cover image Cecilian Vespers

Cecilian Vespers

Anne Emery, . . ECW, $24.95 (302pp) ISBN 978-1-55022-861-8

At the outset of Arthur Ellis Award–winner Emery’s compelling fourth mystery to feature lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins (after 2008’s Barrington Street Blues ), Monty attends the opening of the Schola Cantorum Sancta Bernadetta, “a kind of choir school for grownups, who would be learning or relearning the traditional music of the Roman Catholic Church,” in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When a controversial participant, German theologian Fr. Reinhold Schellenberg, is found nearly decapitated on the altar of an old church just before evening vespers on St. Cecilia’s day, Monty gets involved in the murder investigation. The suspense mounts as Monty and his friend Fr. Brennan Burke, the school’s head, travel to the Vatican and elsewhere in Europe in search of answers. The large pool of suspects from around the globe helps ensure a challenging whodunit. Readers interested in the history and impact of the Vatican II reforms will be especially rewarded. (May)