Lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins is used to defending murderers - and occasionally investigating murders himself - but he's never come up against anything like the case of Reinhold Schellenberg, a world-renowned German theologian who has been found dead on the altar of an old church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saint Cecilia's Day. The controversial priest, once a top insider in the Vatican, was known to provoke strong feelings in Catholics, and now those feelings have overflowed with horrifying results.
It's 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister's arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan's cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop's partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories.
"Strong Story - Fantastic Narration"
Monty Collins is a sharp-tongued public defender who just wants to represent an upstanding character for a change. A priest with something to hide isn't quite what he had hoped for, but when the literate, arrogant, and tight-lipped Father Brennan Burke is implicated in the strange murder of a young woman, Monty doesn't just take the case - the case takes him. When Burke won't come clean, Monty is forced to play private detective, traveling into his client's past. Things look good for the case until another body is found....
A rich man and a poor man are found dead of gunshot wounds outside a seedy bar on Barrington Street. The police declare it a murder-suicide, but bluesman/lawyer Monty Collins suspects it's a double murder. Helped by his friend, Father Brennan Burke, and hindered by his femme fatale law partner, Felicia Morgan, Monty explores the dark side of Halifax society: hookers, drug addicts, boozers, gamblers and people desperate to cover up a series of parties that got way out of hand.
"Great Series - Good Book - Serious Flaw"
Twelve-year-old Bonnie MacDonald - the beloved step dancing, fiddling youngest member of Cape Breton's famed Clan Donnie band - vanishes after a family party. There was no stranger spotted lurking around, but no one thinks for one minute that Bonnie ran away. Maura MacNeil, cousin to Clan Donnie, offers her husband's legal services to the family as the police search for the missing girl. But fame attracts some strange characters, and Clan Donnie has groupies. So, it turns out, does lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins.
Long ago, Declan Burke fled Ireland in the dark of night, started a new life in New York City, and has never looked back - until one morning when he picks up the newspaper and reads the obituary of one Cathal Murphy. He sees at once that the obituary is a coded summary of his own life and probably a thinly veiled death threat. He turns to Halifax lawyer Monty Collins for advice, but when Monty starts to investigate the obit’s allusions to Declan’s IRA past, Declan decides to keep his lips sealed.
"Hooked on this series"
In the seventh audiobook of the deftly written Collins-Burke Mystery series, Father Brennan Burke's patience is pushed to the limit when a young woman announces to the world that the Virgin Mary has appeared to her in the churchyard, and hordes of pilgrims, souvenir hawkers, and reporters converge on the scene. But, as unwelcome as these guests may be, they pale in comparison to yet another aggravation in Father Burke's life, a controversial talk show host who clashes with Burke upon arriving in town.
"Well crafted murder mystery"
When Beau Delaney, the Halifax hotshot whose exploits are the subject of a new Hollywood film, is charged with the murder of his wife, Peggy, it’s lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins who takes the case. But when Beau’s family dynamics and the appearance of a mysterious child alert Monty that his client is keeping secrets, others join in to help keep Beau from a life in prison. Monty’s pal Father Brennan Burke has a hand in the investigation, as does Monty’s estranged wife, Maura. Watching all this is Normie, Monty and Maura’s daughter, who has the gift of second sight.
"Good listen. Reader's ability to change characters"
When spray-painted graffiti appears on the wall of Christy Burke's pub, indicating that there's a killer on the premises, Burke's grandson, Father Brennan Burke, is asked to investigate the vandalism. Though not at all keen on probing into the lives of the bar's clientele, he has little choice once a body is found on the property. Issuing orders from a cell in Mountjoy Prison, the pub's current owner wants the problem solved without the police anywhere near his building.
"The worst of the series"