"Bishop as Pawn provides a splendid showcase for Kienzle's skill at contriving a whodunit and for his insider's view of archdiocesan politics."—Chicago Sun-Times
From the author of the mystery classic, The Rosary Murders.
The murder couldn't have been more ill-timed. Father Ernie Bell, slightly in his cups, staggers into the priests' quarterly gripe session, angry at the new bishop. Recently arrived Father Don Carleson also takes a jab or two at the bishop, who treats the sixty-something Carleson like a servant. The conspiratorial conversation continues around the table, as many of the Detroit clergymen agree that Bishop Ramon Diego uses others as pawns in a chess game.
By the next morning, several of the detractors are prime suspects in the murder of Bishop Diego. A team of detectives and a particularly ambitious assistant prosecuting attorney descend upon the relative calm of Ste. Anne's Parish, where the murder occurred, and quickly build their case.
In Bishop as Pawn, William X. Kienzle's sixteenth novel in the best-selling Father Koesler mystery series, the venerable priest-sleuth is faced with a sticky dilemma: The evidence points to one of his colleagues as the guilty party, yet Koesler has an innate sense of the integrity of the accused. Should Koesler trust his instincts, or has his allegiance to the priestly brotherhood skewed his objectivity?
The murder of a much-disliked bishop propels Detroit's Father Koesler, recently seen in Body Count , into his 16th case, a tale steeped in Catholic arcana. When auxiliary Bishop Ramon Diego is bludgeoned to death, his aide, Father Don Carleson, formerly a missionary in Central America, is arrested quickly. Even though the ruthlessly ambitious Diego had used his amiable adjunct as a mere gofer, Carleson doesn't seem the murdering type to Koesler or the rest of the city's clergy. But an ambitious prosecuting attorney and the investigating police lieutenant are pleased with the quick arrest and eager for a high-profile conviction. While interviewing Koesler, the prosecuting attorney reveals a personal interest in the suspect and determines his course of attack in the case, a line which Koesler, to his horror, has inadvertently supported. Although the official investigation is closed with the arrest, Koesler's police friend Lt. Tully keeps his detectives searching for clues. Another death finally leads Kienzle's intrepid clergyman through an intricate course in canon law to a mundane solution.