Cover image for Irish coffee
Irish coffee
McInerny, Ralph, 1929-2010.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, [2003]

Physical Description:
247 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
Concord Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Grand Island Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Kenmore Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Lackawanna Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Orchard Park Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Audubon Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
Hamburg Library X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense

On Order



When Fred Neville of the Notre Dame athletic department winds up dead under mysterious circumstances, amateur sleuth and academic Roger Knight, and his brother, Phil, a P.I., investigate the apparent murder. The trouble: no suspects. No suspects, that is, until the day of Fred's funeral, when several likely candidates suddenly appear at the poor man's wake.

First, Mary Schuster, daughter of a faculty widow, shows up at the event dressed all in black, with the startling announcement that she and the deceased were secretly in love. Then the controversy doubles when another woman arrives with a huge diamond ring on her finger, claiming to have been Fred's intended. Could it be that unassuming Fred Neville was actually involved with two women, in secret and at the same time? Roger thinks not, and finds a notable piece of evidence to back up his hunch when a secret stash of Fred's poetry turns up, clearly written with a single woman in mind. Unfortunately, the object of Fred's intense love remains unnamed in his verse. Suddenly, both women are suspects in a vicious crime. But it's up to Roger to plug into the campus gossip grid and, with a little help from Phil, not to mention his vast knowledge of just about everything that happens on campus, determine the exact chain of events that led to murder.

Set against the backdrop of an exciting Notre Dame basketball season, Irish Coffee will delight fans of both Notre Dame lore and of Ralph McInerny's impeccably plotted mysteries.

Author Notes

Ralph McInerny was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on February 24, 1929. He served in the Marine Corps in the late 1940s. He received a bachelor's degree from St. Paul Seminary in 1951, a master's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1952 and a doctorate in philosophy from Laval University in Quebec in 1954. He was a member of the University of Notre Dame faculty from 1955 until 2009. He gained international renown as a scholar, author and lecturer who specialized in the works of St. Thomas Aquinas. During his academic career, he was the Michael P. Grace Professor of Medieval Studies and director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame. He is founder and publisher of Catholic Dossier magazine and co-founder of Crisis magazine.

His philosophical works include Aquinas on Human Action, The Question of Christian Ethics, and Aquinas and Analogy. His novels include the Father Dowling Mystery series, an Andrew Broom Mystery series, and the Sister Mary Teresa Mystery series. He also wrote under the pseudonyms of Harry Austin, Matthew FitzRalph, Ernan Mackey, Edward Mackin, and Monica Quill. He died on January 29, 2010 at the age of 80.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Everybody likes Fred Neville, who works in Notre Dame's sports information office. Everybody but one person--the person who killed him. A different side of unassuming Fred surfaces when two women arrive at his funeral, each claiming Fred as their fiance. Because South Bend, home of Notre Dame, is always deferential to the university, the locals have no objection when the Knight brothers become unofficial consultants on the case. Phillip Knight is a streetwise PI, and his immensely rotund brother, Roger, is an amateur sleuth and a revered professor of Catholic studies. Their investigation, set against the backdrop of academia and an exciting women's basketball season, explores the often contradictory concepts of moral responsibility, legal guilt, and justice. McInerny, author of the Father Downing mysteries, has taught at Notre Dame for 40 years. His Knight brothers are a modern Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin who manage to poke gentle fun at the insularity of the university while solving the crime. A fine effort by a deservedly respected genre veteran. --Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

In McInerny's seventh pleasant page-turner set at the University of Notre Dame (after 2002's Celt and Pepper) featuring professor Roger Knight and his PI brother Philip, Fred Neville, assistant sports information director, yearns for a career in literature. (He even writes poetry when no one is looking.) When Fred dies mysteriously in bed, it comes out at his funeral service that he had another, more interesting, life: he was secretly engaged to at least two women, to the surprise and consternation of each. Suicide is initially suspected, but the coroner's discovery of strychnine in a cup containing the remains of coffee and bourbon points to murder. After one of the fianc?es turns up dead in Fred's apartment, having drunk another poisoned Irish coffee, things start to get complicated. Snappy dialogue touched with humor propels the plot. Readers are unlikely to solve the puzzle, but will have a lot of fun trying. (Nov. 10) FYI: McInerny is also the author of the Father Dowling and Andrew Broom mystery series. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

When a member of Notre Dame's athletic department is murdered, Professor Roger Knight and his PI brother Phil investigate (Celt and Pepper). At first they find no suspects, but then, at the victim's funeral, two fianc?es show up, creating instant motivation. From a master hand and author of the Father Dowling series. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Google Preview