cover image Irish Love

Irish Love

Andrew M. Greeley. Forge, $24.95 (304pp) ISBN 978-0-312-87187-1

Father Greeley's deep and obvious love for the history and culture of Ireland shines through in his latest contemporary mystery (following Irish Eyes) involving singer/psychic Nuala Anne McGrail and her American writer husband, Dermot Michael Coyne--who finally seems to have come to terms with playing Watson to Nuala's Holmes. So strong is Greeley's affection that it more than makes up for his occasional doses of lame humor (such as the ""you should excuse the expression"" asides from Dermot and his dialogues with the Adversary, a voice in his head that comments on his follies). Suffering from the strains of motherhood and her psychic crime-solving, Nuala has abandoned her musical career, reluctantly agreed to try Prozac and retreated to the country home in Renvyle, a ""bare headland"" on the far coast of Connemara in the West of Ireland. There's no escape from crime for Nuala and her daughter, Nelliecoyne, however. Both possess what Dermot calls ""fey"" psychic powers, and they smell blood in the foggy air while exploring the ruined hovels and caves in the area. Indeed, the site turns out to have been the scene of a brutal massacre in the 1880s. Deftly linking the old crime to current events, which include two explosions and an apparent sniper attack on a water-skiing Nuala, Greeley skillfully depicts an Ireland flushed with economic success but still carrying the scars of historic poverty. (Feb. 14) Forecast: Previous novels in this series have appealed to both the mystery and romance markets, and Irish Love will do the same, with print advertising in Romantic Times and TV advertising on Lifetime, plus author publicity by the effervescent Greeley and an excerpt in the mass market edition of Irish Eyes, due out Mar. 1.