Nuala Anne takes a break from her customary diet of murder to educate her children's school principal.
<\b>Suddenly, the school in St. Joe’s parish where Nuala Anne McGrail Coyne has been contentedly enrolling her brood is under new supervision. Dr. Lorraine Fletcher, who’s straight out of Dickens, cherishes a hatred for Nuala Anne that’s straight out of pathology textbooks. Fletcher is a devout believer in what she calls the “fundamental option for the poor.” In the topsy-turvy Catholic school she envisions, indigent big kids are encouraged to bully affluent little kids and pocket their money as a first step toward the proper redistribution of wealth. This trickle-up approach to economics leads to a donnybrook in which Nuala Anne gets a slap in the chops and, in exchange, Fletcher gets a kick in the gut from “a newly minted black belt.” Meanwhile, Dermot Michael, spear-carrier and ever-adoring husband, checks out a memoir furnished to him by his father that describes the turbulent life of a female doctor in late 19th-century Chicago, while lovely, golden-haired Julie Crean, the Coynes’s irredeemably wholesome nanny, checks out Finnbar Burke, a potential fella. It’s Finnbar, incidentally, whose brief immersion in the Chicago River, where he’s been tossed by person or persons unknown, supplies the sole claim to membership in the mystery genre that the latest McGrail confection (Irish Tiger, 2008, etc.) can offer.
Blarney-soaked and relentlessly cute.