A Convenient Death in San Diego, by John O'Hagan
Move over Brother Cadfael. Father Ibarra is on the scene. It’s a new era, and in fact a New World.
In the tumultuous and violent territory that is Alta California, young Father Juan Ibarra, a Franciscan/physician finds himself called upon to solve not just one, but two murders. This is not what he anticipated the life of a medical missionary would be.
Was it an act of revenge by an outraged Spanish army officer? Perhaps a “falling out among thieves” or maybe simple retributive justice meted out by the people themselves? While his medical skills are being put to tests he never imagined and he tries to sort out some very confused facts Father Juan finds himself swept up in the political, cultural, and sexual revolution which is having a convulsive effect on the territory.
In all of this, he is drawn to the shamanistic practices and cures of the very people he had hoped to educate. Perhaps they have something to teach him about medicine.
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