cover image Happy Are Those Who Thirst for Justice

Happy Are Those Who Thirst for Justice

Andrew M. Greeley. Mysterious Press, $31.5 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-180-1

Greeley (The Cardinal Sins does his best work yet in this multigenerational mystery with real puzzles and strong characters. Chicago matriarch and real-estate tycoon Violet Harrington Enright has dominated and largely ruined the lives of her daughter and three sons. Only her granddaughter (and heir) Fionna has the gumption to fight back. When Violet is found shot to death on her Lake Michigan yacht, Fionna is also discoveredhysterical and holding the murder weapon. Monsignor John ""Blackie'' Ryan, brother to Fionna's psychiatrist, is convinced Fionna is innocent, and he sets out to probe the tangled relationships of Violet's unhappy family and retainers. One of Violet's sons is murdered, Ryan's sister is endangered, there may be Mob involvementor worsebut Blackie Ryan winds it all up most satisfactorily. Greeley's greatest gift is an apparent willingness to offend everyone. His church-scolding and Irish-bashingIrish matriarchs especiallyare honed to a fine, affectionate pitch. If there is a ``Lady Wisdom'' (Ryan's term for God), she's laughing. (September 21)