cover image Irish Crystal: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel

Irish Crystal: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel

Andrew M. Greeley, . . Forge, $24.95 (301pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0336-3

In Greeley's cute ninth Nuala Anne McGrail novel (after 2005's Irish Cream ), beautiful Nuala Anne, who's fey, wakes one morning in a particularly dark mood from a nightmare prefiguring disaster. Soon after, a car bombing strikes the powerful Curran family and sends ripples through Chicago's Irish-American community. Nuala Anne sends Dermot Coyne, her handsome husband, to consult a document, written by an Irish priest who witnessed the execution of Irish patriot Robert Emmet in 1803, which she intuits may help with the crisis caused by the car bombing. Meanwhile, Nuala Anne must cope with a host of other challenges, including the threat from the Homeland Security Department to deport her back to Ireland. Greeley's lovable part-time sleuths always deliver, but here he has almost too much going on. The shifts in Irish dialects, Dermot's internal asides and the document extracts can confuse the uninitiated. Greeley displays two very different families, the Currans and Nuala Anne's, which, like the best crystal on close examination, reveals one badly cracked, while the other shines on brightly. (Feb.)