St. Martin's, Dec 2002, 22.95, 240 pp.
Everyone on campus during the winter break is shocked with the death of visiting Irish poet Martin Kilmartin. The South Bend police rule that the ailing Martin died from a heart attack while in the office he used while visiting the University of Notre Dame.
Professor Roger Knight met the poet once, enjoying the discussion and Martin's works. He immediately finds discrepancies at the crime scene that he feels should not be sneezed away as the ramblings of an obese academia amateur. With the help of his professional sleuth sibling Phil, Roger investigates what really happened to Martin. Instead of a simple case, he soon finds university backstabbing, politics, and dispute over establishing the post of Director of the Malachy O'Neil Center of Catholic Literature, an assignment Roger thought Martin was perfect to lead. Did one of these individuals with motive actually pepper the deceased Celt's phone causing the sneeze that killed Martin?
The investigation is fun, but take a back seat to the university that stands out in this exciting amateur sleuth tale. Fans will enjoy the satirical look at professors acting more like Ali-Frazier (either sex) and kissing the butt of a donor. Additionally, the intriguing look at the football stadium during the season (especially with the Fighting Irish in the top ten) brings home a further taste of the school. Still the who-done-it is nothing to sneeze at as Ralph McInerny ironically pokes fun at his own previous work in the series with a delightful Notre Dame University mystery.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner