Forge, Oct 2003, 24.95, 256 pp.
Cardinal Sean Cronin sends Bishop Blackwood Ryan to investigate the locked door murder of Russian Brother Semyon Ivanivich Popov. The Cardinal is more concerned with the wardrobe the police found at the crime scene than who killed this instructor at the University. Apparently Brother Semyon had garbs that are only given to archbishops and cardinals and His Eminent Lordship Cronin sarcastically believes that Chicago does not need two cardinals.
Blackie visits the Divinity School and learns that when Brother Semyon was shot in his locked office only four other people, all professors, were in the building at the time. He questions the foursome to see what he can learn. However, instead of a simple homicide case, the espionage community, Russian and Italian mobsters, and the Vatican are tripping over one another doing their own inquiries. Blackie is warned off the case with bullets to emphasize the advice. If he fails to heed this expert advice, he will see his maker a lot sooner than he expected.
THE BISHOP GOES TO UNIVERSITY is an entertaining modern day Catholic Church who-done-it that quickly spins into a cloak and dagger thriller. The story line moves forward rather quickly even when Andrew Greeley deftly makes a left turn.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner