What will a group of monks do when their century-old monastery in New York City is threatened with demolition to make room for a new high-rise?
What will a group of monks do when their two-century-old monastery in New York City is threatened with demolition to make room for a new high-rise? Anything they have to. "Thou Shalt Not Steal" is only the first of the Commandments to be broken as the saintly face off against the unscrupulous over that most sacred of relics, a Park Avenue address.
Returning to bookstores for the first time in three decades, BROTHERS KEEPERS offers not only a master class in comedy from one of the most beloved mystery writers of all time but also a surprisingly heartfelt meditation on loss, temptation, and how we treat our fellow man.
In this fast and easy comedy of errors first published in 1975 from MWA Grand Master Westlake (1933 2008), real estate developers cast avaricious eyes on the Manhattan monastery of the Crispinite Order of the Novum Mundum. Brother Benedict and the 15 other monks in the mendicant order scramble to save their home. They can't compete on the financial front. They can barely negotiate their way out of the neighborhood. Too many pages may be expended lovingly detailing street and train routes when the robed heroes go out to confront the developers, but one of their excursions introduces Benedict to Eileen Flattery, the daughter of the man who holds the deed to the property. Pursuit of Eileen eventually takes Benedict all the way to Puerto Rico. If this isn't a typical Westlake heist caper, the action does feature frantic searches for 100-year-old lease agreements, bugging devices, and a touch of burglary and arson. And what reader can resist the punning reference to "felonious monks"? Even a minor work such as this one from this gifted writer is an unalloyed pleasure.