Ralph McInerny Books

Ralph McInerny was an American author and scholar whose Catholic faith strongly influenced the fiction he wrote. Born in 1929 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Ralph grew up in a large Irish-American family.

Order of The Rosary Chronicles Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Third Revelation 2009 Description / Buy
2 Relic of Time 2009 Description / Buy

Order of Egidio Manfredi Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Still Life 2000 Description / Buy
2 Sub Rosa 2001 Description / Buy

Order of Notre Dame Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 On This Rockne 1997 Description / Buy
2 Lack of the Irish 1998 Description / Buy
3 Irish Tenure 1999 Description / Buy
4 The Book of Kills 2000 Description / Buy
5 Emerald Aisle 2001 Description / Buy
6 Celt and Pepper 2002 Description / Buy
7 Irish Coffee 2003 Description / Buy
8 Green Thumb 2004 Description / Buy
9 Irish Gilt 2005 Description / Buy
10 The Letter Killeth 2006 Description / Buy
11 Irish Alibi 2007 Description / Buy
12 The Green Revolution 2008 Description / Buy
13 Sham Rock 2010 Description / Buy

Order of Andrew Broom Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Cause and Effect 1987 Description / Buy
2 Frigor Mortis 1989 Description / Buy
3 Body and Soil 1989 Description / Buy
4 Savings and Loam 1990 Description / Buy
5 Mom and Dead 1994 Description / Buy
6 Law and Ardor 1995 Description / Buy
7 Heirs and Parents 2000 Description / Buy

Order of Father Dowling Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Her Death of Cold 1977 Description / Buy
2 The Seventh Station 1977 Description / Buy
3 Bishop as Pawn 1978 Description / Buy
4 Lying Three 1979 Description / Buy
5 Second Vespers 1980 Description / Buy
6 Thicker Than Water 1981 Description / Buy
7 A Loss of Patients 1982 Description / Buy
8 The Grass Widow 1983 Description / Buy
9 Rest in Pieces 1985 Description / Buy
10 The Basket Case 1987 Description / Buy
11 Abracadaver 1989 Description / Buy
12 Four on the Floor 1989 Description / Buy
13 Judas Priest 1991 Description / Buy
14 Desert Sinner 1992 Description / Buy
15 Seed of Doubt 1993 Description / Buy
16 The Tears of Things 1996 Description / Buy
17 Grave Undertakings 2000 Description / Buy
18 Triple Pursuit 2001 Description / Buy
19 Last Things 2003 Description / Buy
20 Requiem for a Realtor 2004 Description / Buy
21 The Widow's Mate 2007 Description / Buy
22 Ash Wednesday 2008 Description / Buy
23 Stained Glass 2009 Description / Buy
24 The Compassion of Father Dowling 2011 Description / Buy

Order of Sister Mary Teresa Mystery Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Not a Blessed Thing 1981 Description / Buy
2 Let Us Prey 1982 Description / Buy
3 And Then There Was Nun 1984 Description / Buy
4 Nun of the Above 1985 Description / Buy
5 Sine Qua Nun 1986 Description / Buy
6 The Veil of Ignorance 1988 Description / Buy
7 Sister Hood 1991 Description / Buy
8 Nun Plussed 1993 Description / Buy
9 Half Past Nun 1997 Description / Buy
10 Death Takes the Veil and Other Stories 2001 Description / Buy

Order of Ralph McInerny Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Jolly Rogerson 1967 Description / Buy
2 A narrow time 1969 Description / Buy
3 The Priest 1973 Description / Buy
4 Gate of heaven 1975 Description / Buy
5 Rogerson at Bay 1976 Description / Buy
6 Spinnaker 1977 Description / Buy
7 Romanesque 1978 Description / Buy
8 Quick as a Dodo (Short Story) 1978 Description / Buy
9 Noonday Devil 1985 Description / Buy
10 Leave of Absence 1986 Description / Buy
11 The Nominative Case 1990 Description / Buy
12 The Search Committee 1991 Description / Buy
13 Easeful Death 1991 Description / Buy
14 Infra Dig 1992 Description / Buy
15 The Red Hat 1998 Description / Buy
16 As Good As Dead 2002 Description / Buy
17 The Ablative Case 2003 Description / Buy

Order of Ralph McInerny Collections

# Read Title Published Details
1 Thou Shalt Not Kill 1992 Description / Buy
2 The Soul of Wit (Short Story) 2005 Description / Buy
3 Good Knights (Short Story) 2010 Description / Buy

Order of Ralph McInerny Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 Thomism in an Age of Renewal 1968 Description / Buy
2 New Themes in Christian Philosophy 1968 Description / Buy
3 St. Thomas Aquinas 1989 Description / Buy
4 Boethius And Aquinas 1990 Description / Buy
5 Aquinas on Human Action 1992 Description / Buy
6 Let's Write a Novel 1993 Description / Buy
7 Let's Read Latin 1995 Description / Buy
8 Aquinas and Analogy 1996 Description / Buy
9 The Defamation of Pius XII 2001 Description / Buy
10 Some Catholic Writers 2007 Description / Buy
11 Dante and the Blessed Virgin 2010 Description / Buy

Ralph McInerny Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Death Cruise: Crime Stories on the Open Seas (Short Story) 1999 Description / Buy
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He attended Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary (St. Paul) and St. Paul Seminary. He also spent a few years in the Marine Corps shortly after WWII. Despite earning a BA from St. Paul Seminary, he resisted the call of priesthood.

Instead, he continued to pursue his studies, earning an MA, PhL, and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and Universite Laval, Quebec.

His scholarly ambitions took him to Creighton University from where he taught philosophy. By 1955, he had joined the University of Notre Dame, becoming an assistant professor in 1957, an associate professor six years later, and a full professor six years after that.

Besides becoming a Fullbright Research Fellow in 1959, he was also appointed director of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Anyone that has ever looked at his resume will tell you that it is quite impressive. He has six honorary doctorates. His bibliography consists of dozens of nonfiction books.

Ralph was especially fond of Thomas Aquinas. He spent quite a bit of time teaching and writing about the 13th Century Catholic philosopher. He even edited a volume of Aquinas translations.

And yet Ralph McInerny is known more for his fiction that he is for any scholarly achievements he notched during his long career. Ralph came to fame, not for his exegetical texts on Aquinas or the works he wrote on a philosopher from the 6th Century by the names of Boethius, but because of Roger Dowling, his most popular creation.

Roger Dowling is the protagonist of the ‘Father Dowling’ mystery series which was first published in 1977. Dowling was a canon lawyer whose life was ruined by alcohol. He went into rehabilitation and eventually became a Parish Priest. Stationed in a small Midwestern town, Dowling spends a lot of time stumbling upon and then solving murders. He has a knack for unraveling puzzles that have made his life as a priest so much more interesting.

Ralph’s Catholic beliefs always manifest in his works. His stories are designed to propagate his traditional views on his faith which explains Father Dowling’s moral rigor. It is worth noting that, while Father Dowling was Ralph McInerny’s most popular creation, the author wrote other novels in other series.

Some of them were published under pen names like ‘Ernan Mackey’, ‘Harry Austin’, and ‘Monica Quill’. When he wasn’t writing fiction or teaching philosophy, Ralph could be found commentating on contemporary issues surrounding the Catholic Church such as abortion and homosexuality.

He vigorously opposed Notre Dame’s decision to host President Obama as a speaker because of his views on the subjects.

Ralph was married in 1953. The marriage produced seven children. Ralph’s wife died in 2002. He eventually followed her in 2010. He died of esophageal cancer.

Ralph McInerny Books into Movies

The ‘Father Dowling’ book series became an American TV show in 1989. It followed Tom Bosley as a Catholic priest that solves mysteries in a Chicago Parish. He is aided in his efforts by a nun. Despite the name, the TV show did not actually adapt any of McInerny’s books.

Best Ralph McInerny Books

The author has been commended for his ‘clever plotting’ and ‘clarity’, with some of the best books in his bibliography including:

Her Death of Cold: It was still quite dark when Sylvia Lowry called Father Dowling. The 75-year-old woman sounded frightened. Dowling did what he could to calm the parishioner. When she was discovered dead in her kitchen, Dowling made it his mission to learn the truth behind her murder.

Fortunately, he had an ally in law enforcement. Dowling had attended the same seminary as Phil Keagan. But Phil had dropped out after a year. Now the Chief of the local detectives, Phil is more than happy to collaborate with Dowling to solve the mystery.

Bishop as Pawn: It all began with a murder at St. Hilary’s Church of Fox River. Then Bishop Rooney of the Chicago Archdiocese was kidnapped. Neither case has any obvious connection to the other. And yet they must be linked in some way. Father Dowling must solve the murder if he is to identify the clues that will help the police solve the kidnapping.

When Does The Next Ralph McInerny book come out?

Ralph McInerny doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Compassion of Father Dowling and was released on December, 16th 2011. It is the newest book in the Father Dowling Series.

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