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Ralph McInerney

Born: 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Died: January 2010 in Mishawaka, Indiana

Pen Name: Monica Quill

Connection to Illinois: McInerney has written books based in Illinois - the Father Dowling series is based in Fox River, Illinois and his Sister Mary Teresa series written under the pen name of Monica Quill is about a 5'2'' 200-lb. nun in Chicago.

Biography: McInerney is a note philosopher and the author of more than 50 books - including many of the Father Dowling mystery series for which he received a lifetime achievement award from the Mystery Writers of America. He has also written under the pen name of Monical Quill. Writers of America.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Ralph McInerney on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

A cardinal offense /
ISBN: 0312112831 OCLC: 30703585

St. Martin's Press, New York : 1994.

In St. Hilary's rectory, Father Dowling meets with a husband seeking an annulment of his marriage. Then he meets with the wife who opposes it--they have been married 30 years. The husband is murdered and Father Dowling goes to work. By the author of Seed of Doubt.

Abracadaver /
ISBN: 0312025335 OCLC: 18558813

St. Martin's Press, New York : ©1989.

Roger Dowling, the compassionate priest of Fox River, Illinois, investigates the complex web of connections behind a ring used in a parish magic show, inscribed with the initials of a missing woman.

And then there was nun :
ISBN: 0814908799 OCLC: 10229458

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1984.

Ash Wednesday /
ISBN: 0312364563 OCLC: 214286007

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2008.

Father Dowling becomes entangled in a decade-old crime when he meets Nathaniel Green, returning home after being convicted of killing his terminally ill wife, and suspects that Green may not have committed the crime to which he confessed.

  Bishop as pawn /
ISBN: 0441062865 OCLC: 6589477

Charter, New York : ©1978.

Blood ties :
ISBN: 031233690X OCLC: 57530177

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2005.

When an adopted young woman's search for her birth parents leads to murder, Father Dowling and attorney Amos Cadbury risk the heartbreak and peace of two families as they seek the killer of Martha Lynch's biological father.

Death takes the veil and other stories /
ISBN: 0786231432 OCLC: 46683695

Five Star, Waterville, Me. : 2001.

A collection of short stories featuring septuagenarian nun Sister Mary Teresa Dempsey of the Order of Mary and Martha, better known as "Emtee" or "Attila the Nun."

Desert sinner /
ISBN: 0373261586 OCLC: 26261744

St. Martin's Press, New York : 1992.

"Desert Sinner is the fifteenth mystery to feature Roger Dowling, the shrewd and compassionate priest of Fox River, Illinois. Ralph McInerny's novels are known for their subtle humor, humanity, grasp of religious issues, and Dowling's instinctively accurate sleuthing. In Desert Sinner, a former Las Vegas showgirl named Stacey Wilson is jailed for the murder of her husband, Marvin, a rich playboy whose marriage to the showgirl was a local scandal. Stacey staunchly claims innocence; despite a life sentence, she refuses to disclose her whereabouts on the murder day. While the police see the case as closed, Father Dowling, uncomfortable with the verdict, privately seeks the truth. Sin, innocence, and their linked consequences are played out by a varied cast of characters, in an absorbing plot that Father Dowling's readers will enjoy"--Dust jacket flap.

Four on the floor /
ISBN: 0373261543 OCLC: 31236604

Worldwide, Toronto ; [1994]

  Getting a way with murder.
ISBN: 1852837063 OCLC: 28584258

Boxtree, 1992.

Grave undertakings :
ISBN: 0312203098 OCLC: 42786176

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2000.

When the body of a murdered mobster is stolen from its grave, Father Roger Dowling tries to discover whether the body's disappearance is related to the mobster's mysterious death.

Half past nun :
ISBN: 0312155417 OCLC: 36372321

St. Martin's Press, New York : 1997.

Sister Mary Teresa hunts a serial killer in Chicago. The novel is as much about murder, as about feminism, the use of computers in convents and the aging of the orders. By the author of Let Us Prey.

Her death of cold /
ISBN: 0814907814 OCLC: 2786545

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1977.

Last things :
ISBN: 031230899X OCLC: 51511011

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : ©2003.

Enlisted by the head of a local family to help her niece relinquish her ambitions for more earthly pursuits, Father Dowling becomes enmeshed in the family's edgy interrelations, which are marked by an unsolved murder.

  Lying three /
ISBN: 0441505155 OCLC: 7159855

Charter, New York : 1980, ©1979.

  Not a blessed thing! :
ISBN: 0814908497 OCLC: 7282201

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1981.

Nun of the above :
ISBN: 0814908993 OCLC: 11621718

Vanguard Press, New York, N.Y. : ©1985.

Nun plussed :
ISBN: 0312098901 OCLC: 28338666

St. Martin's Press, New York : 1993.

A former student of Sister Mary Theresa has been murdered, and her estranged husband pleads guilty, to the surprise of their friends, but when a second related murder occurs, the Chicago nun sets out to trap the true killer.

Prodigal father :
ISBN: 0312291299 OCLC: 48517495

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2002.

During a spiritual retreat on the grounds of a declining religious order, Father Dowling finds himself investigating the murder of a man on the property and discovers that the case is complicated by a long-standing real-estate dispute.

Requiem for a realtor :
ISBN: 0312324170 OCLC: 54374559

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2004.

Father Dowling confronts an ethical dilemma when one of his parishioners reveals information in confidence about a troubled marriage, and the parishioner's spouse later becomes the victim of a brutal hit-and-run "accident" that could be murder.

Rest in pieces /
ISBN: 0814909051 OCLC: 12135646

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1985.

Father Dowling must see through the havoc of Latin American politics, liberation, theology, terrorism, and cocaine in the quiet little town of Fox River.

Second vespers /
ISBN: 0441757243 OCLC: 8043716

Charter, New York : 1981.

Seed of doubt /
ISBN: 0312093810 OCLC: 27728719

While Father Dowling investigates the death of a wealthy dowager, a second death occurs as the family squabbles over the contents of her will.

  Sine qua nun :
ISBN: 0814909264 OCLC: 14130385

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1986.

The sister investigates the murders of a sleazy author and a tv interviewer.

Sister Hood :
ISBN: 0312046022 OCLC: 22984740

"When Donna Moran leaves Chicago, it's as the daughter of Iggie Moran, a businessman with a shady background and a reputed drug kingpin. When she returns, she is Sister Mary Magdalene of the reclusive Carmelite order, called to testify before a grand jury in a sensational murder trial that touches her father. Sister Mary Teresa Dempsey of the declining order of Martha and Mary offers to shelter the controversial nun. But the M & M's Frank Lloyd Wright--designed home on Walton Street becomes a madhouse, besieged by the media, police, and curious onlookers. When her guest disappears after an early-morning Mass, Emtee Dempsey and her sister nuns Kim and Joyce mount their own investigation--only to unravel a tangled family history that may expose a murderer."--Book jacket.

  The basket case /
ISBN: 0312911572 OCLC: 18121392

St. Martin's Press, New York : 1988, ©1987.

The grass widow /
ISBN: 0814908667 OCLC: 9154300

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1983.

Clare O'Leary comes to see Father Dowling claiming that she has run away from her husband because he was planning to kill her.

The prudence of the flesh /
ISBN: 0312351445 OCLC: 63660829

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2006.

Father Dowling comes to the aid of Gregory Barret, a former classmate who had left the priesthood twenty-five years earlier, when he is sued by a woman alleging that he had sexually exploited her as a child, a case that is complicated by the son she claims is his.

The seventh station /
ISBN: 0814907873 OCLC: 3370511

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1977.

Father Roger Dowling, reluctant detective and weary parish priest, is back. His hopes for a quiet retreat in the country are shattered when one of his companions is murdered. Police Captain Keegan needs his help, so Father Dowling puts his keen mind to work. Will the priest identify the killer before he, himself, becomes a victim?

The tears of things /
ISBN: 0312147465 OCLC: 34722009

St. Martin's Press, New York : 1996.

In the 17th Father Dowling mystery, the plot deals with adoption and murder. At its center is a woman born out of wedlock. The mother gave her up for adoption and she may have been adopted by the father.

The veil of ignorance /
ISBN: 0312023081 OCLC: 17982526

St. Martin's Press, New York : ©1988.

The widow's mate :
ISBN: 0312364555 OCLC: 122526989

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2007.

The discovery of the mangled body of Wallace Flanagan in one of his father's cement mixers sends Father Dowling on an investigation into the secret past of the victim, the heir to a lucrative concrete business, who supposedly had left town more than a decade earlier.

The wisdom of Father Dowling /
ISBN: 1594146799 OCLC: 249134645

Five Star, Detroit, MI : 2009.

Presents fifteen short stories featuring amateur sleuth Father Dowling.

Thicker than water /
ISBN: 0814908586 OCLC: 7572676

Vanguard Press, New York : ©1981.

Thou shalt not kill :
ISBN: 0451172981 OCLC: 26228110

Signet, New York, N.Y. : ©1992.

Triple pursuit :
ISBN: 031226948X OCLC: 45087047

St. Martin's Minotaur, New York : 2001.

St. Hillary's Father Dowling investigates the death of a young woman killed in traffic. Meanwhile, the rivalry between elderly suitors threatens to disrupt the peaceful parish.