Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Who Says a Watched Pot Never Boils

I finally finished the book I plan to write about, but since the book is about the Anti-Christ, which is pretty serious, and since my last post was so serious, I thought I would give y'all a break. If you just really can't wait to read something about the Anti-Christ, you can go to Light on Dark Water where Maclin has written a bit about him.

Well, I know that you are dying to know what today's topic is and I hate to tell you but it is a series of mysteries that I don't necessarily even recommend. It is the sort of series in which the title of the first book has a word that begins with an A, in this case Alpine Advocate and then progresses on through the alphabet for years and years until we finally reach Z.

The first Alpine mystery that I read was Alpine Legacy. Reading a series out of order like this offends my sense of harmony in the universe, indeed it makes me feel as if I might begin to disintegrate at any moment, but I wasn't planning to read any others. I was in the library a few minutes before closing time and I just grabbed something that I thought might be mildly entertaining without exercising my little gray cells at all. It was okay-ish. It didn't have a lot of bad language or explicit sex scenes. There was nothing in it to keep me awake.

Normally, I would have taken the book back to the library, hopefully before it was overdue, and never thought about Alpine murder again, but there was something about the book that intrigued me. Emma Lord, the detective in these books (Well, she's a small newspaper owner who gets involved in a lot of murders.) is a Catholic. Now this in itself isn't particularly unusual, but she talks about it frequently and the further I get into the series, the more she talks about it. She's always talking about how she has to get to Mass because it's a Holy Day, or where she is going to go to Mass on Sunday when she is out of town. Her brother is a priest. In Alpine Icon which is the last one that I read, her son, Adam, decides to become a priest. Alpine Legacy takes place during Advent and she describes her tradition of adding one figurine to her crĂȘche each day of Advent.There is a strong pro-life message in Alpine Legacy, and in Icon, there is a running discussion of the conflict in the parish school between the Catholic parents and the newcomers to the town who are more interested in their kids getting a progressive education.

And not only is Emma Catholic, but her former lover is also Catholic Yes, the married-to-someone-else father of her 20-something year-old son is Catholic, too, and so he won't divorce his wife, who had a baby about the same time as Adam was born, even though she is an awful person and certifiably crazy to boot. Now, Emma and Tom didn't see each other at all during the years when Adam was growing up, but they do get together briefly a couple of times in the first part of the alphabet and they don't seem to have any reservations about getting out of bed and going straight to Mass. In fact, they have a little laugh together about what the people at church would think if they knew what Tom and Emma had been doing.

So, this is the thing that really fascinates me--this huge disconnect between Emma's love for her faith, and her failure to live by what the Faith teaches in this one area. And it is in just this one area. In every other way, she seems to live a pretty faithful life. Of course, we see this around us every day, but that doesn't make it any more understandable.

Still, I'm interested to see where Emma goes from here. I have to at least catch up to the place where I started, so that leaves me with Journey and Kindred before the world is once again safe for the alphabetically inclined. I'm not sure, though, if I will read all the way to Alpine Xanadu, which will be released in January or Alpine Z...........



  1. Alpine Zulu would be a very intriguing title.

    Thanks for the link, although I doubt either of us gets many visits from people who can't wait to read something about the anti-Christ.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.