Boston's aged, world-renowned scholar Caleb Tuttle has been poisoned, seemingly at his own table. History professor Molly Rafferty, his one-time student, and her fiancÇ, homicide detective Nick Hannibal (The Lace Curtain Murders, 1986, etc.), want to find his killer. Tuttle had been urging the extradition of ÇmigrÇ priest Father Paul to now-independent Ukraine to be tried for war crimes, on the strength of newly recovered evidence. Meanwhile, conservative, pompous columnist Ignatius Healy has ardently defended the priest. And Tuttle's Ukrainian-born housekeeper is troubled too by the disappearance of her wayward nephew Charlie. Molly seizes the chance to attend a conference in Krakow at which Healy and several of Tuttle's recent guests will be present. Before it's over, Healy is dead, bizarrely; the ambiguities in Father Paul's case are resolved; and Tuttle's murderer is known. Literate style, exotic locale, au courant politics, and flashes of wit should make an exciting story. It doesn't happen- -suspense is in short supply; the chatty characters fail to fascinate; the whole is never as arresting as the odd vignette. Worth reading for its unusual plot and setting but, unfortunately, a bit of a slog.