From Publishers Weekly
Father Dowling's 22nd absorbing outing (after 2002's Prodigal Father) from the prolific McInerny is guaranteed to mystify. Ill with prostate cancer, Fulvio Bernardo, patriarch of a wealthy and influential Chicago-area family, despairs of his three children. Raymond, the eldest, was ordained a priest and was the great white hope of St. Edmund's College until he took off for California with a nun and the nun's order's car and credit card. Daughter Jessica is an author with a contract for a novel of which the lightly disguised subject is her own family. Younger son Andrew is an English professor at St. Edmund's; enter Horst Cassirer, a brilliant Ph.D. who has recently joined the department and wants tenure immediately. But his fellow professors, despite his high reputation as a researcher, find him deficient as a teacher and colleague and reject his bid. Following the deaths of Fulvio and Raymond's Edmundite mentor comes the requisite third tragedy: Cassirer's battered body is found lying in the street. Suspects abound and the suspense builds until the final chapter, when Father Dowling has a flash of inspiration. The plot moves crisply on the wings of believable dialogue among the multitude of well-drawn college-town characters. As always, McInerny explains just enough about Catholicism to make non-Catholic readers feel at home.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
McInerny returns to his long-running Father Dowling series, and once again academic infighting at St. Edmund's College leads to murder. Father Dowling first becomes involved with the Bernardo family when Eleanor Wygant asks him to try to persuade her niece, Jessica Bernardo, to stop writing a novel based on the Bernardo family. Eleanor is afraid of the resultant scandal if her long-buried secret is revealed. Meanwhile, Jessica's brother Andrew is on a committee charged with determining tenure for a young, obnoxious English professor who begins to threaten the Bernardo family when it looks like the decision may go against him. There is a murder for Father Dowling to solve, of course, but this time McInerny seems more interested in exploring the motivations and entwined family relationships of his characters. There's also plenty of the Catholic minutiae that Father Dowling fans enjoy. A solid addition to a perennially popular series. Sue O'BrienCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved