Forge, Mar 2002, 25.95, 303 pp.
Dermot Michael Coyne accompanies his wife Nuala Anne McGrail as she performs at the Celtic international music festival in Milan. While in Italy, Dermot and Nuala Anne meet fellow Chicago resident Seamus Costelloe and his family. After unceremoniously dumping Seamus into the pool for insulting his wife, Dermot and Nuala Anne agree to joining the Costelloe brood for dinner. Nuala Anne noticed the mark of death on Seamus, a blowhard with many enemies not all in organized crime.
Meanwhile the couples' daughter hears the explosion associated with the Windy City's Haymarket Riot. The only problem is that the incident occurred over a century ago. To provide solace to his daughter who believes that someone is crying for fairness through her, Dermot tries to uncover the truth over who really started the riot. Meanwhile Nuala Anne, perhaps being the only person to see any good in Seamus, tries to keep him alive as she believes that is why her Irish fey powers gave her the sign.
The latest Nuala Anne tale is a fun to read story because the two lead characters are a delight to watch in action even if she is a too perfect Irish goddess. The dual story lines require leaps of faith as the audience will struggle with why Nuala Anne feels obligated to protect Seamus and why Dermot believes he must solve the Haymarket Riot mystery. Still fans of Andrew M. Greeley's “Irish” series and those paranormal cozy readers who can forgive the chasm between the first and second dominos of the plot will dine on IRISH STEW.
The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner