Andrew M. Greeley
Tom Doherty Associates, LLC; 1994, 336 PP
This is the first book in Greeley's Nuala Anne McGrail series of mysteries in which Dermot Michael Coyne of Chicago and Nuala Anne McGrail of Carraroe in County Galway, Ireland, solve mysteries from both the past and present. Greeley appears to meticulously research controversial events from the past to come to a conclusion that differs from conventional wisdom and then constructs the story as a mystery in which his conclusion is the solution.
In this story young Dermot discovers his grandmother's diaries from the 1920s during the turbulence as Ireland moved toward independence and goes to Ireland seeking to learn the secret that forced her and his grandfather to flee to Chicago at that time. While there he meets Nuala Anne and their partnership begins. Interwoven with the search for his grandparent's secret are conflicts with local elements fearing secrets of their past will be uncovered, his "love at first sight" for Nuala Anne and his own past failures including the major blunder that ended his brief career as a commodities trader. Thanks to dumb luck, his incompetent blunder ended up leaving his client with a windfall and Dermot's share of this provides Dermot with the financial independence to pursue adventures in this series.
Each book in the series stands alone and can be enjoyed without reading the others. But, reading the series in order enables the reader to follow Dermot and Nuala Anne as they grow, marry, raise a family and pursue their careers while solving each new mystery.
This report prepared by Chuck Nugent