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Notre Dame Books In Order

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Publication Order of Notre Dame Books

On This Rockne (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lack of the Irish (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irish Tenure (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Kills (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Emerald Aisle (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Celt and Pepper (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irish Coffee (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Green Thumb (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irish Gilt (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Letter Killeth (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Irish Alibi (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Green Revolution (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sham Rock (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon

The Notre Dame Series is a set of novels by Ralph McInerny who was been a medieval studies and professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame for decades. He was also known as the author of the “Father Dowling,” “Sister Mary Teresa,” “Andrew Broom,” “Egidio Manfredi,” and “Rosary Chronicles” series alongside several freestanding novels. Teaching at Notre Dame from 1955 until 2009 when he retired, he was known as a lecturer, author, and scholar who was a specialist of the works of 13th-century philosopher and theologian St Thomas Aquinas. From 1978 to 1985, he directed Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute and also lectured and wrote on medical philosophy, philosophy of religion and ethics. He was also known as a prolific author with more than 100 titles to his name. His debut novel was the 1977 published “Her Death of Cold” that was the first of his critically acclaimed and popular “Father Dowling Mysteries.” McInerny published the last of the Father Dowling mystery series with “Stained Glass” in 2009 while the last novel featuring the Knight Brothers made famous by the Notre Dame Series was “Sham Rock” published in 2010. What made the professor so extraordinary is that he was able to publish exceptional academic works alongside critically acclaimed and popular fictional mysteries.

Ralph McInerny was born in Minneapolis and served in the Marines from 1946 to 1947 before he quit to go back to school. He attended St Paul Seminary in Minnesota, where he got his bachelor’s degree in 1951. By 1952, he has his masters from the University of Minnesota and then went to Laval University in Quebec, from where he got his philosophy doctorate in 1954. For a year, he lived in Omaha where he was a lecturer at Creighton University before he got a teaching position at the University Of Notre Dame in 1955. McInerny had six children with his wife Constance who died in 2002 while he died in 2010 aged 80.

The Notre Dame Series features two brothers; Philip Knight a New York private investigator who works with his morbidly obese brother Roger Knight to resolve a range of mysteries. Roger is a philosophy professor who teaches at Notre Dame in South Bend Indiana. Notre Dame leans on the Knight Brothers to help investigate mysteries that range from the strangulation of an event coordinator Hazel Nootin, Amanda a passionate and well-liked left-leaning lecturer and the murder of university trustees among many other mysteries. The two detectives complement each other’s skills as Roger knows the workings and people of Notre Dame while Phil is a trained investigator who can get information from some of the most difficult witnesses and cases devoid of any meaningful clues. Of course, the fact that most of the mysteries are set in Notre Dame in which the author knows a lot makes for interesting stories. His familiarity with Notre Dame gives a nostalgic mood about the college as seen through the work of the Knight Brothers.

“On This Rockne” is the first novel of the Notre Dame series. It opens to a football obsessed campus of Notre Dame, where a wealthy alumnus named Bramble who is obsessed with the sport has pledged $10 million. His contribution has conditions though as he says he will only pay if the university builds a memorial to the legendary football coach Knute Rockne that had led Notre Dame to many titles. Things get very interesting when a Notre Dame trustee named Madeline Rune turns up dead. She had made disparaging remarks about the donations and hence when the police start their investigations, her womanizing husband and Bramble are top of the suspects’ list. But when the husband is found murdered too, the case becomes even more complicated. The university calls upon Roger Knight the brilliant philosophy professor and his brother detective Philip Knight to help catch the killer. As they investigate, they soon find themselves in a high stakes struggle between Notre Dame Academia who are determined to destroy football and one of their biggest donors who wants nothing but to honor Knute Rockne. While the bitter camps fight it out, the brothers need to up their game and stop the killer’s next play before he turns football into a blood sport.

“Lack of the Irish” the second novel of the series is still set at the University Of Notre Dame. There is a lot of anticipation about an upcoming game against the preeminent Protestant college Baylor University which will be going against the catholic footballing powerhouse of Notre Dame. Ironically, the date set for the big game is Reformation Day. It is the date when Martin Luther had nailed his famous 95 on the door of a small church in the small town of Wittenberg in Germany. Off the field, the academics have been making preparations for a doctrinal symposium, where participants from the two rival schools will be debating the merits of their theologies. But the organizers soon learn that some pastor is planning to protest the game in trying to make a statement that the Protestants were superior to the Catholics. She is hoping that by doing so she can incite enough religious passion that will overshadow the football. There are sparks flying all over the place and even the campus coordinator is drawn into it. She believes that it is up to her to do everything in her power to make the work of the event organizers as hard as possible. When she turns up dead a few days to the day of the big match, there are just too many suspects.

“Irish Tenure” the third novel of the Notre Dame series by Ralph McInerny is about Hans Wiener and Amanda Pick of the philosophy department of the University Of Notre Dame. The two young scholars are competing for a tenured position and these situations can get quite messy. Both are friends of Roger Knight, a private detective who is witness to the cutthroat competition that unearths a lot of the secrets the two professors have in their closets. Amanda is a well-liked teacher who takes a liberal and passionate approach to learning while Hans is a more conservative teacher. Both perspectives have their proponents and opponents but when Amanda Pick is murdered, it becomes clear that she had aroused the ire of some people. In the meantime, speculation is building about the authenticity of a manuscript believed to have been authored by G.K. Chesterton who had once been a researcher at Notre Dame. How could he be tied into the death of the young professor Amanda? The spotlight also falls on Sean Pottery who is a leading scholar at Chesterton that had been romancing the ill-fated professor.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Notre Dame

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