I've read several of this Chicago area Catholic priest's "little bishop" series, but this time, I grabbed all but one of his Irish series, Nuala Anne McGrail (which mentions the "little bishop" in passing, but does not use him as a main character). Somewhere along the line, which seem to go in order throughout her life, I skipped her wedding, (which happened in Irish Lace, of course! What else could he possibly call it?) but got in on the presence of three children. Either I missed seeing Irish Lace on the shelf, as I did not take my glasses in (BAD PLANNING!), it was checked out, or the little Corydon library does not have it.
No, I'm not Catholic, but a lot of my good friends are, as well as some of the relatives. He tells upbeat stories, thrillers, with complex mysteries to solve, but with a lot of philosophy, alternating the settings between Ireland and Chicago.
The love scenes are hysterical. Oh, what he must hear in confession! (Or, as a Catholic friend pointed out, priests vow to live celibately, but do NOT have to come into the priesthood as virgins...)
He also works into the text lots of song lyrics, generally of religious origin, but the Molly Malone of Dublin folk song got in the first volume in all its stanzas and choruses twice (Irish Gold). The one I finished last night, Irish Eyes, had this one, which brings back pleasant memories of Mom singing as she worked around the downtown Chicago apartment when I was quite young:
When Irish eyes are smiling,
"Tis like a day in spring.
In the lilt of Irish laughter,
You can hear the angels sing.
When Irish eyes are happy,
All the world is bright and gay,
But when Irish eyes are smiling,
Sure, they'll steal your heart away.
(Twice, of course -- as a front piece, and then repeated in the text where Nuala actually sings it in the story.)
Which brings up another point as I struggle to finish WRITING my first book: Do YOU read forewords, prefaces, front quotes, etc. when you read a novel for fun (as opposed to when you are ASSIGNED to read them, and so forced to pay attention to them...)?