Author: David Carlson

ISBN: 978-1-60381-393-8 (PB)

ISBN: 978-1-60381-394-5 (eBook)

Lieutenant Christopher Worthy, a plodding, thoughtful, homicide detective, and Father Nicholas Fortis, a Greek Orthodox, problem-solving monk, unexpectedly meet again in Venice, Italy. Third in a series of action-packed murder mysteries, LET THESE BONES LIVE AGAIN has as its driving theme the medieval practice of salvaging bones of saints for posterity. After a conference in Rome, Father Fortis was asked to look into the theft of relics from Venetian churches. Meanwhile, Worthy has been asked by a prominent Detroit family to investigate the alleged suicide of an automaker visiting the city.  The two like to work together and help each other solve crimes, but this time the partnership is complicated by the presence of Worthy’s daughter Allyson, who has an international student internship with the Venice policia. She is assigned to look at crimes against American tourists, but gets the extra opportunity to also look at two visiting Americans’ recent suicides, including the one her father is investigating. What seems to link the suicides is cancer and similar, puzzling, recent, double incisions. Allyson proceeds cautiously, knowing she may be stepping on her father’s toes just as they are mending a fragile relationship. In her attempt to do her work independently, she gets involved with young Venetians who enjoy the nightclub circuit, and is lured along the murky canals toward a vicious killer.

Carlson has for a third time given readers a colorful and deeply felt Catholic background on which to follow an intriguing plot that informs us of the history of religion, specifically, the distinction between the two great Christian churches, Catholic and Orthodox. ENTER BY THE NARROW GATE (Book 1) is set in northern New Mexico where the history of penitentes is secretly kept alive and where Fortis must depend upon his friend to save him.  LET THE DEAD BURY THE DEAD (Book 2) takes place in urban Detroit following the strangulation of an Orthodox priest who was caught between factions within his own congregation.  

Each of the three main characters is recognizable by familiar human weaknesses and fears. Worthy (aptly named) is made more self-aware by his friendship with Fortis (Latin for “brave”). “Nick” would be somewhat naïve without the worldliness of “Chris.” The author, the father of sons, accurately imagines the dangers to a daughter who has run away from home after her parents’ divorce, then returns, and now needs her space.

In these mystery novels, Carlson draws from his knowledge of political science and theology gained from his undergraduate years at Wheaton College, as a Baptist seminarian, and at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland (New Testament Studies). He became particularly interested in Catholic-Orthodox relations and Christian-Muslim dialogue. A professor at Franklin College in Indiana since 1978, his current focus in research, writing and speaking is religious terrorism. PEACE BE WITH YOU: MONASTIC WISDOM FOR A TERROR-FILLED WORD was selected by Library Journal as one of the best books of 2011 in the area of Spiritual Living. In the last three years he has been speaking on his COUNTERING ISIS: THE POWER OF SPIRITUAL FRIENDSHIPS.  Dr. Carlson’s mysteries provide open-minded readers an attractive path to religious thought.