Precisely when the solemn ceremony receiving renegade Episcopal priest Father George Wheatley into the Roman Catholic priesthood is set to begin, a bomb explodes under the altar. Fortunately Father Wheatley arrives late, but poor old Father Farmer dies in the tragedy.
Father Wheatley's switch to the Roman church has certainly stirred up murderous passions in the parish. His son and daughter-one already an Episcopal priest, the other studying to become one-are seething. Conservative Catholics are enraged by the very idea of a married priest. As blind prejudice, jealousy, and thwarted ambition swirl around St. Joseph's, that shrewd sleuth Father Koesler meditates on one question: Who placed the phone call that made Father Wheatley late for his own murder?
From the Paperback edition.