When an autopsy finds traces of the banned insecticide Chlordane in the anointing oil on the corpse of a local big-wig, Pittsburgh police bring Lupa Schwartz, an outspoken non-believer, into an investigation focused on a well-liked local clergyman.  Worried that the police are planning to use him as a political fall-guy, Schwartz coerces Cattleya Hoskin, a magazine reporter with a connection to his family’s past, to chronicle his process and squelch any misgiving that his world-view influenced the outcome.

Suspicion in the case is focused on Fr. Coneely, an outspoken euthanasia advocate who had earlier made the mistake of telling the family of the now-dead man that, hypothetically, he could safely apply poison-laden oil to their suffering father during last rites, and nobody need be the wiser. Was Mr. Hanson the willing victim of a mercy killing, or was a lapsing insurance policy the real motive for one of Hanson’s five children to taint the oil?


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  • mystery atheist detective Pittsburgh Catholic sacrament poison
    Language: English / Published: 30 June 2014

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    J. David Core

    With a profound interest in religion, politics and humor, Dave began writing in High School and has not given up on it since. He has been traditionally and self-published in a variety of genres. He resides in his childhood home in Ohio with his beautiful girlfriend and teenage daughter. He enjoys participating in local community events and visiting with his two adult children and his grandkids.

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