Using the sort of frame that Isak Dinesen used so successfully in Last Tales, Taylor Caldwell has told a series of priests' tales, recounted around the dining table of a glamorous, sinful old lady who finds in her priests, mirrors held up to humanity. Young Rose (used, perhaps, as a foil by her grandmother) is chief audience for stories that reflect the multiple facets of mankind to which priests find themselves exposed. The priests themselves represent a mixed lot- men of exalted backgrounds, culture, worldly experience, who have found their hardest task bringing themselves down to the humble people of their flocks; men who understand only the intellectual, realistic aspects of their faith- and must learn to accept the mystical as well; men who hide their saintliness under uncouth exteriors, who learn the hard way to love their fellow men, who encounter devils as well as saints, murderers, sinners, simple people who do not recognize their own exalted state. All parts of the British sles provide the backgrounds, and at times the reader stumbles over shifts in vernacular and dialect from Scottish to Irish to Welsh, but the stories themselves are varied and lively reading, while the undercore of a message is not too crassly conveyed. It comes as a surprise to learn that Taylor Caldwell of Buffalo was brought up in England and had just such a grandmother as the one depicted here.