THE DEVIL'S CHAPEL by Laurence Lafore


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When Suburbia seeks to sop itself in extra-curricular activities like the Justice for Esquimaux Movement, the Rococo Rooters and Lay Analysis, it is ripe for caricature; but when the doings outside the Conversation Well turn to witchcraft and occultist perversion, it's time for the ministry to face the Devil in a bout for commuting souls. Which is what happens in once distinguished Llanbrynmall-- a saran- wrapped wedge of the Pennsylvania Main Line-- when the new Episcopalian minister, Julian Holland, discovers a cult of goat-roasters, wife-switchers, house-burners, and doers-away-of-prominent-personalities all in the name of Life Renewal. In collaboration with the widow Mrs. Sherrill, the good Father turned Detective soon finds his own pious life in danger at the hands of the ""yellow-bellied weirdos"", as young Douglas Watts alls his parents' cronies. Douglas--it turns out--is not as psychologically disturbed as his parents proclaim, for the villain of sacrificial mysticism is Simon Carwithen, professional charlatan and criminal in the role of philanthropic healer of suburban mnui. Before the barbecue pits are cleared of the stains, Father Holland misadventures into mystery with enough finesse to make this Charles Adams fable entertaining and satirically revealing. Smooth and often clever reading for the commuter trains.

Publisher: Doubleday