dougall)

Fri Apr 18 12:26:52 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Prish,

It's great to hear that you liked MY LADY JUDGE and that you found the mystery element interesting.
I do hope you like MICHAELMAS TRIBUTE as well. Personally, I think that the mystery is better done in MICHAELMAS, but you'll have to let me know if you liked the ending to it.
Hopefully it will be in Waterstones - soon. I've now got my advance copy so it's definitely all printed and ready to go.

Thu Apr 17 16:59:09 2008

Prish Hawkes writes from England
Dear Cora
My Lady Judge was a terrific read ! Ienjoyed it very much ..the unfolding mystery and it 's conclusion, ...and the wonderful descriptive passages of writing.
I have preordered my copy of The Michaelmas Tribute at Waterstones ,and am looking forward to picking it very soon!

Thu Apr 17 14:35:33 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Lesley,
It's lovely to hear from you and I am thrilled that you liked MY LADY JUDGE. I'm just writing book 5 of the series: publishers can't keep up with me so just book 2 is coming out on May 2 and, at the moment, book 3 the following May, though there is talk of bringing out 2 a year - I'd love that because my mind is packed with mysteries for Mara to solve and also to develop her personal life, of course.
By the way, for your book group, Macmillan have 2 articles by me on their website - one an interview and one about Brehon law

Mon Apr 14 19:46:26 2008

Lesley Rye writes from England
Hello Cora,
I have just read your book My Lady Judge, you may remember that you signed it for me when I bought it in Tenterden last Summer. I absolutely loved the book, it reminds me so much of you. It also makes me want to visit The Burren!I have chosen your book for the reading circle I belong to and we will be talking about it on the 16th April. I hope you are well.

Mon Apr 14 19:36:54 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Joyce,
Thanks for taking the trouble to write. I'm pleased you like my Mara. She started off as 'Macha' - a medieval Gaelic name, but most non-Irish people had great difficulty in pronouncing this so I changed it to 'Mara', which, as you may know, means the merry person.

I, too, find the Brehon laws most fascinating. I can't believe how modern they are.

Mon Apr 14 19:33:00 2008

Joyce writes from US
dear Cora,
what a fan you have in me, My maiden name was O'Mara, so i am quite partial to your Mara. I am fascinated with the laws in your book and am telling my family and friends of your book. I live on the Oregon coast much like the Irish one. My people are from Cork.

Mon Apr 14 19:31:16 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Tevis,
It's exciting getting a message from San Francisco and I'm so delighted that you liked 'My Lady Judge', I, too, find Brehon law completely fascinating. It seems amazing how modern and humanitarian it is. It makes me proud to be Irish - or perhaps I should say Celtic - when I read about it. Are you Welsh in origin? Book two will be out in May here in Ireland and in Britain, Canada etc and in America in September. Many thanks for going to the trouble of writing.

Mon Apr 14 19:28:53 2008

Tevis Jones, writes from San Francisco, U.S.
Dear Cora,
I just finished "My Lady Judge". What a wonderful book!! I've visited the Burren many times, studied medieval Irish history, and have always been interested in Brehon law. You've illuminated all of these subjects beautifully in your book, and thrown in a well-crafted mystery as well; it was absolutely perfect reading for St. Patrick's Day week. I look forward to more titles in what I'm sure will be a vibrant series.
Thank you!!
Tevis Jones, San Francisco, U.S.

Mon Apr 14 19:21:34 2008

Cora Harrison writes from Ireland
Dear Frances,
It's lovely when someone appreciates your book and takes the time and trouble to let you know. The next Mara book will be coming in a month's time - 'Michaelmas Tribute' in the British edition and 'A Secret & Unlawful Killing' in the American will come out in September.I've been to the British library and have seen the Brehon laws copied out by Domhnall O'Davoren and his scholars in the mid sixteenth century. I felt my hands shake when I held the book!

Mon Apr 14 19:19:47 2008

Frances McNair
For the first time in what seems like an age I was transported back in time so much so that I had to check out "Brehon Law" and have since had a merry discussion with my librarian re your book, please do try hard not to keep us waiting for too long for more of Mara. What a woman if only there were more of her. Anyway just had to say Thanks

Mon Apr 14 19:18:18 2008

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