cover image Death at Christy Burke’s

Death at Christy Burke’s

Anne Emery. ECW (IPG, dist.), $24.95 (382p) ISBN 978-1-55022-988-2

Emery’s sixth mystery (after 2010’s Children in the Morning) makes excellent use of its early 1990s Dublin setting and the period’s endemic violence between Protestants and Catholics. When Fr. Brennan Burke was 10 years old, Burke’s father, an IRA member, fled Ireland at gunpoint for the U.S., taking along his family. Despite this fraught history, the younger Burke has often visited his Irish birthplace. In 1992, he and his fellow priest, Michael O’Flaherty, are visiting Dublin at a sensitive time: American evangelist Merle Odom, who disappeared in Belfast, is believed to have been taken prisoner by the IRA, though no one has taken credit for the kidnapping. When Burke and O’Flaherty meet up at a Burke family business, Christy Burke’s pub (named for Burke’s grandfather), they learn that someone has painted graffiti on the tavern’s front wall suggesting that it’s a hangout for a killer or killers. Fascinated with crime-solving, the two priests get on the trail of the vandal who’s been defacing the pub. Emery blends the plot lines convincingly and resolves them realistically. (Oct.)