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PRECIOUS BLOOD Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1991


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crimeline; Reissue edition (March 1 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553289136
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553289138
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Haddam's Demarkian mysteries are good despite the danger of the cutesy holiday premise. The ones with a religious setting such as this one are particularly good. Demarkian is particulary expert at wending his way thorugh tight-lipped communities with secrets of their own. An ex-FBI often called into consult on delicate cases and a murder in a Catholic church is more than delicate. Written with deft touch, respect for religious communities, and little saving humor.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 10 reviews
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Murders for Lent and Easter June 16 2005
By Michele L. Worley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Blessed be His most Sacred Heart
Blessed be His most Precious Blood
- from the Divine Praises

Twenty years ago, six of the cool kids from Cathedral Girls' and Boys' High Schools - Kath Burke, Tom Dolan, Judy Eagan, Barry Field, Peg Morrissey, and Andy Walsh - let Cheryl Cass, the class pariah, into their private circle for a short time, ending on a disastrous June day still infamous in Colchester, New York with a mixture of LSD and a half-baked attempt at a Black Mass still known as the Black Rock Park incident, whose perpetrators were never caught. After that day, Cheryl dropped out of high school and left town, and the six old friends drifted apart.

This spring, however, Cheryl Cass has come back to her old hometown to refurbish what few good memories she has from a very hard life now that she's dying of cancer. Her six former classmates were the only people in her life who'd ever shown her even counterfeit affection, and now she wants to talk over old times.

Unfortunately, most of them aren't at all pleased to see *her*. While Peg is now a much-mellowed mother of a large family, two of the men are now in the priesthood under the administration of a very conservative Cardinal; Barry Field (who left the Church) has just passed a stringent background check to become part of a large Fundamentalist TV network; Sister Scholastica Burke is in line to become Mistress of Novices at her Order's motherhouse; and Judy is engaged to a rising young politician.

Not surprising that Cheryl died of nicotine poisoning on her first night back in town, is it?

(If the high school plot sounds somewhat familiar to those who've only read the later Demarkian books, SOMEBODY ELSE'S MUSIC also deals with a small clique whose lives were shaped by their high school years. Here, though, instead of being too intelligent for her own good and a focus of resentment, Cheryl was held in not-very-vigorous contempt and treated as a kind of live sex toy by the boys while being ostracized by the girls. The clique members were more in the wrong for their arrogant treatment of Cheryl than she was for the life she led, as the story develops.)

As it happens, Cardinal O'Bannion badly wants to relieve Father Andy Walsh (who enjoys being outrageous and indiscreet) of his parish if he can find cause, so through Father Tibor he persuades Gregor to come to Colchester for an investigation - just in time to witness Andy's dramatic death by poisoned sacramental wine at Holy Friday Mass, before whatever dramatic revelations Walsh might've made in his homily.

Nice character development of the seven players from Black Rock Park, each of whom gets a certain amount of time as a viewpoint character, including Cheryl Cass (sick and somewhat muddled by painkillers). A decent amount of background detail is developed; for instance, Judy Eagan runs a catering business and has to worry about transporting live baby chicks for Easter parties, and all the priests are dog-tired during Holy Week what with all they have to do.

Drive-in totals:
- Four dead bodies (not counting animals killed in the Black Rock Park incident).
- Explicit sexual content described from memory.
- Armenian Orthodox Lent, which Gregor can't seem to escape even in another state.
- Introducing the Sisters of Divine Grace and John Cardinal O'Bannion, who all figure in later cases of Gregor's retirement.
- Not much Bennis Hannaford.
- Consecrated oat bran muffins.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Haddam's best puzzle April 7 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Precious Blood is a near-perfect mystery story with an excellent puzzle: who, how, and why. To my taste it is the best in the series so far (Glass Houses being the last released at this time.) Some may not like the conflict of cultures that surround the murder, and others may like the conflict but not the decisions made by supporting characters. But those decisions, like the murder, are tied to their shared history.

Events in that history make this book unsuitable for younger readers, and I would err on the side of caution.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Past scandal inspires present-day murder July 28 2012
By D. R. Meredith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Precious BloodAfter a twenty year absence Cheryl Cass returns to Colchester, New York, to re-new old acquaintances. Dying from cancer, Cheryl wants to visit with the only six people who showed her kindness as a teenager. That the kindness involved inviting her to a LSD party that featured a inept Black Mass, with Cheryl as a sexual offering, doesn't prevent her from seeing the six kids, the six popular kids, as kind. The Black Mass, forever afterwards known as the Black Rock Creek Incident,rocked the town and its Catholic community. No one was ever identified with the incident then,and no one wants to be identified now. And no wonder. Of the six participant, two are priests; one is a spokesman for a fundamentalist Christian radio station; another is a nun up for a promotion; another is a pregnant mother of a large family who is known for her good works; and the last is a caterer engaged to an up-and-coming politician who can't afford a scandal. Someone has to stop Cheryl Cass--and someone does--with a dose of nicotine poisoning. Cardinal John O'Bannion calls for Gregor Demarkian, not because he or the Colchester police suspect murder, but because the Cardinal needs to get rid of a radical priest, and he believes said priest has an improper relationship with Cheryl Cass.

Gregor isn't anxious to investigate anything to do with religion, his own faith having been lost along with his wife Elizabeth, who died a very slow death of cancer, but the Cardinal is a good friend of Father Tibor, and Gregor owes the Armenian priest a favor. He agrees to look into Father Walsh's relationship with Cheryl. Instead he finds himself investigating the murder of Father Walsh during Mass,dead when he drinks poisoned wine from a chalice touched by the other participants in the ritual.

Against the background of Lent and Easter as celebrated by the Catholic Church, with lots of detail about the nuts and bolts of what is involved in organizing such rituals, Gregor must wend his way through the lives of both the victims of murder, and those kids, now with sterling reputations, who had been involved in the Black Rock Park incident. Who had motive to murder Cheryl and Father Walsh? Everyone.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An intriguing mystery in terrific series Jan. 1 2001
By N. Quast - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Haddam's Demarkian mysteries are good despite the danger of the cutesy holiday premise. The ones with a religious setting such as this one are particularly good. Demarkian is particulary expert at wending his way thorugh tight-lipped communities with secrets of their own. An ex-FBI often called into consult on delicate cases and a murder in a Catholic church is more than delicate. Written with deft touch, respect for religious communities, and little saving humor.
This is an excellent, well crafted series of mysteries Oct. 21 2014
By J. Stein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an excellent, well crafted series of mysteries. The story moves quickly and the characters are well developed. I especially like his attention to detail. This particular book is set during Holy Week and Demarkian is called upon to assist a Bishop to sort out the death of woman near his parish and the involvement of several parishioners. I have read three of the books in the series so far and look forward to reading more of them. It is a long running series (about 30 total to date) so I have a lot to look forward too.

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