"Emery skillfully blends homicide with wit, music, theology, [and] quirky characters." — Kirkus Reviews on Blood on a Saint
It’s 1989. The Troubles are raging in Ireland, bombs exploding in England. In this prequel to the Collins-Burke series, Father Brennan Burke is home in New York when news of his sister’s arrest in London sends him flying across the ocean. The family troubles deepen when Brennan’s cousin Conn is charged with the murder of a Special Branch detective and suspected in a terrorist plot against Westminster Abbey. The Burkes come under surveillance by the murdered cop’s partner and are caught in a tangle of buried family memories.
From the bullet-riddled bars of Belfast to an elegant English estate, Ruined Abbey combines a whodunit with a war story, love story, and historical novel, while exploring the eternal question: what is fair in love and war? It all starts with a ruined abbey.
Anne Emery is a lawyer and the award-winning author of the Collins-Burke Mystery series. Her first book, Sign of the Cross, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The fifth, Children in the Morning, won a silver medal in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards and the 2011 Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
“As the richly developed characters re-examine events from their own past, they discover IRA ties much closer than they knew. True to the Irish tradition of great storytelling, this is a mesmerizing tale full of twists that will keep readers riveted from the first page to the last.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review
“The eighth in the series, this winning mystery stands on its own . . . Readers who want a unique perspective on ‘the Troubles’ will want to grab a pint and pull up a stool next to any of the Burke clan. And fans of Emery’s earlier works will enjoy seeing Father Brennan in the bosom of his feisty Irish family.” — Booklist, starred review
“[Ruined Abbey] is a really tightly plotted historical with solid characters and the elegant style we expect from Emery.” — Globe and Mail
“Ruined Abbey is a terrific read by a Canadian author that is suspenseful to the final page.” — Winnipeg Free Press
“The Father Brennan Burke series moves to a higher plane with this instalment, set in London in 1989. This is a deft, entertaining lesson in Irish history that reveals how generations of the priest’s family have been shaped by centuries of conflict.” — Chronicle Herald
“It’s Emery’s voice and her characters that set her apart from other mystery writers: the world she creates is steeped in history, and she builds a story that spans centuries while never straying far from the Burkes’ experience . . . Ruined Abbey is filling reading, a full pub meal with a heady pint of Guinness; it is a meaningful read, but it is also fun.” — Scene Magazine