Lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins is used to defending murderers—and occasionally investigating murders himself—but he's never come up against anything like the case of Reinhold Schellenberg, a world-renowned German theologian who has been found dead on the altar of an old church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saint Cecilia's day. The controversial priest, once a top insider in the Vatican, was known to provoke strong feelings in Catholics of all ideological stripes, and now those feelings have overflowed with horrifying results. At least Monty knows where to look for clues; his friend Father Brennan Burke has just opened a choir school at the church, and the students provide an international cast of suspects—including a flamboyant Sicilian priest, an eccentric English monk, a disgruntled American, a Vatican enforcer, a church lady with a history of violence, and, most perplexing of all, a police officer from the former East Berlin.
Anne Emery is a graduate of Dalhousie Law School who has worked as a lawyer, a legal affairs reporter, and a researcher. She is the author of Barrington Street Blues, Obit, and Sign of the Cross, winner of the 2006 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
"The large pool of suspects from around the globe ensure a challenging whodunit. Readers interested in the history and impact of the Vatican II reforms will be especially rewarded." “Publishers Weekly
"Emery has increased the complexity of her plot this time out, and Monty, as always, is endearingly flawed...The strongest reason to read Cecilian Vespers is for its expansive yet playful nature." “Quill & Quire
"Emery continues to imbue her stories with a strong sense of place, using real Halifax street names and plenty of affectionate descriptions of the weather and countryside. Series readers will be pleased with the new story and character developments, as will those looking for a fresh setting." “Booklist
"This remarkable mystery is flawlessly composed, intricately plotted, and will have readers hooked to the very last page." “Chronicle-Herald, Halifax, Nova Scotia
"A sparkling novel...Emery has continued her winning ways." “Waterloo Region Record
"The strong depth of plot, setting, mood and tone is evidence that the author has grown in her capacity to capture and convey a solid story...Emery has a good thing going." “Atlantic Books Today
"One of the most intriguing character pairings in contemporary Canadian crime fiction, [Cecilian Vespers] is a rewarding sojourn." “Scene Magazine
"Anne Emery has already won one Arthur Ellis Award for her first Monty Collins mystery, and this one should get her on the short list for another. Cecilian Vespers is slick, smart and populated with lively characters. It's also a nicely crafted mystery." “Globe and Mail