Sham Rock

The University of Notre Dame relies on Roger Knight, the rotund professor of Catholic Studies, and his brother Philip, a semiretired PI, to investigate certain delicate situations that could put the school in a bad light. Students, faculty, and alumni, like David Williams, are all fair game.

Having been a successful financial adviser until recently, David has returned to campus to renege on a pledged donation to the university’s ethics program. While he’s there, one of his former classmates sends a letter confessing to the murder and a secret burial of one of their closest friends, a student who had gone missing decades before and was never found. As students, David, Patrick, and Timothy made up the “Trinity,” an irreverent nickname for three close friends and fierce rivals---be it for on-campus prestige or the affections of a beautiful St. Mary’s student from across the road.

Ready to help the school put the whole sordid tragedy behind them, Roger and Philip set about the sad task of unearthing Timothy’s body, only to find that they have a much bigger mystery with which to contend.

With rivalries rekindled and the brothers Knight digging into the university’s past, Sham Rock, the latest in Ralph McInerny’s well-loved mystery series, is as witty and charming as ever


Read an Excerpt

Sham Rock
PART ONEBURYING THE HATCHET1FROM AN AISLE SEAT ON THE LEFT side of the plane, David Williams had an imperfect vision of the campus as they descended toward the South Bend airport. The lady in the window seat pressed her face to the glass, all but obscuring his view. No matter. He sat back with a wry smile, remembering all the times he had come along this flight path in his own plane, always taking the controls for the landing once he had feasted his eyes on the Notre Dame campus. He felt like a Roman general who had fought one too many campaigns. There would be no triumphal welcome


Praise for Sham Rock

Praise for Ralph McInerny’s Mysteries Set at the University of Notre Dame

“McInerny produces a lively mix of institutional history and criticism with colorful individual foibles. The end result should please.”
---Publishers Weekly on The Green Revolution

“No Notre Dame alumnus . . . will want to miss it.”
---Kirkus Reviews on Irish Alibi

“The wit and wisdom of the two brothers and vivid descriptions of the Notre Dame campus enhance a twisty plot that will delight McInerny’s devoted fans.”
---Publishers Weekly on Irish Alibi

“Mr. McInerny creates a pleasantly malicious microcosm for the antics that follow.”
---The Wall Street Journal on Green Thumb

“Most readers will be converted to die-hard Notre Dame fans and possibly Catholicism.”
---Kirkus Reviews on Irish Coffee

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Ralph McInerny

  • RALPH McINERNY is the author of more than fifty books, including the popular Father Dowling series, and has taught for over fifty years at the University of Notre Dame, where he is the director of the Jacques Maritain Center. He has been awarded the Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Award and appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. He lives in South Bend, Indiana.
  • Ralph McInerny Photo: Matt Cashore


Available Formats and Book Details

Sham Rock

Roger and Philip Knight Mysteries Set at the Univ. of Notre Dame

Ralph McInerny

  • e-Book



Minotaur Books