Chicago’s mighty-mite cleric doubles for another little guy: Cupid.
At home, John Blackwood Ryan, who sits at the right hand of Sean, Cardinal Cronin, is often, with great affection, called Blackie, the little archbishop. In the south of Spain, he’s informed by the Archbishop of Seville, whose puckish sense of humor matches Blackie’s, that his nickname translates neatly into El Padrecito Negro, and it’s how he’ll be known during his stay. The Seville Cardinal then proceeds to flesh out the delicate nature of the mission on which the Chicago Cardinal has dispatched his most dexterous troubleshooter. Blackie’s been ordered to disentangle the strands of love and hate that have enmeshed the beauteous Teresa, Duchess of Seville, and her lawyer and sweetheart Leandro. Teresa’s implacable enemies, it turns out, are also her guardians, though the legality of this appears doubtful. Not to be doubted is the bitterness between the two camps, an ill feeling downright homicidal, in Cardinal Cronin’s view. So is Blackie expected to solve a murder before it happens? The answer is yes, of course. But he’s charged with a task both Cardinals regard as even more important. As a sort of Cardinal to Cardinal lend-lease, Blackie’s in Seville to persuade a certain deeply in love woman that it’s all right to be deeply in love.
Mystery lite, but the invincible charm of the little archbishop (The Bishop at the Lake, 2007) will keep the faithful faithful.