First, what this is not: The title does not signal any kind of Dan Brown clone--no holy grail stuff. Also, when this novel was written (and where) a p..Show More »riest involved in scandal did not immediately mean a sex abuse story line - so don't pass on this for that reason. Also, this is not a faith-based novel; the series (though not this instalment) draws a little on the tradition of priest sleuth, but no affection for Catholic faith is necessary to like the priest character. Neither is this edge-of-seat stuff: There is no graphic violence and no explicit sex - any violence or sex necessary for the plot are obliquely described.
This is a combination mystery-legal-detective procedural with elements of a traditional village cozy transplanted to an identifiable Canadian city, Halifax. The novel starts slowly but picks up after first quarter. It is somewhat predictable - but the mystery is secondary to character and setting (and establishment of story lines feeding the series).
The narration is good but does not have good regional infections; however, generalized accents are much better than bad regional ones. Two quibbles with the narration: There are more priests with thick Irish brogues in the novel than in Halifax itself. And I hope the narrator gets a dictionary for some common theology terms mispronounced-- Other vocal feats seem very well done.
I'll never get to Edinburgh with Rebus or Baltimore with Tess Monaghan, so I was glad to download this while in Halifax. The cityscape isn't as strong as in the classic detective/ city combinations, but adds interest. The Canadian legal context is laid out to be easily comprehensible to a non Canadian.
I'll definitely be listening to the entire series.
I mentioned in earlier reviews of the two Anne Emery novels how I had stumbled upon this author and started my series experience by listening to Book ..Show More »5 and then going back to the beginning and reading #1. I am now on #3 after completing The Obit. I must admit that I am surprised that Audible listeners only gave this mystery a 3.8 rating. The story takes place in New York and once again Anne Emery spins a fascinating yarn which makes the listener want to keep going. First of all I want to underline that Christian Rummel is utterly incredible here. I liked him in the other two books but in The Obit the accents of New York are quite cleverly and convincingly portrayed. Further there seems to be more important secondary characters so Rummel has to cover a wide range of voices. The second point which i failed to state an earlier review is the humor, especially the Irish humor. Despite the story being about murder, the involvement of the IRA and Father's Burke's father being a murder suspect, there are many funny scenes, scenes when I actually laughed out loud. I enjoyed this mystery and am presently enjoying The Barrington Street Blues (great title). Well worth the credits
I read the first in this series and loved it. Loved the characters...could not wait to follow them further. Second book was kind of a let down (attrib..Show More »uted it to the subject matter and it getting in the way). Then I downloaded 'Barrington Street Blues,' the third one in the series...and I could not even finish it!!!
The "great characters" that showed up in the first novel do not change...at all! I remember saying in my review of that first novel that I could not wait to see how the characters evolved. Well, they don't. Their petty fights and doubts and conversations (which were endearing in that first novel) get ANNOYING. You find yourself saying: "SERIOUSLY? You are thinking that AGAIN?!!!" or "You are making that mistake in your relationship AGAIN?" or "We are having THAT conversation AGAIN?"
The flaw in character development COULD be overlooked IF the mystery was better...but it's not (granted, I did not finish this book -- maybe the conclusion is brilliant). The clues and leads seem to "drop" into our "A-Team Investigators" (a philandering priest and an attorney who's been making the same exact mistakes in his attempts to reconcile his differences with his ex-wife for three books now) as if by magic....And if you thought the parenthesis in that last sentence got in the way of the "sentence"....well, that's a preview of what happens in this novel (the personality "dramas -- and they ARE dramas -- become an annoying distraction)...I will certainly NOT download another Burke & what's-his-name mystery again. I wish them well.
Although this is an intriguing mystery/legal thriller, it draws very heavily on arcane details of Catholicism, music, philosophy and politics. This c..Show More »an either excite or turn off the listener. Narrator did well except in his portrayal of female characters (both children and adults) which was irritating.
I've enjoyed all the other books in the series, but this one couldn't hold my interest. Only a person who is steeped in the Irish Freedom movement wo..Show More »uld possibly stick to it - the plot was thin.
I hate to admit it but this is the first Anne Emery novel I've listened to or read and I live in Halifax. It's a delightful mystery well-performed by ..Show More »Christian Rummel. Emery has developed two fascinating main characters in Father Burke and Monty Collins and in this book and equally diabolical, nauseating, obnoxious character in TV show host, Pike Podges. A young woman is stabbed to death on the grounds of Father Burke's church and the journey to discover who committed the crime takes the reader through many exciting hills and valleys. I must now go and check out another Emery book. It's well worth it.
This is a prequel to Emery's Collins-Burke series that is all Burke and no Collins. If I had my druthers, every book in this series would be more Bur..Show More »ke than Collins. This story takes place in London, Dublin and Belfast during the Troubles and like Obit, the second book in the series, this one focuses not just on Father Brennan Burke but also on several members of his brilliant, but slightly manic family. One of his cousins, an IRA operative in London winds up in jail for a murder he didn't commit, and Brennan and his siblings work to get him freed and track down the real killer. The story is full of larger than life characters tied up in love/hate relationships with their family, their homeland and their church. With Father Burke, Emery has created one of the most flawed, brilliant, headstrong, stubborn and complicated characters in contemporary mysteries, all wrapped up in holy vestments. The reader is never sure which is the holier place for Burke, the cathedral or his pub.
Christian Rummel narrates all of the other books in the series and does an excellent job. However, since this takes place in England and Ireland versus Nova Scotia and since almost all the characters are Irish someone evidently decided to have Gerard Doyle narrate this book. Doyle is currently my absolute favorite narrator and I will listen to anything he reads, regardless of the nationality of the characters, but give him an Irish brogue and you have narration perfection.