Irish Coffee: A Mystery Set at the University of Notre Dameby Ralph McInerny
When Fred Neville of the Notre Dame athletic department winds up dead under mysterious circumstances, amateur sleuth and academic Roger Knight, and his brother, Phil, a P.I., investigate the apparent murder. The trouble: no suspects. No suspects, that is, until the day of Fred's funeral, when several likely candidates suddenly appear at the poor man's wake.
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In South Bend, Indiana, literature professor Roger Knight and his brother retired private detective Phil are big fans of Notre Dame sports. The siblings especially enjoy talking sports past and present with the university¿s assistant sports information director Fred Neville, a fellow bachelor. However, that pastime ends when Fred suddenly dies from poisoned coffee. Fred¿s death shakes the Knight siblings, but not as much as the appearance at the mass of two women claiming to be his fiancées. Naomi McTear wears an engagement ring and sat in the family pew while departmental secretary Mary Shuster dresses in widow black. Adding to the confusion of the Knights is that they thought Fred was falling in love with point guard Griselda Novak. As they assist South Bend police Lieutenant Stewart on the investigation, Roger and Phil wonder whether a good Catholic could have committed suicide or did one of his women slam dunk him? Though the mystery is decaf, the insight into the university especially its sports program and history is a delight and will recruit more fans. Using the women¿s basketball team as a prime backdrop adds depth especially since they won the national title three years ago. The Knight brothers retain their charm and Griselda is an intriguing student athlete. Though this is the seventh game at Notre Dame, Ralph McInerny provides a fresh tale that showcases the university with a lighter than usual case as the mechanism. Harriet Klausner