Father Dowling kicks off a mystery series aimed at younger fans of the genre. While helping her mother manage the parish's senior center, Janet, 15, falls in with Gerry, the new assistant groundskeeper; with Janet's brother Carl, a computer expert, they help the compassionate but canny Father Dowling to unravel an old crime involving stolen electronics, a pot of ill-gotten gains, and traitorous thieves. The well-developed characters that McInerny brings over from his adult novels make the rest of the bewilderingly large cast--especially the young ones--seem sketchy; readers will feel further left out by the haphazard introduction of evidence and arbitrary shifts in the point of view. The plot is padded with extraneous incidents and hyperconvenient coincidences (the criminal mastermind, a computer-savvy accountant, deletes a file but leaves its name in a directory). Many readers in the target audience will already be perusing adult mysteries; put the ""real"" Father Dowling books into their hands.