Saturday, October 18, 2014

Margaret Coel - an enjoyable read

The latest Catholic mystery read was Margaret Coel's The Shadow Dancer.

Not only does it feature a priest sleuth, it's set on a reservation - shades of Tony Hillerman! The Native American elements alone were enough to attract my attention.

I'm glad it did. It was worth the read.

Coel's style is very workman-like - in the positive sense. The story is well-crafted, the characters well developed, the dialogue handled well, the plot is plausible. It's obvious Coel knows what she is doing.

Oh, there are some quibbles - really, no one knows the story of the abused ex-wife? On a small reservation with a close-knit community, people and her grown children don't know why she got divorced? (Even though it took place when the kids were young, kids see things.) That seems a bit of a stretch. And there were some background details that got repeated - as if we (or she?) might forget them in 100 pages. And the public hearing with the bishop to close the mission did not rings quite right. 

But those are quibbles. Over all, it was a good read. I even went back to the library and borrowed another one of her books - that tells you something right there.

Pax et bonum

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