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codechocreate Stats delete>3 days Mystery novel deals with church's foibles but entertains, inspires too. Published 5/8/2015. Books.
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Mystery novel deals with church's foibles but entertains, inspires too


This is the cover of "Master of Ceremonies: A Novel" by Donald Cozzens. The book is reviewed by Mitch Finley. (CNS)

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"Master of Ceremonies: A Novel" by Donald Cozzens. In Extenso Press (Chicago, 2015). 287 pp., $19.95.

Most Catholics are sick and tired of news about priests who abused children and bishops who covered up for them. So a good many may not welcome a mystery novel about the same. This, however, is no fictional attempt to rehash decades of old news. Rather, "Master of Ceremonies" is at once informative, entertaining and inspirational.

The author, Father Donald Cozzens, is writer in residence at John Carroll University, a Jesuit school in suburban Cleveland. He has served as vicar for clergy and rector of a seminary, among other assignments; and he knows how to put together a page-turner that may well keep you up past your bedtime.

The story takes place in Baltimore in 2007. Retired Archbishop Wilfred Gunnison finds himself the object of attention from a recently retired army sniper, Mark Anderlee. Decades ago, when Mark was a pre-teen, then-Father Gunnison abused him, leaving the boy traumatized. Now Anderlee is out for revenge and Gunnison is paralyzed with fear.

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