Murder is more than academic in yet another delightful whodunit by one of America's most popular storytellers. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
In The Bishop Goes to University: A Blackie Ryan Story, by the reliably entertaining Andrew M. Greeley, Bishop Ryan looks into a Russian Orthodox monk's murder at the divinity school of the University on Chicago's South Side. A locked-room mystery quickly turns into a tale of spies and international intrigue. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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December 31, 2002
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Excerpt from The Bishop Goes to the University by Andrew M. Greeley
One cardinal ought to be enough for Chicago, ought he not, Blackwood?"
His Eminent Lordship Sean, Cardinal Priest of the Roman Church, Cronin towered over me, like a crimson watered silk alien from another planet. Cardinals who are tall (only a few) and handsome (even fewer) and with powerful presence (yet fewer still) can create that illusion. No one of this world would walk around in cardinalatial choir robes in daylight. He might, however, be a character from a Fellini movie or someone playing Richelieu in a theater of the absurd production from North Lincoln Avenue. In any event his hooded blue eyes were wide-open, his forehead furrowed in a deep frown, and his lips pressed together in either serious thought or suppressed anger.
"Arguably," I said, glancing up from my computer, "more than enough."
I had just returned from a bootless trip to Rome. A certain dicastry of the Roman Curia had wanted to consult with me on a problem. By which they meant they wanted to tell me what they thought and could not have cared less about what I thought. They were doing me a favor by talking to me.
"Yet we seem to have another."
"How unfortunate." I sighed in West of Ireland protest.
Milord Cronin opened my liquor cabinet, removed from the back of it a precious container of Bushmills Single Malt and poured himself considerably more than a splasheen in one of my recently cleaned Waterford tumblers.
"That would solve the problem, would it not?"
I turned away from my workstation. The Cardinal deposited a large stack of output on the floor and reclined on my couch. In full robes with a drink in hand (though it was only early afternoon on a radiant October day), he did look a little like the cinematic version of Armand-Jean de Plessis, duc de Richelieu -- if one were to imagine that worthy to have been Irish.
"No, that creates the problem."
Aha, the harmless, indeed almost invisible little auxiliary bishop was about to be dispatched on a mystery-solving expedition.
"There are always a few kooks wandering around this city," he said, sipping cautiously from uisce beatha as the Irish were pleased to call the Creature. "This is good stuff, Blackwood," he interrupted his train of thought. "You think they will have it in heaven?"
"Minimally it and sex."
He sighed, not, however, as loudly as I can sigh.
"My own tailor makes crimson robes for them, though he doesn't want me to know about it. They're not really authentic, but parading down Thirty-first Street in what they think is full regalia gives them a kick, I guess."
"As do the several troubled folk who insist on donning papal white. It is, after all, a free city. From the point of view of those who are not of the household of the faith. We're all kooks."
On occasion I have had to persuade some such persons not to enter a ceremony at the Cathedral over which I preside at the Lord Cardinal's pleasure. They depart quietly with sad eyes when I tell them that their presence would greatly trouble Milord Cronin, which may be a touch of an exaggeration.
"This Russian fellow, however, left a full set of choir robes in his closet. They seem to be authentic..."