I absolutely adore the little Bishop mysteries. There is something so compelling about Blackie Ryan. He is the pastor that you always wanted. He'll comiserate with you, then solve the problem no matter how twisted. I highly recommend his books!
Fun is the word for bestseller Greeley's latest, lively Bishop Blackie (aka Blackwell) Ryan thriller. It's not a whodunit, but a hoodoo-done-it, the mystery being Who's the hoodoo? A poltergeist is stalking the corridors of the White House, threatening to embarrass the president, who's already confronting a fiercely divided Congress, accusations of sexual harassment and the threat of civil war in China. The press has dubbed President John Patrick McGurn "Machine Gun McGurn" and accused him of being a tool of the Chicago Irish Mafia. The far right view him as no less than Satan himself, being an Irishman, a Catholic and a liberal Democrat. There are rumors (which are true) of conspiracies to discredit McGurn and plots (also true) to take his life. Blackie receives an invitation to the White House from the president, who's an old friend. His cardinal orders him to go: "I baptized him, I officiated at his marriage, and I baptized his kids. I said his wife's funeral mass. Now that he is also president... it is unfitting, offensive, and intolerable that he be haunted by ungodly spirits." Known for his psychic gifts, Blackie has nine possible candidates for the intrusive spirit, including the president's daughters. Most likely the poltergeist is a young, troubled woman in need of love. Greeley dedicates the book to Bill Clinton, an obvious model for McGurn. Republicans may grumble, but plenty of others will appreciate the well-drawn characters, swift action and logical resolution
Another great Bishop Blackie mystery. There is a poltergist in the White House. Who among the staff is responsible for it? The Presisent, of course, was known by Bishop Blackie's family when he was a kid. Foreign world to me, but fun.
Well, I guess there needs to be a contrary voice occasionally. This is my first Bishop Blackie book, and I had trouble swallowing it.
Chicago Bishop Blackie (Blackwell) Ryan does his thing in a murderless hoodoo-done-it. A poltergeist is stalking the West Wing of the White House, where the newly-elected President John Patrick McGurn ("Machine Gun Jack") is accused of being a tool of the South Side Chicago Irish Mafia. Blackie (a South Side Irishman himself) is called in to get to the bottom of the poltergeist problem. Everyone immediately and automatically assumes that the Republicans are guilty of every evil thing going on because everyone knows that Republicans (not some or a few but all) are nothing but wealthy, corrupt, right-wing-extremist crooks. Meanwhile, most of the book is dedicated to eulogizing Democrats in general and a Bill Clinton clone in particular. One would suppose that Blackie, a respected Catholic bishop, would be a fair and unbiased observer, but he, along with the rest of the West Wing, participates freely in the Republican-bashing, even instigating a dubious sting operation (without legal authorization or the President's knowledge) to nail a group of extremists who may indeed deserve the punishment but have nothing to do with the reason Blackie has supposedly been called to poltergeist duty. Evidently a good book for Blackie fans, but I'll go back to my historical mysteries.