A MATTER OF PRINCIPLE: A Faith Abbey Mystery

David Manuel, Author . Paraclete $19.95 (292p) ISBN 978-1-55725-346-0

Manuel's fourth Faith Abbey mystery finds Brother Bartholomew quietly investigating the disappearance of two statues from a Boston museum, a pursuit that takes him from his native Cape Cod to Boston, Portugal and Pamplona, Spain. There's also a poorly integrated parallel plot in which he foils the deadly plans of Muslim terrorists—a story line that seems to exist for no other reason except to ratchet up suspense and create a compelling harbor chase scene. However, the draw of this novel is not seamless plotting but multifaceted, wise characters, who grow and change in ways that are inspiring yet realistic. Manuel is an intelligent writer who beautifully weaves Bartholomew's faith journey with far-flung and fascinating locales. The mystery also offers soaring riffs on the transformative power of art, literature and music. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
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