The Widow's Mate

Father Dowling Mysteries (Volume 26)

Ralph McInerny

Minotaur Books

Father Dowling is a dedicated parish priest who happens to have a knack for unraveling the mysteries of the real world as well as those of heaven, but the latest puzzle to catch his attention---the disappearance of Wallace Flanagan---doesn’t seem to be a mystery so much as a dirty little secret. By all appearances, Flanagan, the heir to a lucrative concrete business, skipped town with his mistress more than ten years ago, although no one talks about that out of respect for his abandoned wife. But appearances go right out the window when his mangled---and recently live---body is found wedged into one of his father’s cement mixers.

If Flanagan’s unexpected return and immediate death aren’t enough to shake a few skeletons from their closets, childhood friends and lifelong enemies have started trickling home to Fox River, Illinouis, a town outside of Chicago. All of them had a stake in his disappearance, but which one would murder a man who was already all but dead? And would kill again to keep a dead man’s secrets?

A collision between the past and present dislodges some hard and hidden truths that Father Dowling must uncover if he’s going to catch a killer in Ralph McInerny’s The Widow’s Mate, an absorbing and suspenseful mystery that is sure to please Father Dowling’s many fans.


Read an Excerpt

Chapter One Amos Cadbury had come to the St. Hilary rectory to advise Father Dowling on a matter of parish business, overriding the protests of the pastor. "Amos, you must be the only lawyer in Fox River who makes house calls." "Well, aren't you grateful," Marie Murkin fumed. Loyal as she was to Father Dowling, the housekeeper's regard for the patrician lawyer was on a very high level indeed. "I am told the parish center is full of lovely widows," Amos said with a smile. Marie was almost shocked. Amos had lost his wife ten years ago and, in a tasteful way, had been mourning


Praise for The Widow's Mate

Praise for Ralph McInerny's Father Dowling Mysteries

"You don't have to go to church to worship mystery lovers' esteemed Father Dowling."
---Entertainment Weekly
"Father Dowling is not the average priest, one who dispenses homilies and easy nostrums. He has been through the mill himself, is tough, and yet has compassion…the Catholic equivalent of Harry Kemelman's David Small."
---The New York Times Book Review
"Mystery at its bloodless, cerebral best…Dowling is the perfect father confessor, dealing with moral dilemmas and the weakness of man with compassion and understanding."
---Chicago Tribune

"McInerny keeps readers on edge….A deservedly popular series."
---Publishers Weekly on Grave Undertakings
"Steeped in human drama and spiritual significance… Father Dowling's down-to-earth demeanor will appeal, as always, to a variety of readers who enjoy mysteries with a religious twist."
---Booklist on Triple Pursuit
"McInerny's nimble characterizations and subtle soundings of the moral issues make this a strong entry in the long-running series."
---Publishers Weekly on Blood Ties

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Ralph McInerny

  • RALPH MCINERNY is the author of more than forty books, including the beloved Father Dowling mysteries and a popular mystery series set at the University of Notre Dame, where he has taught for more than fifty years. Recipient of the Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement Award, he lives in South Bend, Indiana.
  • Ralph McInerny Photo: Matt Cashore


Available Formats and Book Details

The Widow's Mate

Father Dowling Mysteries

Ralph McInerny

  • e-Book



Minotaur Books