With the Fighting Irish set to square off against Georgia Tech, Roger Knight, the rotund professor of Catholic studies, and his brother Philip, a semi-retired P.I., know that Notre Dame fans will be out in force. The faithful swear that on game day the entire campus comes alive to cheer on the football team, and they don’t have to look any further than Touchdown Jesus or Fair Catch Corby, a statue of a Civil War chaplain who seems to be signaling another pass completion, for proof, misguided as it may be.
But this year, this friendly and sometimes heated North-South rivalry turns downright hostile when Notre Dame’s ties to the Union during the Civil War are dug up, and two students, brothers and Southern gentlemen, are spurred to defend their honor with a prank nearly 150 years after the fact. While they both admit to being the culprit, only one of them could’ve actually committed the vandalism. But which one? By stretching one alibi over two people, they may dodge expulsion. But then they become suspects in a seemingly unrelated murder case that the Knights must solve, or else getting thrown out will be the least of the boys’ problems.
Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Award winner Ralph McInerny’s Irish Alibi is a great addition to this stellar series, in which the past, no matter how distant, is never forgotten and always poised to rise again.