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    Review of THE BISHOP GOES TO THE UNIVERSITY by Andrew M. Greeley (see his website)

    Forge, October 2003

    When a visiting Orthodox Monk is found murdered in his University of Chicago office, nothing would seem to connect him to Chicago's crime-solving associate-Bishop. Nothing except the Monk's genuine Cardinal robes, robes that make no sense at all for an Orthodox monk, but make a great deal of sense to a Catholic. But what would a Catholic Cardinal be doing pretending to be Orthodox? And who would have murdered him. Of course, the monk's body is found in a closed and locked room--the kind that Auxillary Bishop Blackie solves without fail.

    Blackie's investigation turns up a pair of lovers who need a little encouragement, and denials from both the Italian (Catholic) and Russian (Orthodox) Mafias that they had any involvement. The denial that has the least credibility comes from Blackie's source in the CIA. But why should the CIA care about a Russian monk who goes stomping around Chicago?

    Author Andrew M. Greeley (see more reviews of novels by Greeley) delivers a fabulous story this time. Bishop Blackie is in good form, solving mysteries, pushing lovers on the path of married happiness, espousing belief in a God who truly loves all of his creation, and braving the worst that the CIA, former KGB, and Catholic extremists have to deliver. Greeley's wit shines through and I found myself laughing out loud a number of times through this short novel.

    Bishop Blackie uncovers a secret plot involving the CIA and the Vatican--a plot that probably didn't exist, but that could have existed in the world of the Cold War when the church formed itself as a bulwark against godless Communism. The plot, the discussions of the ancient scism between Catholic and Orthodox traditions, and Blackie's own faith add real substance to an entertaining story of mystery.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 11/11/03

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