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The Prudence of the Flesh (Father Dowling Mysteries) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

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The Prudence of the Flesh (Father Dowling Mysteries) Hardcover – August 22, 2006

4 customer reviews
Book 25 of 25 in the Father Dowling Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In McInerny's tedious 25th Father Dowling mystery (after 2005's Blood Ties), the detective-cum-priest is stunned when his old classmate, Gregory Barrett, now a popular NPR personality, is accused of a decades-old sexual dalliance with a parishioner. Dowling can't believe that Barrett fathered Madeline Murphy's child, but he knows that even an unfounded accusation could destroy his friend. Into the mix add Ned Bunting, an irksome aspiring author who hopes to get famous by writing a book about clerical sexual scandals. When Bunting's body washes ashore on Lake Michigan, no one mourns. But who killed him? Was it Barrett, or some other priest, trying to squelch Bunting's exposé? The book, though timely, is so heavy on dialogue that it reads almost like a screenplay. Too little attention to scene-setting and two-dimensional characters won't win the series new fans. (Aug.)
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From Booklist

Catholic priest Father Dowling is back to solve his twenty-seventh mystery. Here he works behind the scenes to help clear a former classmate, Gregory Barrett, who has since left the priesthood, of the charge of sexually abusing a child. Barrett denies the charges, but the evidence mounts against him. The history of these types of abuse allegations--and the church's response to them--is woven throughout the story. Multiple points of view move the plot along, even with the somewhat detached writing style. As always, the frame of Catholicism and parish life add interest and authenticity to the novel. Sue O'Brien
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: Father Dowling Mysteries (Book 25)
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312351445
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312351441
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,442,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
NPR host of End Notes Gregory Barrett visits his former seminary classmate Father Dowling for the first time in years seeking his help. Apparently, a woman he swears he never met Madeline Murphy has just been led to remember that he sexually abused her when he still was a priest and claims he is the father of her child. Dowling thinks that is quite a memory gap as Gregory left the priesthood twenty-five years ago. Madeline is suing Gregory and the archdiocese.

Dowling has doubts that Barrett sired Murphy's child, but agrees to look into the matter as he knows that most people today prefer to believe the priest is guilty of being a sexual predator. Also looking into the accusations is wannabe author Ned Bunting, who is working on a tell-all exposure book about the church sexual scandals. Not long after meeting with Barrett, Father Dowling learns that Bunting was murdered and fears his friend might be the culprit; but if not Barrett, most likely another priest fearing exposure.

Although the topic is interesting and clearly current, twisting the story line from the relevancy to a murder mystery adds suspense but leaves the key players (besides Dowling), Barrett, Murphy, and Bunting, underdeveloped. Thus Father Dowling works his magic, but concentrates more so on the homicide than on whether a priest acted as a sexual predator. Well written as always, THE PRUDENCE OF FLESH is one of those could have been great, but instead is a fine whodunit for series fans only.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Have read as many of Mr. McInerny's books as I can find. Wish there were more for e-reading. The editing on these is much better than many e-books, also.
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By M. Shahar on May 22, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A little bit too convoluted for my taste. Too many jumps forward and backward and too many repetitions of facts.
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Format: Hardcover
Good clean mystery, no sex, just old fashioned mystery. Good for any age.
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