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Topic: Wanted: comments on books by Andrew Greeley (priest and professor)

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Subject: Wanted: comments on books by Andrew Greeley (priest and professor)
Date Posted: 3/17/2013 4:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
Posts: 10,209
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Ok, so I'm way behind "discovering" his two Irish mystery solvers series-- The Blackie Ryan series (Archbishop of Chicago) and the Nuala Anne McGrail series.  My only excuse is that his romance stories of the 80's were disapproved of by the Church if not "banned" outright by some parish priests.

Anyway, I randomly picked "Irish Tweed" to read for a St Patty's Day tie-in.......... Written in '09 they (Nuala and hubby Dermot) have 4 kids (oldest age 12) even though series shows book pub in 2001 just had them getting engaged.  Though I appreciate all the Irish heritage and Chicago locale (I'm from northern IL though not Chicago, but have a daughter and sister living there now),  it is sooooo unrealistic. Are we really to believe that Chicago is filled with new Irish immigrants with a heavy brogue? (I do know from 22 yo daughter that some young adults come over to work summers in the sailing industry.)  

As my 3 girls all went thru Catholic school, I am well aware of the "politics" that can come into play, but this book is just so far "out there" with a new former nun principal "letting" bullies run the school, depriving the star athletes from starting positions, and randomly assigning grades so the "poor" kids don't feel all the rich, talented, or kids of famous parents have all the breaks.   If I wanted to read fantasy, I would choose something from that genre.........

Now I wonder if I even want to try one of the Blackie Ryan books to see if it's any better.......... any comments/suggestions??????

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 12:25 PM ET
Member Since: 1/28/2009
Posts: 15,130
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It has been years since I have read any of the Blackie Ryan series but I enjoyed them when I did.  I'm not Catholic so have no idea how any of that might come into play.

Never read any of the other series that you mentioned.

Probably not much help. smiley

Date Posted: 3/18/2013 4:11 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2008
Posts: 1,520
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I liked the Blackie Ryan series, but quit the Nuala series after 3 or 4.  For whatever reason, really didn't care for them.  Nuala made me crazy!!!

Date Posted: 5/28/2013 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2013
Posts: 732
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Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit was the first Blackie Ryan I read, and will be the last. I think Greeley sees himself as another G.K.Chesterton, but he doesn't do it for me.

William Kienzle's Father Koesler series is much better. Kienzle is another former priest, dissatisifed with the Church post-Vatican II, and that comes out in all his books. However, his mysteries are much more interesting than the Blackie Ryan I read. The books are set in Detroit.

Last Edited on: 5/29/13 12:02 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/29/2013 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2005
Posts: 5,689
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I agree. I read all the Father Koesler books in my younger days and enjoyed them. Only read one Blackie Ryan and mustn't have been impressed because I never read anymore. Tried the Nuala series several years ago and didn't like them at all.