More derring-do from Chicago’s coolest cleric, who solves a locked-room mystery, saves an imperiled cardinal, and socks it to the Vatican in his fourth adventure.
“One cardinal ought to be enough for Chicago, ought he not, Blackwood?” Patently, yes. And since the speaker is his Eminent Lordship Sean, Cardinal Cronin, Blackie (The Bishop in the West Wing, 2002, etc.) understands he’s been given marching orders. So off he marches to Chicago’s south side and The University, where, in an office at the Divinity School, the extra cardinal is now posthumous, his head blown off by a shotgun blast. Though the setting for this sanguinary homicide is a sealed room, that’s not what truly wrinkles the bishop’s clever brow. Far knottier questions surround the who of cardinal two. Where did he come from? Why does his crimson garb appear to have been cut for a cardinal four inches taller? What makes his secret memoir so desperately sought a MacGuffin that clandestine agencies on both sides of the Atlantic will stop at nothing to get their hands on it? Nor is the Vatican itself an innocent bystander.
Decently written and plotted, and if you can forgive the little bishop’s occasional smugness, you may be charmed.