SEED Of DOUBT by Ralph McInerny

SEED Of DOUBT

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Aged matriarch Margaret Sinclair, one of Father Dowling's parishioners and head of Fox River's most prominent family, has died, leaving behind a trove of near-priceless Clayton Ford paintings, other holdings in the millions, and a will that sets her heirs at loggerheads. Peggy Sinclair, a great-granddaughter, is happy with her bequest--Margaret's diary, and a Ford portrait of Margaret, done just before the short-lived marriage to Matthew Sinclair, which ended tragically on their honeymoon 75 years ago. Soon after Margaret's funeral, her chef, Regis Factor, apparently commits suicide, in a way that raises doubts in the mind of Medical Examiner Monique Pippen, who'd had questions too about Margaret's death and about her nurse Honora Brady. Meanwhile, the Fox River Museum with its collection of Fords--given or loaned?--is garnering much publicity. Its mendacious director, George Mason, is clumsily attempting to make his own fortune by way of another Ford portrait- -twin to the one of Margaret--of her onetime maid Bridget. Ford scholar Geerhart Glockner flutters on the edges, hoping to discredit Mason, while Peggy falls unhappily in love and seeks out Bridget, feeble but feisty, living in a nursing home. Her grandson Lester heads the Fox River Historical Society and has his own nefarious agenda. There are other puzzles brewing, plus other deaths to come, before it's all over, ending a tumultuous, ambitious, but sometimes tedious story that diffuses its energies in too many directions. McInerny (Desert Sinner, etc. etc.) is best in simpler mode.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09381-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 1993




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