Search This Blog

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cecilian Vespers

Emery, Anne. Cecilian Vespers.

Set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, the novel is the fourth to feature lawyer Monty Collins and his friend Fr. Brennan Burke. Father Burke is the head of a school for traditional church music, the Schola Cantorum Sancta Bernadetta, and the students include both church and lay participants, not all of whom are in favor of tradition. When a well-known German monk is murdered, there are plenty of suspects who either have no alibi or give misleading information.

Although another monk confesses, Monty and Fr. Burke believe the confession to be false and must continue their investigation.

What is most interesting about this mystery is all the information about Vatican II, the subsequent changes in Church positions and policies, and the often intense feelings that remain on both sides of that aisle. Not being Catholic, I found the information about Vatican II fascinating and informative.

I've not read any of the previous novels featuring Monty Collins and Father Burke so I don't know how this one compares, but several complication from the previous novels appear to thread their way through this one.

Fiction. Mystery. 2009. 300 pages.

11 comments:

  1. Not that into mysteries, but when I do read them I like to go with the different ones. Perhaps with this

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think I'll have to look into this one. I'm with you. I'm not Catholic, but I do find the history of the Church fascinating. And, well, you know I like a good mystery. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Blodeuedd - I'm on a mystery kick at the moment. This one was mainly interesting for the Vatican II information.

    LF - The Church information was more interesting than the mystery!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Your review actually caught my attention because of the setting. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Kailana - I liked the setting! Haven't read very many novels set in Nova Scotia, but I enjoyed the feeling of the city details in Halifax.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I ordered the first 3 in this series. The fact that they are set in Halifax interested me.

    ReplyDelete
  7. booklogged - I'd like to hear what you think when you read the first three in the series. While I liked the setting and the info about Vatican II, the prude in me had some problems with the behavior of some of the priests. I know...priests (and preachers) are only men and are certainly not free from the faults and failures of any other human being; they can be as petty, small-minded, frail, and ambitious, etc. as anyone else.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think I will look for this at the library. I read an earlier book of Emery's and didn't like it but I alays give an author 2 chances. I believe Emery is from Nova Scotia so this would count as a selection for the Canadian book challenge which ends in 2 weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This one sounds intriguing!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Violette - I'm not sure I'd read Emery again. The setting and the info on Vatican II were more interesting than the mystery.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Diane - It had some good points, but I wasn't that taken with either the mystery or the characters.

    ReplyDelete