St. Martin's, August 2004, 23.95, 256 pp.
Although Stanley Collins is not a parishioner of St. Hilary's, Father Roger Dowling is more than willing to listen to the man's problem. His wife wants to divorce him and marry her dentist Dr. David Jameson. Father Dowling is willing to talk to his wife Phyllis but when she arrives at the rectory she claims it is her husband who wants a divorce to marry the torch singer Wanda who works at the Rendezvous hotel. Dr. Jameson, a deeply religious man talks to Father Dowling about becoming an ordained deacon.
While Father Dowling ponders the lives of these people, someone runs over Stanley and it turns out to be murder because he was run over by his very own car. At first, suspicion falls on Phyllis who knew her husband was going to come into a fortune when he was fifty and she was afraid he would divorce her before she could claim part of the inheritance. Ironically, it is Dr. Jameson who produces an alibi for her and the investigation turns to other suspects who had a motive to see Stanley dead. When they finally arrest a suspect, Father Dowling believes the police have the wrong person in custody and makes inquiries of his own in hopes of finding the real killer.
Ralph McInerny has written one of the most believable mysteries of his career. The suspects are ordinary people, none of whom seem likely to be a murderer which is why REQUIEM FOR A REALTOR is such an excellent who done it. Father Dowling is an observer for much of the book as well as a confidante for many of the suspect. These roles make him the perfect person to discover who the killer is.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner