Saturday, July 11, 2015

The Lack of the Irish: Review

The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana is gearing up for a highly anticipated football game. Baylor University, the country's preeminent Protestant college, will meet the Catholic football powerhouse for the first time. Game day, most ironically, falls on Reformation Day--the day recognizing the historic moment when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Schlosskirche (castle church) in Wittenberg in 1517.  Off the field, scholars prepare a theological conference featuring participants from the rival schools that will address Catholic and Protestant history. And a female pastor (who seems to be a bit of a loose cannon) plans to protest the game as some sort of statement about Protestantism's superiority over Catholicism. She hopes to stir up a religious fervor to eclipse the football fanaticism. 

Sparks seem to be flying everywhere. Even the campus event coordinator is stirring up trouble--she seems to believe it her duty to throw as many obstacles in the path of conference directors as possible. When she is found strangled shortly before the big day, there seems to be no shortage of candidates for the role of murderer. Roger (a professor) and Philip (a private eye) Knight use their various skills to help search for the killer. But there are no definite clues until Notre Dame's famed, brilliant, and troubled quarterback mysteriously disappears and evidence links him to the crime. But did he do it....or does he just know who did? 

The Lack of the Irish is a fairly solid mystery offering from the late Ralph McInerny. Very light, cozy feel with the academic setting and most of the mystery-solving provided by the professor half of the brothers Knight rather than the private eye. Interesting characters and a realistic motive for the culprit. Not really in the fair-play tradition...either that or I was asleep at the wheel when it came to noticing clues, but it was a fun, quick read and I do enjoy Professor Knight and his brother.  ★★


fredamans said...

I knew the female pastor would be the one found dead as soon as she was introduced... lol... might b too much religious fanaticism for me. Great review though!

Bev Hankins said...

No...not the female pastor. The campus event coordinator (who seems to think it's her job to prevent events from happening...).