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    Forge, July, 2001

    Adjunct Bishop Blackwood (Blackie) Ryan is off to Paris to serve as a sort of chaperone for his boss the Cardinal and, while there, track down a missing French Priest. The Priest vanished while visiting a Roman ruin and everyone seems to think that they have done off with him. Blackie isn’t convinced. He converts a beggar girl/unemployed musician into a translator and wanders through Paris in search of evidence.

    Fans of the Bishop series (see our review of THE BISHOP AND THE MISSING L TRAIN) will be overjoyed to see the little Bishop back in action. Assisted both by his beggar girl and an assortment of other nearly perfect females, Blackie turns up facts, but the truth continues to elude him. To him, it appears that the Priest must have vanished of his own free will, yet the man so obviously loved his work and had become so successful at it, that such a disappearance, and a betrayal of those who counted on him seems impossible.

    Author Andrew M. Greeley’s novels (see more reviews of novels by this author) are make a quick but enjoyable read and THE BISHOP AND THE BEGGAR GIRL OF ST. GERMAIN is above average even by Greeley’s high standards. The mystery itself might be a trifle obvious to mystery readers, but that did not prevent me from enjoying the fast and compelling read. Those who find Greeley's Nuala Anne series a bit too saccharin will find the Bishop series a bit more to their tastes while those who love Nuala Anne will be pleased to see her here in a cameo role (see our review of IRISH EYES).

    Three Stars

    Purchase THE BISHOP AND THE BEGGAR GIRL OF ST. GERMAIN from (hardback).