In Memoriam – Father Andrew Greeley

Beloved U.S. author Father Andrew Greeley has passed away at the age of 85.  Perhaps best known for his hugely popular Blackie Ryan mystery series, he was also the acclaimed author of several family sagas and many Catholic related non-fiction titles.

His writing career ended prematurely in 2008, after a bizarre taxi cab accident left him with brain trauma.

The character of Father Blackie Ryan first won the hearts of readers in 1985’s Virgin and Martyr (M). The series continues on for a total of 18 entries, ending with 2008’s The Archbishop in Andalusia (M).

“Taking leave of his usual Chicago haunts, Archbishop John Blackwood Ryan travels to the south of Spain in this latest mystery by bestselling author Andrew M. Greeley. Ostensibly “Blackie” is in the historic city of Seville to attend a conference on American philosophy, but a far more critical assignment also requires his attention. The local cardinal has summoned the wily archbishop to Spain in hopes that Blackie can avert a murder before it happens. The threat of violence hangs ominously over the regal palace of a family of wealthy Spanish aristocrats. Dona Teresa, a pious widow whose exotic beauty unsettles even Blackie, finds herself beset by avaricious relatives determined to control her life and fortune. A tangled web of obligations, traditions, and frustrated sexual desires binds the family together even as they bitterly contend against one another”

A Midwinter’s Tale (M) is the first entry in the O’Malley family saga.

“Charles “Chucky” Cronin is a short, wisecracking clerk typist with flaming red hair in the First Constabulary Regiment in Bamberg. All Chucky wants out of life is to go to his beloved Notre Dame, become an accountant, and have a nice orderly life, but the Deity seems to have other plans for him. Again and again his courage and compassion get him into impossible scrapes — with black marketeers, border patrols, his commanding officer, and the U.S. Army — and only his trademark combination of quick wit and blind luck (and maybe a little Heavenly intervention) see him safely out of harm’s way. He may yet make it back home to a certain Rosemary Clancy in one piece after all, and wouldn’t that be grand, don’t ya know?”

Common Ground : a priest and a rabbi read Scripture together (M)
by Andrew M. Greeley and Jacob Neusner

“In Common Ground Father Andrew Greeley and Rabbi Jacob Neusner present their characteristically candid – and often provocative – interpretations of the history, context, and meaning of scripture. Written in alternating chapters, Common Ground reveals how a Rabbi understands Christ, Mary, and St Paul, and how a priest views creation, Abraham and Sarah, and the prophets. Neusner calls upon the ancient Rabbinic approach to scripture – the conversational dialogue of “Midrash” – while Greeley creatively renews the narrative tradition of Christianity”

May he rest in peace.

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