Father Roger Dowling is a busy man. He's got the ambitious
and all-encompassing task of running St. Hilary's Parish,
dealing with his busybody housekeeper, Mrs. Murkin, and
counseling his flock with his characteristic blend of faith
and compassion. He's not complaining, but it's no surprise
that even a superior priest like Father Dowling needs a
break now and again. So off he heads for a week-long retreat
in Indiana on the quiet grounds of an old Catholic religious
order, where he can meditate, reflect, and pray for a quick
recharge of his waning energy.
Unfortunately, Father Dowling's spiritual retreat turns into
a baffling murder investigation when a dead man is found in
a grotto on the grounds with the handle of an axe protruding
from his back. Complicating matters is a long-running
real-estate dispute that has pitted the brothers of the
order against the previous owners of the huge and valuable
piece of land on which their sanctuary sits.
Who could have killed the man and why, and does it have
something to do with the high-stakes mind games being played
out between the parties vying for the land? No one's too
sure, but what is clear is that Father Dowling is once again
at the center of it all in another winning entry in a
mystery series that's become an institution.