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Who killed Willie Ward, leaving him perched unceremoniously on the toilet in the ladies' restroom at the Monks' Table? That is what the indefatigable Sister Mary Helen and her faithful sidekick, Sister Eileen, intend to find out after their holiday in Ireland is interrupted by the homicide. No stranger to the dark side of human nature, the perceptive Sister Mary Helen puts her uncanny intuition to good use as she assesses the residents of Ballyclarin, attempting to decide who is capable of cold-blooded murder.
Sister Carol Anne O'Marie has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 48 years. She ministers to homeless women at a drop-in center in downtown Oakland, California, which she co-founded 1990. The shelter is similar to the one that appears in Requiem at the Refuge, her ninth Sister Helen novel.
Previous Sister Helen novels now available are The Corporal Works of Murder (2002) Requiem at the Refuge (2000) / Death Takes up a Collection (1998) / Death of an Angel (1997) / Death Goes on Retreat (1995) / Murder Makes a Pilgrimage (1993) / Murder in Ordinary Time (1991) / The Missing Madonna (1989) / Advent of Dying (1986) / A Novena For Murder (1984)
The Corporal Works of Murder *
A Sister Mary Helen Mystery
by Carol Anne O'Marie / Hardcover / August 2002
Poor Inspector Gallagher -- his premonition was right. Sister Mary Helen is once more in the middle of a homicide case. Not that she wants to be. No one would envy the poor nun, who finds herself holding a dying young woman -- shot to death in the street almost directly outside the Refuge for homeless women where Mary Helen volunteers. The police officers assigned to the crimes that turn out to be "hers" might make a case that someone Mary Helen's age is running a serious risk when she deals with criminals and their world. But the delightful old nun has the weapons of her logical mind, and her determination. And just maybe Someone whom she serves is rooting for her. In any case, she is able to work out of perilous situations, come up with commonsense answers, and gather a huge circle of loving fans as she meddles in murder. This is the tenth novel in the sister Helen series.
When Christine Bennett is invited on a sightseeing trip to Arizona, she jumps at the chance for a little adventure. But the excursion reminds her of a former high school classmate, Heinz Gruner, who died twenty years earlier on Cinco de Mayo while hiking Picacho Peak near Tucson. Chris decides to contact Heinz's mother, who has been wondering all these years how her beloved son, an experienced hiker, plunged to his death. Her one wish is to find out the truth&endash;whether it was an accident, as the police report claimed, or murder.
Lee Harris is the author of the Christine Bennett mystery series. The Silver Anniversary Murder is the sixteenth book in the series, which began with The Good Friday Murder, an Edgar Award nominee.
Previous books in the series are The Silver Anniversary Murder /The Bar Mitzvah Murder,/ The Happy Birthday Murder / The April Fool's Day Murder / The Mother's Day Murder /The Father's Day Murder / The Labor Day Murder / The New Year's Eve Murder / The Valentine's Day Murder / The Passover Murder / The Thanksgiving Day Murder / The St. Patrick's Day Murder / The Christmas Night Murder / The Christening Day Murder / Good Friday Murder
Once again Lee Harris delivers a cleverly constructed who-done-it that is full of false leads and red herrings. This is one of the toughest cases the protagonist has ever solved . -- Harriet Klausner
Ex-nun Christine Bennett flies to the Holy Land for her friend's grown cousin Gabe's Bar Mitzvah. He disappears without a trace, turning her vacation tour into a trail of clues that leads to a cold and cunning killer.
Greeley tackles the timely and explosive topic of the sex-abuse scandals in the Catholic Church in his latest religious-themed page-turner. After Father Herman "Hugh" Hoffman, the wholesome prairie-bred hero of the tale, witnesses a fellow priest abusing a child in the parish rectory, he defies ecclesiastic protocol and jeopardizes his own future, reporting the heinous crime to both the police and the parents of the young victim. The incident is initially swept under the rug by the bishop and the perpetrator is transferred, but years later Father Hugh is called upon to testify in court about all the disturbing particulars of the case. Interwoven into the sensational account of priestly exploitation is an intimate portrait of a virtuous and honest priest's attempt to safely navigate through the turbulent waters of an often-corrupt institutionalized system.
In Greeley's winning sixth Blackie Ryan novel (after 2006's The Bishop in the Old Neighborhood), Ryan's boss, the archbishop of Chicago, sends Ryan to check up on Malachi Howard-Nolan, a fellow priest who's jockeying for a prestigious appointment. When Nolan suffers a life-threatening attack of hornets, Blackie suspects someone in his rich, nutty family wishes him ill. Strong character development, snappy dialogue and a multilayered plot make this one of the better entries in the series. -- Publishers Weekly
Roman Catholic priest Andrew Greeley is a sociologist, novelist, poet, and essayist,. One immense idea underlies all of his works: the celebration of God as lover and beloved.
Other Blackie Ryan mysteries available are The Bishop in the Old Neighborhood / The Bishop Goes to the University / The Bishop in the West Wing / The Bishop and the Beggar Girl of St Germain / The Bishop and the Missing L Train / The Bishop and the Three Kings / The Bishop at Sea / Happy Are the Poor in Spirit / Happy Are Those Who Mourn / Happy Are the Peacemakers / Happy Are the Merciful
The indefatigable Greeley never runs out of mysteries for the perspicacious Bishop Blackie Ryan to solve. As both the author and Bishop Blackie age gracefully, more and more of the puzzles seem to be rooted in an idealized version of the tight-knit Irish American neighborhoods that characterized midcentury Chicago. This time around, Blackie races against the clock to expose the psychopath who is threatening the literal and figurative contemporary resurrection and gentrification of St. Lucy's Parish by charismatic Monsignor Mikal Wolodyjowski.
The irrepressible Bishop Blackwood Ryan returns as his Cardinal dispatches Blackie to The University on the South Side of Chicago to investigate a baffling locked-room mystery. Someone has assassinated a Russian Orthodox monk in his office at the Divinity School-despite the fact that the door of his office was bolted shut from the inside and no killer was found within. .... It turns out that the mystery of the locked room is simple compared to the international intrigue that swiftly develops around the case.
The Bishop in the West Wing **
A Blackie Ryan Story
by Andrew M. Greeley / Hardcover / July 2002
Fun is the word for bestseller Greeley's latest, lively Bishop Blackie (aka Blackwell) Ryan thriller. It's not a whodunit, but a hoodoo-done-it, the mystery being Who's the hoodoo? A poltergeist is stalking the corridors of the White House, threatening to embarrass the president, who's already confronting a fiercely divided Congress, accusations of sexual harassment and the threat of civil war in China.
Fourteen accounts of immoral deeds uncovered (and even sometimes committed) by moral people comprise the absorbing Murder Most Catholic: Divine Tales of Profane Crimes, edited by Ralph McInerny, author of the popular Father Dowling and Sister Mary Teresa Dempsey mystery series. The murder mysteries that make up this unusual anthology all have one thing in common: the hero or heroine who solves the crime is a Catholic cleric.About half are set in the Middle Ages, a time of rich fodder for writers who "wish to meld murder and the religious," while the remainder explore contemporary milieus and themes. -- Publishers Weekly
Perry has gathered together an impressive group of crime writers (including Simon Brett, Sharyn McCrumb, Peter Robinson, and Nancy Pickard) to retell stories from the Bible as mysteries. Some of these 15 stories stretch the bounds of the mystery genre, but all of them are intriguing in their own way, with twists and turns abounding. Perry's introduction, in which she looks at each story individually, adds to the pleasure of the collection. Ilene Cooper -- Booklist
Shortly before his death in December 2001, Kienzle completed his twenty-fourth Father Robert Koesler mystery. In a fitting finale to a reflective as well as suspenseful series, Koesler reaches back in time and memory to clarify the ambiguous details surrounding the death of an old friend and fellow priest. Father Stan Benson is declared accidentally dead by carbon monoxide poisoning. Nursing his own doubts, Koesler convenes a reunion with the five remaining members of a close-knit group of friends who all initially chose religious vocations as a way of life. Now in their seventies, these three men and two women gather to remember and to reexamine their commitments and their relationships. As their interweaving stories unfold, it becomes increasingly clear that multiple personal and theological motives for either a murder or a suicide exist. Koesler's natural flair for detection is surpassed only by his deep and abiding compassion for the human condition. Margaret Flanagan Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
William X. Kienzle, author of 23 previous Father Koesler mysteries, spent twenty years as a parish priest.
Previous books in this series: / The Sacrifice / No Greater Love / The Greatest Evil / The Man Who Loved God / Requiem for Moses / Call No Man Father / Bishop As Pawn / Kill and Tell / Body Count / Sudden Death / Eminence / The Rosary Murders / Mind Over Murder / Deadline for a Critic / Deathbed / Assault With Intent
Coel's 13th Wind River mystery (after 2006's The Drowning Man) is far more engaging than its bland title might suggest. The discovery of skeletal remains still bearing a long dark braid of hair opens deep wounds among the Native Americans who live on Wyoming's Wind River reservation. Arapaho attorney Vicky Holden's efforts to identify the woman, apparently a murder victim, cause tension with her love interest and law partner, Adam Lone Eagle, driving her to enlist the aid of their friend Fr. John O'Malley.
The pallid fourth Sister Agatha mystery from the Thurlo husband-and-wife team (after 2006's Prey for a Miracle) piles on New Mexico smalltown color, but lacks a challenging puzzle. The descriptions of monastic life are compelling, but too-pat miracles and too-simple mysteries will disappoint all but the most devoted series fans.
In the Thurlos' charming but imperfect third cozy involving New Mexico's Our Lady of Hope Monastery (after 2004's Thief in Retreat), Sister Agatha is charged with looking after Natalie, an eight-year-old whose mother lies in a coma after a bad car wreck. Sister Agatha and her buddy, Sheriff Tom Green, suspect that the wreck was no accident&emdash;someone is after Natalie and her mom. If protecting a precocious little girl isn't enough to manage, Sister Agatha is also burdened by her convent's financial problems. The order is short on cash and needs to replace the roof, a subplot actually more engaging than the somewhat thin mystery surrounding Natalie and her mom's stalker. Indeed, the Thurlos could have provided a more plausible lineup of suspects and a less predictable ending. Still, Sister Agatha, with her winsome ways and no-nonsense faith, is sure to delight readers. Publishers Weekly
At a former monastery, closed and sold by the diocese and now operating as a hotel and business retreat, there are a series of mysterious goings on. Several valuable pieces of southwestern folk art owned by the diocese and left on loan in the retreat have been stolen and replaced by replicas. After an art expert was called in to verify the remaining collection, he too disappeared without a trace. And then, there is the ghost -- the restless spirit rumored to wander the halls of the resort. At the request of the Archbishop, Sister Agatha's must now discreetly investigate the doings at the former monastery and make sure that an unwanted scandal is not about to engulf the diocese. But she soon learns that something even more sinister than a ghost is loose in the retreat and it is up to Sister Agatha to unravel the puzzle before the consequences turn deadly.
Along with Holmes County Sheriff Bruce Robertson and Pastor Cal Troyer, Professor Branden works against the clock to find a murderer and a kidnapper, and to break a drug ring operating in the county, determined, wherever the trail may lead him, to restore the shattered community. In his desperate search, Branden struggles with the reluctance of the Amish to trust the law to help them find the answers to their problems. In A Prayer for the Night, his fifth Ohio Amish Mystery, P. L. Gaus deftly balances the pace and practices of Amish life in northern Ohio against the unfolding urgency of a hostage situation. As Gaus has proven before, the mystery gains from its exploration of the ever-widening chasm between the traditional life of the Amish people and their interaction with the outside world.
A Prayer for the Night also is available in Paperback
Previously in this
A Matter of Principle: A Faith Abbey Mystery *
by David Manuel / Hardcover / November 2003
In the fourth installment in the popular Faith Abbey Mystery Series, Brother Bartholomew's trouble turns out to be close at hand&emdash;within his abbey's walls, in fact. When a famous Boston museum is robbed of two statues, the one witness only remembers seeing three men dressed as nuns. Fortuitously, Brother Bartholomew, the middle-aged monk with the dubious gift of crime-solving, knows otherwise. They really were nuns&emdash;exchange nuns staying at Faith Abbey. What ensues is a fast-paced caper with a unique twist and a mystery that can only be solved across the Atlantic.
A Matter of Time: A Faith Abbey Mystery *
by David Manuel / Hardcover / October 2002
In Bermuda for a long-overdue spiritual retreat, Brother Bartholomew stumbles onto a murder involving an international drug ring and must join with his old pal, Eastport (Mass.) chief of police Dan Burke (who also happens to be vacationing in Bermuda), to solve the mystery. As usual, Manuel offers a marvelous sense of place, evoking the sultry beauty of Bermuda as readily as he has the windswept landscape of Cape Cod. This is the third installment in the Faith Abbey Mystery Series.
Also available in paperback
David Manuel web site (Includes excerpts)
A Vow Of Compassion **
A Sister Joan mystery
by Veronica Black / Hardcover / Dec 1998
When Mother Dorothy, Prioress of the Order of the Daughters of Compassion, inherits a considerable estate from her godmother, Louisa Cummings, nobody would guess that the death of the old lady will lead to one of Sister Joan's most dangerous and puzzling cases yet.
There are nine previous books in this series, A Vow of Adoration / A Vow of Devotion, A Vow of Fidelity / A Vow of Obedience / A Vow of Penance / A Vow of Sanctity / A Vow of Silence / A Vow of Chastity
Deadly Harvest *
A Father Mark Townsend Mystery
by Brad Reynolds / paperback / Oct 1999
"Father Townsend is an unusual sleuth cool and human and complicated."
The entertaining 26th Father Dowling mystery (after 2006's The Prudence of the Flesh) finds the lovable gang at St. Hilary's poking into a decade-old crime. McInerny keeps the story moving with several twists and turns, producing another solid parish mystery for Father Dowling.
Father Dowling mysteries
(first to most recent):. Her
Death of Cold
as Pawn /
Three / Second
Loss of Patients
Grass Widow /
a Way with Murder
in Pieces /
Basket Case /
Abracadaver / Four
on the Floor /
of Doubt /
Tears of Things
for a Realtor
Ties / The
Prudence of the Flesh / The
Ralph McInerny is the author of over 30 mystery novels, including the popular Father Dowling mysteries. He has taught for over forty years at the University of Notre Dame, where he is the director of the Jacques Maritain Center. Read online The Writing Life, an excerpt from Ralph McInerny's autobiography, I Alone Have Escaped to Tell You.
Catholic priest Father Dowling is back and 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.
Father Dowling, respected by all,
is well-known for being willing to lend a helping hand
whenever he can. So it's no surprise when Stanley Collins
shows up at the St. Hilary rectory to confide in Father
Dowling about the troubled marriage of one of the church's
parishioners. Dowling promises to do his best to find a way
to help, but it soon becomes too late. One of the parties
involved is viciously killed in a hit and run car accident.
Is it murder? Father Dowling returns once again, tangled in
a web of deceit that will intrigue and delight his dedicated
fans in a complex, satisfying mystery.
Father Roger Dowling heads for a week-long retreat in Indiana on the quiet grounds of an old Catholic religious order, where he can meditate, reflect, and pray for a quick recharge of his waning energy. Unfortunately, his 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. 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.
Not content with the four mystery series he's currently keeping afloat, Ralph McInerny offers a retrospective of four novellas and three short stories about Sister Mary Teresa Dempsey, of the Order of Mary and Martha ("the M & M's"), first published between 1988 and 1997 under the female pseudonym vainly intended to keep his name from appearing so often before the public. Though the problems may be earthy -- a suspicious hit-and-run accident, a planned spouse-killing, a terrorist threatening the cop who put her away -- the detection is as well-bred as you'd expect from the creator of Father Dowling.-- Kirkus Reviews
Punctilious as Poirot, shred as Miss Marple and sharp as Sherlock Holmes, Father Brown has a special distinction in the pantheon of literary sleuths: in the confessional this unassuming, innocent little priest has gained a deep intuition for the paradoxes of human nature. When murder, mayhem and mystery stalk smart society, only Father Brown can discover the startling truth.
Contrary to first impressions, G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown is not senile, nor easily rattled. In fact, this village priest wanders into challenges that pale in comparison to the things he has heard through the screen of the confessional. For to hear Father Brown tell it, crime is a manifestation of sin: the criminal must be caught, but he or she must also be saved; the culprit has to be locked up, but the spirit must be freed.
A Sister Rose Callahan Shaker Mystery
by Deborah Woodworth / Paperback / March 2002 *
The curious are flocking to a quaint Kentucky village, where the North Homage Shakers have opened a hostel rumored to be inhabited by a nineteenth-century spirit. Business is booming even in the throes of the Great Depression -- until a hostel guest is found murdered and Sister Rose Callahan is compelled to investigate.
by Winona Sullivan / paperback / Jan 2000
Victor Torres had loved many women. Too many, it turned out. Twenty years ago his murder was a Miami sensation, in part because Juan Caldo, the man wrongly imprisoned for the crime, had escaped . . . and vanished. Now intrepid nun-investigator Sister Cecile is hired by a wealthy Cuban American to find Torres's real killer. On Miami's Calle Ocho, the word goes out: the nosy nun is asking too many questions. And a hit man is instructed to make sure she never gets the deadly answers.
Before writing her Sister Cecile mysteries, Winona Sullivan worked as an analyst for the CIA. She is a former resident of Massachusetts and now lives in Miami with her artist husband and four of her seven children.
Agatha Award-nominated Sharon Kahn serves up a fresh batch of Chanukah chutzpah -- and murder -- on the rails, as the Temple Rita Choir travels through the Canadian Rockies in this laugh-out-loud kosher cozy. Temple Rita's star soprano, Serena Salit, collapses right before her numberin the Chanukah concert. She's rushed to the hospital but later dies of heart failure. The choir continues to take their Canadian rail trip "in Serena's honor." While aboard the train, Ruby's suspicions of murder are confirmed by a call from her policeman boyfriend -- he tells her that poison, not heart failure, caused Serena's death. Ruby considers everyone in the Temple Rita Choir a suspect -- from the tenor André to Serena's ex, the baritone -- but not even she could imagine that her trip through the Rockies would end with a body thrown from the train and a ride on the ski lift from hell. From latkes and lovers to lunatics and Lake Louise, Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Choir has everything it needs to be a great, quirky addition to this sidesplitting series.
Previous books in this
Visit the author's website
As her late husband the rabbi would surely have wanted, Ruby Rothman continues to smooth ruffled feathers among the congregants of Temple Rita--and solve the odd mysteries that seem to follow the flock. This time, a platter of chopped liver (molded into the shape of the state of Texas!) has disappeared from the buffet table at the Temple Rita reunion, and a dead body has taken its place. This series continues to get its punch from Ruby's down-to-earth attitude and from the interactions of the secondary characters, who, for all their quirky outrageousness, play a crucial part in Ruby's life.
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