Body Count

William X. Kienzle, Author Andrews McMeel Publishing $18.95 (266p) ISBN 978-0-8362-6128-8
This slow-moving mystery, the 14th for the engaging Father Koesler, mires the Detroit detective-priest in conflicts between old and new Catholic theology. Hitman Guido Vespa loudly confesses to Koesler that he has bumped off Father Keating, the spiritual leader of a nearby parish, and buried the body in the grave of the long-dead, much beloved Monsignor Kern. Overhearing the confession, exuberant new resident priest Nick Dunn is delighted: one of the reasons he came to St. Joseph's was to be near its sleuthing pastor. Nick's enthusiasm increases when the police ask Koesler for help with Keating's disappearance. Muffled by the seal of confession, an unhappy Koesler trails along, saying nothing, even when Kern's body is exhumed by the diocese to investigate his possible sainthood and the missing priest's body is not found. In a clandestine meeting Vespa tells Koesler that his confession was a lie but then is killed before he can explain. The actual mystery of what happened to Keating finally gets rolling, but not before the reader's interest has been numbed by a plot protracted to serve Kienzle's ( Chameleon ) considerations of the rite of confession. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/02/1992
Release date: 03/01/1992
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 334 pages - 978-0-345-37767-8
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