book cover of Now and Then, Amen
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Now and Then, Amen

(The fifth book in the Scobie Malone series)
A novel by

Publisher's Weekly
This Australian writer is known for The Sundowners and 35 more novels, including the four featuring Inspector Scobie Malone of Sydney. Cleary's urbane wit blunts the sting in this story about the circumstances leading to the murder of Sister Mary Magdalene. The nun's body is found outside a luxurious brothel where Malone starts the investigation that leads to an artist known as Miss O'Keefe, who turns out to be Brigid Hourigan, the victim's mother. He learns that the young woman was illegitimate, unacknowledged by Bridgid's millionaire father, Fingal, and her brother, Archbishop Kerry Hourigan. The influential old man's associates, like a small army, form powerful barriers to the detective. But he digs deep, looking for clues in the nun's service to the needy in Nicaragua, in Fingal's early years in Chicago and the source of his fortune. The sad truth closes the case, one of the hero's most intricate and exciting. Mystery Guild featured alternate. (Feb.)

Library Journal
Cleary's newest Australian thriller featuring Scobie Malone commences with the discovery of a murdered nun's body on the doorstep of an exclusive brothel. As Malone investigates the apparent bad joke, he finds that all clues point to zillionaire patriarch and Sydney businessman Fingal Hourigan (illegitimate grandfather of the dead nun). Various aspects of Fingal's sordid Chicago past, nefarious activities, and present Nicaraguan associates, along with flashbacks about the nun, her mother, and her uncle the archbishop, provide more than enough substantive grist for Cleary's narrative mill. Three parts family saga, then, for every one part intrigue, but solid entertainment.-- REK

Genre: Mystery

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