A lone building on a small island off Ireland's Donegal coast, St Ernan's is politely known as a "retirement home" for priests. The exiled residents are guilty of such serious offenses as entrepreneurship, criticizing the church, or getting too friendly with the flock. But things take a turn when Fr Matthew McKaye is found dead in the kitchen, a pot of potatoes boiling on the range. Has one of these isolated outcasts committed murder? Starrett soon discovers that ten clergy alone on an island can concoct a great deal of mischief, but what could the young priest have done to get himself murdered? Long-buried grievances are awakened by the ghosts of Starrett's seminarian past, and though Starrett excels at untangling facts from speculation, this investigation is going to require all the procedural discipline he can muster.
"Charles makes Starrett's third case leisurely, literate, ingenious... and as old-fashioned as the idea that priests are pillars of private morality." - Kirkus Reviews
"In Irish author Charles's atmospheric third Inspector Starrett mystery, Starrett investigates a murder at a home for wayward Catholic priests. They soon find that there are plenty of secrets the inhabitants and surrounding townsfolk would like to keep well buried." - Publisher's Weekly
"The reader of St Ernan's Blues will learn a lot about the priests at St Ernan's and a lot about human nature." - Irish American News