Unfortunately, Father Dowling's spiritual retreat turns into a baffling murder investigation when a dead man is found in a grotto on the grounds with the handle of an axe protruding from his back. Complicating matters is a long-running real-estate dispute that has pitted the brothers of the order against the previous owners of the huge and valuable piece of land on which their sanctuary sits.
Who could have killed the man and why, and does it have something to do with the high-stakes mind games being played out between the parties vying for the land? No one's too sure, but what is clear is that Father Dowling is once again at the center of it all in another winning entry in a mystery series that's become an institution.
With too many churches and not enough people to fill them, the Archdiocese has to make some cuts, and many of them, including the proposed closing of St. Hilary's, are dangerously close to the bone. Father Dowling rushes to drum up support from church officials and parishioners, including the Deveres, who don't want to see the stained glass windows they donated go anywhere other than the church they were meant for, but they can hardly be of help when those closest to them start turning up dead.
Church politics, long-kept family secrets, and a determined killer come together to put St. Hilary's---a church that countless characters and devoted readers have come to love---and its parishioners in peril in Stained Glass, the latest in Ralph McInerny's treasured mystery series.
Having been a successful financial adviser until recently, David has returned to campus to renege on a pledged donation to the university's ethics program. While he's there, one of his former classmates sends a letter confessing to the murder and a secret burial of one of their closest friends, a student who had gone missing decades before and was never found. As students, David, Patrick, and Timothy made up the "Trinity," an irreverent nickname for three close friends and fierce rivals---be it for on-campus prestige or the affections of a beautiful St. Mary's student from across the road.
Ready to help the school put the whole sordid tragedy behind them, Roger and Philip set about the sad task of unearthing Timothy's body, only to find that they have a much bigger mystery with which to contend.
With rivalries rekindled and the brothers Knight digging into the university's past, Sham Rock, the latest in Ralph McInerny's well-loved mystery series, is as witty and charming as ever
While conspiracy theories are as prevalent as the cold, Philip and his brother Roger think the letters are probably a prank or possibly a student paper's attempt at yellow journalism but nothing more. Then a controversial professor's car is set on fire, a man is found dead on campus, and the Knight brothers find themselves hot on the trail of a killer in Ralph McInerny's tenth mystery set at Notre Dame.
Before Barrett can decide what to do, and before the now-adult woman has made her demands known to the archdiocese, a body washes up on the shore of Lake Michigan, and Barrett becomes the primary suspect in the murder.
Also in the mix in this astutely drawn mystery are a failed writer, a parish busybody, an inept lawyer, and an embittered young man, each with his or her own agenda, and it is up to Father Dowling to unravel the links between these people whose lives were separated long ago, only to reconnect in tragedy.
With parishioners up in arms, Father Dowling has to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a conviction is no proof of guilt in Ash Wednesday, the newest addition to Ralph McInerny's acclaimed and beloved mystery series.
The victim--poisoned with deadly nightshade--turns out to be Mortimer Sadler, something of a boor but also an extremely generous donor to the university. He'd returned to campus for an unofficial class reunion, along with several classmates, including his three college roommates. Soon, long-buried animosities surface among the old friends. But are these old wounds strong enough to result in murder? Or was there a more recent disagreement brewing? Phil and his brother Professor Roger Knight team up to uncover the truth behind Sadler's death.
Green Thumb is an intriguing addition to this series by the author of the beloved Father Dowling mysteries. Filled with suspense and plot twists galore, not to mention McInerny's trademark clever wit, it's guaranteed to enchant new readers as well as dedicated fans.
When she enlists Father Dowling's help in persuading her niece Jessica to scrap the tell-all family novel she is writing and concentrate on more earthly pursuits, the venerable priest has little idea how enmeshed he is about to become in the family's edgy interrelations. For in recent years, the family has had its share of melodrama, including a philandering patriarch, a son who left the priesthood to take up with an ex-nun, and an underachieving academic, and it's up to Dowling to piece together their shared history in the hopes of putting their demons-and a vicious, previously unknown murder-to rest.
In the hands of Ralph McInerny, one of mystery fiction's most beloved authors, Last Things is as delightful as his legions of fans have come to expect from the charming Father Dowling series.
Meanwhile, Martha's birth father, Nathaniel Fleck, who left before Martha's birth, has contacted Martha's real mother, Madeline, for details about Martha. Madeline panics, afraid he won't leave her alone, and turns to Amos Cadbury, a lawyer, for advice. When Nathaniel is found murdered two days later, Dowling and Amos must juggle the responsibility of spoiling the peace of the families involved while uncovering the truth behind the murder.
Blood Ties is an absorbing and suspenseful addition to this beloved series.
First, Mary Schuster, daughter of a faculty widow, shows up at the event dressed all in black, with the startling announcement that she and the deceased were secretly in love. Then the controversy doubles when another woman arrives with a huge diamond ring on her finger, claiming to have been Fred's intended. Could it be that unassuming Fred Neville was actually involved with two women, in secret and at the same time? Roger thinks not, and finds a notable piece of evidence to back up his hunch when a secret stash of Fred's poetry turns up, clearly written with a single woman in mind. Unfortunately, the object of Fred's intense love remains unnamed in his verse. Suddenly, both women are suspects in a vicious crime. But it's up to Roger to plug into the campus gossip grid and, with a little help from Phil, not to mention his vast knowledge of just about everything that happens on campus, determine the exact chain of events that led to murder.
Set against the backdrop of an exciting Notre Dame basketball season, Irish Coffee will delight fans of both Notre Dame lore and of Ralph McInerny's impeccably plotted mysteries.