cover image Irish Tenure: A Mystery Set at the University of Notre Dame

Irish Tenure: A Mystery Set at the University of Notre Dame

Ralph M. McInerny. St. Martin's Press, $22.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-312-20345-0

In his third mystery set at the venerable University of Notre Dame (following Lack of the Irish), McInerny, author of the Father Dowling series, spins a tale of academic mayhem around the issue of tenure. Two young philosophy professors, Amanda Pick and Hans Wiener, are vying for the single tenured spot open in their department. Wiener, affectionately called ""Hot Dog"" by students, has impressive credentials in his chosen area of research, while Pick has been dabbling with popular literature, in the form of G.K. Chesterton. Which of the two will the committee choose? Pick has become the object of obsession of a Chesterton expert on the English faculty, Prof. Sean Pottery. So when her body is found in a lake on campus, Pottery seems like a good suspect. But also on hand is rare book dealer Noah Beispiel, who's been hunting through the Notre Dame archives for an unpublished Father Brown story penned by Chesterton when he was a visiting lecturer at the university decades before. A second murder clouds the issue momentarily, but sleuth Roger Knight, a mountain of a man who holds a chair in Catholic Studies at Notre Dame, uncovers the truth. There is no suspense in the tale, since the identity of the murderer and the motive for the crimes are all but transparent, but McInerny does score points for the acerbic wit often present in his portrayal of academic life. (Dec.)