A Father Dowling Mystery
I am a big fan of priests in mystery stories. Not sure if it has anything to do with being raised Catholic, attending parochial school, and my unending awe of the priesthood, but they do appeal to me. I think that Andrew Greeley is my favorite priest turned author, but Ralph McInerny is my second fav.
I love that both of them portray their priests as people with a great sense of humor and they are always approachable. (something I never really felt when I was a practicing Catholic)
In Stained Glass, Father Dowling is dealing with the possibility of the diocese closing down his church, St. Hillary’s. He takes the news fairly calmly, but some of his parishioners go absolutely nuts and start talk of solidarity and picketing. The most vocal parishioners are the wealthy Deveres family who donated the stained glass windows and even have some of their ancestors buried in the church.
Suddenly bodies are dropping like flies and they all seem to be connected to the Deveres family and those stained glass windows created by Angelo Minotti. The police bumble a bit to find the connection and Father Dowling and his buddies eventually set everything right, but not before they discover some skeletons in the Deveres family closet.
While not hair raising or really suspenseful, Stained Glass is a good armchair detective story and another book that helps me get over my fear of priests.
Stained Glass by Ralph McInerny
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books (October 13, 2009)
While researching for this post I learned that Ralph McInerny passed away in January. May the prolific author and foremost authority on St Thomas Aquinas rest in piece.