Death of an Irish Sinner: A Peter McGarr Mystery


Bartholomew Gill's superb crime series featuring Chief Superintendent Peter McGarr of the Dublin police gets better, richer, and more flavorful with the passage of time. Now the gifted author writing at the top of his form gives us a spellbinding work of mystery and suspense in which guilt lies as heavily on the shoulders of saints as on those of sinners and purity and violence coexist in the depths of the human soul.

A priest approaches Peter McGarr on the chief ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $58.77   
  • Used (33) from $1.99   
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any coupons and promotions
Seller since 2008

Feedback rating:



New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.


Ships from: Chicago, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
Scranton, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. 2001 Hard Cover First Edition, First Printing NEW CONDITION. NEW DUST JACKET Hardcover Book......SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR (signature only).... //NO ... REMAINDER MARK//NO PREVIOUS OWNER MARKS OF ANY KIND (no names or inscriptions, no bookplate, no underlining, etc) //NOT PRICECLIPPED// NEW MYLAR COVER// Read more Show Less

Ships from: DANBORO, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Seller since 2007

Feedback rating:


Condition: New
1st Edition, Fine/Fine- SIGNED by Author on Title Page. Stated "First Edition". DJ lightly rubbed on rear cover, o.w. clean, bright and tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing, ... etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0380977982 Read more Show Less

Ships from: Troy, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Sort by
Sending request ...


Bartholomew Gill's superb crime series featuring Chief Superintendent Peter McGarr of the Dublin police gets better, richer, and more flavorful with the passage of time. Now the gifted author writing at the top of his form gives us a spellbinding work of mystery and suspense in which guilt lies as heavily on the shoulders of saints as on those of sinners and purity and violence coexist in the depths of the human soul.

A priest approaches Peter McGarr on the chief superintendent's rare day off. The man of the cloth has come to report a murder and to make a bizarre request: Could McGarr have the death officially listed as an accident and then pursue the investigation in secret? The answer, of course, is no.

Perhaps the chief superintendent would have been wiser to have accepted Father Duggan's offer of covert aid, since McGarr's official investigation is being oddly opposed at every turn. Yet the deeper McGarr digs, the closer he is drawn to a secret order of religious zealots called Opus Dei a group devoted to enforcing the Lord's edicts no matter what the cost in money...or human life.

But there are unexpected consequences to looking too closely at the activities of an organization that guards its anonymity as obsessively as it pursues its "sacred calling." More death is doubtlessly in the offing as a web of dark secrets, vengeance, and blood spins out across a century. And suddenly the stakes are being raised to a chilling new level, as the madness reaches out to touch the one place where Peter McGarr is most vulnerable: the precious heart of his own adored family.

Once again author Bartholomew Gill presents a splendid, richly atmospheric warts-and-all view of his beloved Ireland, in a novel of mystery that stands proudly among not only the best of his previous works but among the best crime novels of the past decade.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Dublin's Chief Superintendent Peter McGarr struggles to solve the murder of a famous biographer. His investigation uncovers a powerful secret Catholic organization and subsequent personal threats. Another well-written police procedural from the author of The Death of an Irish Tinker. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A cilicio is a hair shirt for the neck, a collar whose wing nut allows it to be tightened in order to mortify the flesh. But by the time Chief Superintendent Peter McGarr (The Death of an Irish Lover, 2000, etc.) is shown Mary-Jo Stanton's choked body, it's beyond mortification. The medieval implement of self-torment that ended her life will become McGarr's portal to a conspiratorial plot that stretches from Stasi secrets buried in East Germany's sorry past to Opus Dei, the old-line Catholic order whose founder's life Mary-Jo had chronicled.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780380977987
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/2001
  • Series: Peter McGarr Series, #16
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Meet the Author

Bartholomew Gill authored 15 Peter McGarr mysteries, among them The Death of an Irish Lover, The Death of an Irish Tinker, and the Edgar Award nominee The Death of a Joyce Scholar. A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Gill wrote as Mark McGarrity for the Star-Ledger. He died in 2002.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Dublin, 1990

Two weeks later in Dublin, the same woman who had visited STASI headquarters used a master key to enter the office of Francis Xavier Foley in fashionable Fitzwilliam Square.

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon, and she assumed nobody would be about.

But she had only began her search when she heard a key in the lock andin stepped Foley himself, she knew from the photographs she had been given of the man.

"You there!" Foley roared. "What the devil are you doing in my files?"

"What does it look like to a devil?" she replied, continuing her search as though his presence did not matter. "Aren't you supposed to be on holiday?"

"Get out of that! Get out of that now!" A big man who weighed over seventeen stone in his fifty-second year, Foley rushed across the small room and lunged at her, only to find himself quickly down on the carpet with her foot on his throat.

"I could kill you now, but I need you to answer a few questions. Pick yourself up, close the door, and sit in that chair." The foot came away.

"Those files are protected by law," Foley complained as he rose to his feet unsteadily. His groin and neck were now galling him. "I'm a solicitor."

"No, you're not. You're a blackmailer."

"I should call the police." Foley managed to reach a chair.

"Go ahead. Here's the phone."

It landed on the floor by his feet.

"Wouldn't they be interested in what's in here?"

As the pain eased, Foley took in the woman — late thirties or early forties with close-cropped blond hair, blue eyes, and a brace of gold rings pierced through the edge of one ear.

It was hotin the tiny office that Foley leased mainly for the upmarket mailing address, and she had removed her jacket.

Wearing only a tank top and tight slacks the same pale color as her eyes, the woman was either an athlete or some class of weight lifter, he judged. Her shoulders and arms were taut with muscle, and the rest of her looked just as fit.

Not a stupid man, Foley quickly considered his options. He could ring up the police, and surely they would arrest her for illegal entry. But she could — and probably would — bring Garda investigators down on him as well. Foley did not want that.

It had taken much hard digging into the private lives of the country's elite to get him where he was. Now Foley had a house on Killiney Bay,another in the Azores, a trophy wife and two young children, a mistress, and the sure knowledge that a steady flow of untaxable readies would come streaming in to him for the rest of his life, with nothing more for him to do than to keep his identity hidden. And his threats frequent.

Of course, all that was on hold, at least for the moment. At the very least, Foley would have to move his office and sequester his files, in case she both took what she needed and informed the police. Wasn't it now wiser to discover whose dossier she was after? And how she had found him out? Then he would decide what to do.

"Can I help you with anything? What is it you're looking for?" he asked.

"Is the information in these files on your computer as well?" She pointed to the machine on a table behind the desk.

"If you mean, do I back up my files? I do, surely. Here and elsewhere. "Hearing the sound of his own deep voice emboldened Foley, and it now occurred to him how completely the woman would disrupt his life if he allowed her to leave the office.

"Mark me, woman," he blurted out. "When I discover who sent you, I'll double what I'm owed or expose them. Just for the fuck of it."

As though smitten by the word, she stopped her search, closed the filing cabinet drawer, and turned to him with a brittle smile creasing the corners of her mouth. "Never, ever utter that word again in my presence."

Fuck off, Foley wanted to say, but something fierce and final in her light blue eyes made him hold his tongue. It was as though, suddenly, her face had become a mask.

"You're a thoroughly despicable human being," she continued in an even but unnatural tone, stepping toward the computer. "For the better part of twenty blessed years you've been preying upon people for their weaknesses and indiscretions. It's disgusting and totally un-Christian the way you've behaved. Have y'never heard the word work?"

Foley tried to suss out her accent, which was neutral but with now and again a certain flat twang, as though Australian or American.

Unplugging the monitor, keyboard, and printer, she picked up the central processing unit and turned to him. "Tell me, how'd you get on to Mary-Jo?"

Foley's head went back, and a wave of adrenaline surged through his large body. Christ Almighty, he thought, it's them. Little wonder she had found him out and got a key to the office. The bastards were so well placed, and they were everywhere.

For months after Foley had flown to East Germany over a decade ago andpaid the equivalent of twenty thousand pounds Sterling to copy the Hopfwoman's file, he had agonized over blackmailing Mary-Jo Stanton just because of what was happening now.

Over and over, had told himself there were simply too many of them, and it was impossible to know who they were.

And with God on their side and their entire history of claiming to be...what? — the successors to the Knights Templar — they would murder him without compunction if they found him out. So his reason had told him...

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 11, 2005

    Devastating !!

    I found this book one of Bartholomew Gill's best, however, I was left in a state of total devastation. Why did Noreen have to die? I'm sure in the long run there is a reasonable explanation, and I hope to find out soon, but I feel very depressed at the moment. Why, why, why?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2001

    Noreen and Opus Dei

    An excellent read would love to see a BBC or Irish TV series with McGarr before he gets as old as PD James hero-

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Still fresh after two plus decades

    Father Fred Duggan informs Chief Superintendent Peter McGarr of the Dublin police that his benefactor Mary-Jo Stanton died under suspicious circumstances. Peter visits the Catholic compound owned by the deceased, who, on first observation, seems to have peacefully died while tending her garden. However, around the victim¿s neck is a cilicio, a medieval device that as it is tightens chokes a person. <P>Peter immediately suspects Fred. However, he reconsiders his first opinion when local newspaper publisher Dery Parmalee claims that Mary-Jo was about to reveal a scandalous secret that would have destroyed the order. Dery does not seem sincere and hides something involving the case. Peter and his staff dig deeper into the life and death of Mary-Jo. They find powerful obstacles with even more powerful connections trying to end their inquiries because a conspiracy stretching back a decade to behind the Iron Curtain must never be revealed. <P> Peter McGarr seems to have been around forever, but in his fifteenth appearance, the Dublin law enforcement official remains as fresh as he was over two decades ago. THE DEATH OF AN IRISH SINNER is an entertaining police procedural starring a fabulous lead character, an intriguing victim, and several viable suspects. As usual Bartholomew Gill provides readers with a wonderful Irish police procedural that will entice newcomers to search for McGarr¿s previous novels. <P>Harriet Klausner

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)