Monday, June 3, 2013

LIAR, LIAR, PANTS ON FIRE

Guess I must have been bored today. I came across the following Wall Street Journal article from march 29, 2005:

http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB111206500829391682-email,00.html

One paragraph in particular caught my eye:

"But rest assured she can cut the motor on her enthusiasm when necessary. 'I give Ralph McInerny, the author of the 'Father Dowling' mysteries, a low rating and tell why I can't stand the books,' says Ms. Klausner, who's contributed reviews to Amazon since 2000. 'It's basically the same story over and over.'"

Really Harriet? Funny how that isn't reflected on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Last-Things-Father-Dowling-Mystery/dp/031230899X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370302463&sr=1-1&keywords=father+dowling+mysteries+books


5.0 out of 5 stars
A very entertaining amateur sleuth novel
July 2, 2003
By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
Father Roger Dowling, the priest of St. Hilary's church in Fox River, Illinois, is rather shocked when Eleanor Wygnant who is not a member of his congregation, asks him to stop Jessica Bernardo from writing a book about her family. Realizing that Jessica's doings are not his concerns, he refuses to talk to the woman. The Bernardos are going through a difficult time of it right now with the patriarch of the family hospitalized and not expected to survive.
His son Raymond, who he hasn't seen in a decade, returns home knowing that his father despises his for leaving the priesthood and running away to California with a woman he later marries. Eleanor is worried that once Raymond's father dies, the love letter she wrote him during an affair will become public and hurt her sister-in-law. Raymond's younger brother Andrew, a college teacher with tenure is being held in jail on a homicide charge. Father Dowling doesn't think Andrew is guilty and sets about to prove it.

LAST THINGS is a very entertaining amateur sleuth novel starring a protagonist who is so likable readers will feel an immediate bond with him. Much of this novel is a relationship drama starring the Bernardo family and it is only the last quarter when the mystery really takes off. In fact, this is one Father Dowling mystery in which the popular priest plays a secondary albeit important role. Ralph McInerny has written another pleasing who done it.

Harriet Klausner

http://www.amazon.com/Prodigal-Father-Dowling-Mystery-Mysteries/dp/0312291299/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370306645&sr=1-2&keywords=father+dowling+mysteries+books


4.0 out of 5 stars
Father Dowling flock will enjoy
July 8, 2002
By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
Father Roger Dowling leaves St. Hilary's Parish for his annual retreat with the Athanasians, a Catholic religious order that includes seven aging priests with no new blood in years. Though the long-term outlook appears to be the same as what happened to the Shakers, the small order owns the rights to Marygrove, a grand estate near Chicago given to the Athanasians by a late business mogul.
However, the very value of the property makes Marygrove in demand by avarice phonies including the grandson of the order's late benefactor. All of these souls want to use the estate for personal gain. Though each one of these outsiders will do almost anything to obtain an advantage, one of them resorts to murder, killing two people. Father Dowling investigates the homicides in an effort to determine who broke the Commandment and to thwart any other slayings.

The insight into a small dying religious order and their secular squabbles provide interesting depth to the who-done-it story line. Though Father Dowling remains a charming character he seems less sharp in PRODIGAL FATHER than usual perhaps because Mrs. Murkin is not around much to murky the waters. Still the Father Dowling flock will enjoy his latest amateur sleuth tale.

Harriet Klausner

http://www.amazon.com/Ash-Wednesday-Father-Dowling-Mysteries/dp/0312364563/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370306638&sr=1-3&keywords=father+dowling+mysteries+books


5.0 out of 5 stars
thought provoking Father Dowling mystery
August 9, 2008
By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
On Ash Wednesday, just out of prison Nathaniel Green, who killed his wife ten years ago when he pulled the plug on the life support machine so she could go to heaven, asks the pastor of St. Hilary's if he will put ashes on his forehead though he is no longer a Catholic. He gave up on religion when his beloved Florence suffered from terminal cancer and kept alive by so called caring people when she just wanted to die.

Nathaniel and Florence belonged to St. Hilary before he committed euthanasia. Some people especially Florence's sister do not want to turn the other cheek and let him return to the flock. They condemn him for murdering his spouse quoting the bible and the Ten Commandments. On the other hand Father Dowling understands why a human would act mercifully to end the suffering of a loved one although he feels deeply that it is still is a sin. As the parish divides over the issue of mercy killing, Dowling begins to see some incongruence in what he hears happened a decade ago; as he quietly investigates he begins to wonder if Nathaniel actually pulled the plug or is covering for someone.

This is a thought provoking Father Dowling mystery; perhaps the best in years as everyday people struggle with the difficult and complex issue of euthanasia; the St. Hilary congregation is divided over the subject and the killer. The story line is fast-paced once the whisper campaign begins that Green is out of prison and home and never slows down as he is shunned while he reads Crime and Punishment seeking absolution, but for what asks Father Dowling?

Harriet Klausner

http://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Father-Dowling-Mystery-ebook/dp/B003RWSB9U/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370307687&sr=1-6&keywords=father+dowling+mysteries

4.0 out of 5 stars
fine compilation
January 29, 2009
By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
This anthology contains fourteen stories published between 1995 and 1998, and one entry in 2000. The usual players besides the title lead character show up as does his housekeeper Marie, and police captain Phil Keegan. All take place in Fox River, Illinois in or near St. Hilary's church. Each tale is well written and fun to read with Father Dowling's usual amusing asides and witty intelligent commentaries on life enhance the collection. The short story format is a terrific method for the Father Dowling mysteries as he provides his compassionate solace to the flock and others while also solving cases that prove to the reader to kill or steal is human, but to catch the felon is divine. Fans of the series will fully appreciate this fine compilation of the short cases of Father Dowling as the format is heavenly.

Harriet Klausner

http://www.amazon.com/Prudence-Flesh-Father-Dowling-Mysteries/dp/0312351445/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1370307687&sr=1-11

4.0 out of 5 stars
fine whodunit
August 24, 2006
By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Hardcover
NPR host of End Notes Gregory Barrett visits his former seminary classmate Father Dowling for the first time in years seeking his help. Apparently, a woman he swears he never met Madeline Murphy has just been led to remember that he sexually abused her when he still was a priest and claims he is the father of her child. Dowling thinks that is quite a memory gap as Gregory left the priesthood twenty-five years ago. Madeline is suing Gregory and the archdiocese.

Dowling has doubts that Barrett sired Murphy's child, but agrees to look into the matter as he knows that most people today prefer to believe the priest is guilty of being a sexual predator. Also looking into the accusations is wannabe author Ned Bunting, who is working on a tell-all exposure book about the church sexual scandals. Not long after meeting with Barrett, Father Dowling learns that Bunting was murdered and fears his friend might be the culprit; but if not Barrett, most likely another priest fearing exposure.

Although the topic is interesting and clearly current, twisting the story line from the relevancy to a murder mystery adds suspense but leaves the key players (besides Dowling), Barrett, Murphy, and Bunting, underdeveloped. Thus Father Dowling works his magic, but concentrates more so on the homicide than on whether a priest acted as a sexual predator. Well written as always, THE PRUDENCE OF FLESH is one of those could have been great, but instead is a fine whodunit for series fans only.

Harriet Klausner

8 comments:

Sneaky Burrito said...

Haha. Good find, CP! Can't say I'm surprised -- Harriet isn't known for her honesty.

Chick Pilot said...

Thanks Sneaky.

I love this quote from the article: "Friends encourage her to get a hobby, to develop some new interests. One pal recently gave her a combination VCR-DVD player with the directive to "go to a new venue." "It was a great present," says Ms. Klausner. "It's still in the box."


Yuh Huh...not as easy to resell a VCR-DVD player on Half.com.

I'm also curious about the reference to her papa working for McGraw-Hill. This is the only time I think this "fact" has been referenced, as far as I can tell. It certainly was not mentioned in then infamous Time article. Odd, to say the least. Maybe he delivered mail to McGraw-Hill. My dad and grandpa were pharmacists. Does that mean I'm allowed to claim they worked for Pfizer?

Sneaky Burrito said...

The Wikipedia "talk" page is quite interesting with respect to what's been verified and what hasn't:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Harriet_Klausner

Harriet does too use the DVD player. She makes movie references all the time. Sure, they're not quite right, and she may have been "speed reading" while she watched the movies, but it's likely she's at least seen a lot of movies. (Though we all know she puts the book down when Harry Reems shows up on screen.)

There's a picture of my dad's Boy Scout Troop (my grandpa was a scout leader) with Harry Truman. Later, my dad had a truck route where he picked up laundry from Bess Truman. Surely that means my dad can claim to have been in the President's inner circle, no?

Malleus said...

Oh yeah, well, all these media stories about HK are probably just shilling for the shill by the publishing industry. She's so obviously a fraud, I can't allow that someone would praise her innocently. It's impossible, she's too in your face.

Bev said...

I love this part of the article:

"On more than one occasion, she says, publishers have approached her to push the envelope -- to write a novel of her own. "I think it's sweet as can be that they ask. It's just not something I could do.""

Well, whaddaya know? HK and I actually agree on something!

Bev said...

I guess HK's *capable* of telling the truth, just chooses not to most of the time...

Chick Pilot said...

Sneaky,

Do you pronounce your home state Missouri (as in wheeeee!) or Missouruh (as in duh...I live in Missouruh). My lovely elderly neighbor (born and raised in MO) always pronounced it the second way and I find myself pronouncing it that way also. Kinda' like east coasters pronouncing my neighbor state Oregone (as in I've gone to Oregone).

Sneaky Burrito said...

Nope, I say it the first way. This is sometimes the subject of debate back home.

My mom says it the second way but I figure it's because her father grew up in a little town in the Ozarks. There were a couple of other odd things he'd say ("warsh" instead of "wash" and "cain't" and "purtneer").