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Ash Wednesday (Father Dowling #29)

2.95 of 5 stars 2.95  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Father Dowling has been serving as parish priest and resident sleuth at St. Hilary’s for a while now, but he’s no lifer, and there’s plenty that he doesn’t know about the old guard. So when a stranger comes to Fox River who isn’t a stranger to anyone but him, he has to rely on his prying housekeeper to tell him that the mystery man is actually a well-known murderer. Ten ye ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published July 22nd 2008 by Minotaur Books
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This is my introduction to the Father Dowling mysteries. Though it was a challenge to keep track of the many key players in the story, I enjoyed it enough to plan to read others.
Michael O'Leary
Ash Wednesday is #29 in the Father Dowling Mystery series by Ralph McInerny. It is a cerebral mystery, with Fr. Dowling being a perfect father confessor, dealing with moral dilemmas and the weakness of man with compassion and understanding. The book is most entertaining and the author keeps the story moving with several twists and turns, producing another parish mystery for the priest to solve in his usual quiet and compassionate way. Truly a pleasant mystery read.

Nathaniel Green returns to St Hillary parish after serving a decade in prison for murdering his wife who was dying from terminal cancer. The police weren't convinced he had disconnected his wife's life support and the prosecutor wasn't really vested in trying the case. He might have gone free of he hadn't been so loudly insistent that he had murdered his wife/ He still might have been saved from prison if he hadn't selected the most incompetent attorney in the area.
Nathaniel's wife's sister i
I found this book difficult to follow and therefore hard to read and not terribly gripping or enjoyable. This is a book I was excited to find in the library and really had high hopes for, but it was disjointed, and I often found that thoughts and conversations among the characters were not well developed. For example, there is a conversation that occurs about 3/4 of the way through in which I had no idea to whom the lawyer character was speaking! I also found the use of last names for characters ...more
possible my least favorite of the series. Great concept and characters, but very predictable outcome.
Ralph McInerny's Father Dowling mysteries. I enjoyed the TV adaptation of these stories but the books are not as good. ...more
Apr 02, 2013 Nancy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys well written cozies that dwell on moral and religious paradoxes
I really enjoy all of McInerny's characters and I'm glad I still have one novel and two short story collections to read in the Father Dowling series. As with all his books, Ash Wednesday presented interesting moral and ethical questions in the context of Catholic dogma. RIP, good friend!
Boooring and completely disjointed. Concept wasn't bad, but the way it all played out just didn't work for me. I actually stopped reading towards the end (something I never do!) and skipped to the end to find out what happened. And I was really glad I didn't waste the time reading.
A fun read for the detective lover in me. It did also touch upon Catholic respect-for-life issues, specifically end-of-life care and suicide.
Father Dowling is really faced with moral ambiguity in this one, and everyone needs to search his/her own heart.
I love this story and Fr. Dowling too! Can't go wrong w/this writer!
I like his writing style, although he loves his theasarius.
Linda Mennis
Father Dowling mystery. Not bad, loved the TV series.
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Ralph Matthew McInerny was an American Catholic religious scholar and fiction writer, including mysteries and science fiction. Some of his fiction has appeared under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin, and Monica Quill. As a mystery writer he is best known as the creator of Father Dowling. He was Professor of Philosophy, Director of the Jacques Maritain ...more
More about Ralph McInerny...
Her Death of Cold (Father Dowling, #1) Bishop as Pawn (Father Dowling, #3) On This Rockne (Notre Dame, #1) Irish Alibi (Notre Dame, #11) Lack of the Irish (Notre Dame, #2)

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