©2000 Andrew M. Greeley Enterprises, Ltd.; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC.
Well read. My first foray into this series. I am not Roman Catholic (didn't matter much). Though the premise is comic, the plot is not a strong point. The characters are nuanced and lively. The dialog is great (Is there a Blarney Stone in Chicago?). No one is black or white, and the author's love of humanity and impatience with cant shines through. Definitely not self righteous or preachy, as I had feared from encountering some other "religious" works. More in the spirit of Ruth Dudley Edwards than any other author I've recently encountered.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Andrew Greeley, one of the most prolific writers ever, has another good book in his Bishop Blackie Ryan series. Blackie is a catholic bishop who has a great love of life and amazing deductive powers. (He even likes to refer to God as "she," perhaps to show how much he refuses to be trapped by tradition?)
In this book, he must solve the mystery of what has happened to a new bishop who has made himself so unpopular with his rigid and often hurtful insistence on the letter of religious law (as opposed to the spirit of it) that several have been heard to make frustrated remarks wishing him dead. Unfortunately, many get their secret wish when the new bishop, and the train he was riding on, both disappear! He is finally located, but badly injured by a huge overdose of heroin that will likely render him unable ever to function in his old position again.
In what becomes a frantic search to find the perpetrator, Greeley explores larger questions about guilt, and leaves the reader pondering a few other ethical issues as well. In this book, the stories of two people who have uttered these desperate wishes that Bishop Quill were dead, form part of the back story, explaining what it was about the man that was so odious. Unfortunately, it also makes them obvious suspects, so their stories are interesting, even endearing in a way, on their own.
If you have never read a Blackie Ryan novel you are in for a treat. And for the best part of all, this book is narrated by the incomparable George Guidall. I did not give either story or narrator 5 stars because I am aware of better books/narrations by Greeley and Guidall, but even so, this was a really good book, and I greatly recommend it.
Narrators' performance is excellent, but this is not one of Father Greeley's better novels. The love stories exist only to pad out a mystery that would have been better as a short story.
I love both versions of the story....its funny and sad at the end....the missing bishop seemed so lonely. Bishop Blackie is the priest you want to know......religious but fun..
Father Greeley left us so many wonderful written works. try them, you wont be disappointed
Bishop Blackie but the missing Bishop gained my sympathy at the end of the book.
love George's performance. He should do all Bishop Blackie novels
The end when you see the missing Bishop as a sad, lonely person
I enjoy Scandinavian mystery and crime authors like Asa Larsson, Helene Tursten, Jo Nesbo, Karin Fossum and Amaaldur Indridason just to name a few.
Bishop Blackie is a good man doing good works for his Cardinal in Chicago. He is a detective like no other and he always solves the mystery with grace and dignity of a faithful Bishop of the Catholic Church.
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