cover image Judas Priest: A Father Dowling Mystery

Judas Priest: A Father Dowling Mystery

Ralph M. McInerny. St. Martin's Press, $17.95 (184pp) ISBN 978-0-312-06375-7

Fans of McInerny's ( Abracadaver ) Father Dowling series, especially those who abhor the young nun assistant added for the TV show, will be delighted with this tale that mixes corporal sins with questions of theology. A seminary friend of Dowling's, former priest Chris Bourke, and his ex-nun wife now promote sexual liberation as televangelists of Enlightened Hedonism (EH). Meeting Dowling one day after Mass, Bourke asks the parish priest to talk about the hard facts of religious life with his daughter, Sonya, who wants to enter the convent. Before Dowling can do that, Sonya is reported kidnapped and then found stabbed to death. Soon afterward, the vice-president of EH is discovered dead in his car and Bourke's wife files for divorce. Dowling, housekeeper Marie Murkin and his friend police captain Phil Keegan sift through steadily accruing facts to determine whether Bourke is killing those near him or is the victim of a horrible plot. Dowling, worldly-wise and armed with ready references to St. Paul and other Church fathers, is at his vintage best. (Oct.)