The Death of a Joyce Scholar: A Peter McGarr Mystery

Bartholomew Gill, Author
Bartholomew Gill, Author William Morrow & Company $18.95 (331p) ISBN 978-0-688-08713-5
Reviewed on: 06/01/1989
Release date: 06/01/1989
Irish author Gill captures the reader's full attention with the humor and inventiveness of the eighth adventure featuring Chief Inspector Peter McGarr of the Dublin police. Trinity College professor Kevin Coyle is found fatally stabbed after leading Joyce devotees on the annual Bloomsday tour, in the figurative footsteps of Stephen Daedalus and Leopold Bloom in Ulysses. McGarr learns that Coyle had been resented for his success at Trinity College and despised for his ``profoundly working-class'' background. The dead man's wife, Katie, names two academics as the victim's bitter rivals, but they are only two suspects in a case that offers a mass of conflicting evidence and alibis more inventive than plausible. To McGarr's amazement, Katie Coyle's ``sisters''--feminist supporters--deceive rather than help the widow, but their posturing, by contrast, gains respect for ``Rut'ie'' Bresnahan, the woman on McGarr's squad, and a true feminist. After helping to catch the guilty, she has the last word, echoing Molly Bloom: `` . . . it'd be much better for the world to be governed by the women . . . '' BOMC alternate. (June.)
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