Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Top Ten Books Read in 2012, #3

#3 was the relative surprise of the bunch. The other books were connected with authors, pop culture phenomenons or publishers with whom I was familiar. Murder in the Vatican by Ann Margaret Lewis was a whim purchase. I had heard Sarah Rienhardt mention this book on her blog, Snoring Scholar.

As you well know, I love mysteries. Sherlock Holmes is the popularizer of the genre (I tip my hit to Dupin as the originator). So, to connect Holmes with Catholicism, with religion being a sticky situation to Holmes character (most in part due to his atheistic author Doyle), I was really excited to read it.

The stories are the normal Doyle length. The three stories read more like novellas. Two of them are set in the Vatican, wherein the main Vatican character is none other than Pope Leo XIII, the reviver of Thomism and the writer of the first social encyclical. Lewis showed a great deal of knowledge about Leo and the goings on of late 19th Century history in Europe. She played well with the depth of intellect that both the real man and the fictional man had. It made for great dialogue and a certain development within the character of Sherlock Holmes.

Two of the stories, as well, welcomed a beloved character in the halls of Reverenced Reading, Fr. Brown. One of them mentioned him while he was still a seminarian and the other featured him.

This book was a delight to read. I've landed it twice since reading it. Currently my father, who reads a book a year ,is flipping its pages. I thoroughly recommend it.

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