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Prodigal Father: A Father Dowling Mystery…
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Prodigal Father: A Father Dowling Mystery (Father Dowling Mysteries) (2002)

by Ralph McInerny

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Every so often Ralph McInerny lets his lack of knowledge of the outside world show. In this one, we are treated to the spectacle of a dozen lovable, elderly monks about to be turned out of their home because the public thinks it would be better if the acreage were sold to developers to make estates for rich people. A completely unrealistic proposition, but feeding into the love we Christians have for being persecuted. Still, the book has the usual fun McInerny characters, and even though I was able to finger the murderer halfway through the book, I think it was due rather to knowing the pattern that Father Dowling books tend to fall into, not that the murderer was perfectly obvious. At that, I never was completely clear on motive. Nevertheless, a solid entry into the series. ( )
  benfulton | Nov 11, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312291299, Hardcover)

Father Roger Dowling is a busy man. He's got the ambitious and all-encompassing task of running St. Hilary's Parish, dealing with his busybody housekeeper, Mrs. Murkin, and counseling his flock with his characteristic blend of faith and compassion. He's not complaining, but it's no surprise that even a superior priest like Father Dowling needs a break now and again. So off he heads for a week-long retreat in Indiana on the quiet grounds of an old Catholic religious order, where he can meditate, reflect, and pray for a quick recharge of his waning energy.

Unfortunately, Father Dowling's spiritual retreat turns into a baffling murder investigation when a dead man is found in a grotto on the grounds with the handle of an axe protruding from his back. Complicating matters is a long-running real-estate dispute that has pitted the brothers of the order against the previous owners of the huge and valuable piece of land on which their sanctuary sits.

Who could have killed the man and why, and does it have something to do with the high-stakes mind games being played out between the parties vying for the land? No one's too sure, but what is clear is that Father Dowling is once again at the center of it all in another winning entry in a mystery series that's become an institution.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:28 -0400)

"Father Roger Dowling is a busy man. He's got the ambitious and all-encompassing task of running St. Hilary's Parish, dealing with his busybody housekeeper, Mrs. Murkin, and counseling his flock with his characteristic blend of faith and compassion. He's not complaining, but it's no surprise that even a superior priest like Father Dowling needs a break now and again. So off he heads for a week-long retreat in Indiana on the quiet grounds of an old Catholic religious order, where he can meditate, reflect, and pray for a quick recharge of his waning energy." "Unfortunately, Father Dowling's spiritual retreat turns into a baffling murder investigation when a dead man is found in a grotto on the order's grounds with the handle of an ax protruding from his back. Complicating matters is a long-running real-estate dispute that has pitted the brothers of the order against the previous owners of the huge and valuable piece of land on which their sanctuary sits."."Who could have killed the man and why, and does it have something to do with the high-stakes mind games being played out between the parties vying for the land? No one's too sure, but what is clear is that Father Dowling is once again at the center of it all in another winning entry in a mystery series that's become an institution."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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