cover image EMERALD AISLE: A Notre Dame Mystery

EMERALD AISLE: A Notre Dame Mystery

Ralph M. McInerny, . . St. Martin's Minotaur, $23.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-312-26938-8

The author of the Father Dowling series (The Book of Kills, etc.) has fashioned a sleuthing duo—brothers Roger and Philip Knight—who mix the academic, the philosophical and the religious. And what better purview for the author's sharp and gentle wit than his own campus of Notre Dame? Intertwined plots follow the course of Larry Morton and Dolores Torre, who as undergraduates fell in love at Notre Dame and, rather impulsively, reserved a date far in advance for their eventual wedding at Sacred Heart. McInerny makes the improbable credible as these young lovers grow in separate directions only to meet years later over the rights to that reservation. Meanwhile, Philip and Roger are engaged to discretely discover and recover several of the rarest items stolen from Joseph Primero's extensive collection of the writings of Cardinal Newman—a collection destined for Notre Dame. When the mysterious disappearance of the books is followed by an equally mysterious death, the futures of Larry and Dolores, as well as that of the despoiled collection, rest in the brothers' hands. Interesting characters and interesting questions about character fuel this entertaining puzzler as Roger, whose immense size is matched by his intelligence, and Phil, capable and energetic, combine forces to shed light on both problems. McInerny's proven track record of mysteries light on violence but freighted with humor and wisdom should guarantee an eager reception for this fifth book in the series. (Nov. 12)