Since The Da Vinci Code, novelists have been trying to outdo Dan Brown with plots to rock the foundations of the beliefs of 1 billion Roman Catholics, but have had no discernible effect on Holy Mother Church. What became of Jesus, who lived and died a Jew, is a moot question.
Catholicism grew and expanded, had its ups and downs, as pope follows pope. And there are novelists who write positively about the “True Faith”. Among them is Canadian Louise Penny. Her niche in literature is detective thrillers set inside churches. In the process, she traces Roman Catholic practices.
Penny tells you more than you may wish to know and doesn’t care for condensing. If ever a 500-page story deserved to be 350 pages, The Beautiful Mystery is it. It has two plots: finding who battered in the skull of a monk at a monastery in the Canadian wilderness; and a course in
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