Irish Coffee Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Irish Coffee

St. Martin's, Nov 2003, 23.95, 256 pp.
ISBN: 0312309015

In South Bend, Indiana, literature professor Roger Knight and his brother retired private detective Phil are big fans of Notre Dame sports. The siblings especially enjoy talking sports past and present with the university's assistant sports information director Fred Neville, a fellow bachelor. However, that pastime ends when Fred suddenly dies from poisoned coffee.
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Fred's death shakes the Knight siblings, but not as much as the appearance at the mass of two women claiming to be his fiancées. Naomi McTear wears an engagement ring and sat in the family pew while departmental secretary Mary Shuster dresses in widow black. Adding to the confusion of the Knights is that they thought Fred was falling in love with point guard Griselda Novak. As they assist South Bend police Lieutenant Stewart on the investigation, Roger and Phil wonder whether a he could have committed suicide or did one of his women slam dunk him?

Though the mystery is decaf, the insight into the university especially its sports program and history is a delight and will recruit more fans. Using the women's basketball team as a prime backdrop adds depth especially since they won the national title three years ago. The Knight brothers retain their charm and Griselda is an intriguing student athlete. Though this is the seventh game at Notre Dame, Ralph McInerny provides a fresh tale that showcases the university with a lighter than usual case as the mechanism.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Irish Coffee

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   2000+ (Present) What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Murder of certain profession?    -   athletes Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   teacher Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Ralph McInerny Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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