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The Monsignor's Wife


Move over Dan Brown and William Peter Blatty of The Exorcist fame, there’s a newcomer to the field of mystery and suspense with religious concerns and he dazzles like the Evening Star. 

Joe Benevento in The Monsignor’s Wife not only will keep you on the edge of your seat with a spellbinding mystery plot and riveting array of suspects, he also writes with a depth of characterization, spiritual insight and literary learnedness rare in the genre, and rare in any novel. Throw in a grittily realistic portrayal of working class Italian-American life in a blue collar corner of Queens, and you have a novel in which the thought provoking depth is exceeded only by the chills-up-your-spine entertainment! A masterful and profound mystery debut.

~ Lee Slonimsky, Co-Author of the 
Lee Carroll Black Swan Rising Trilogy

“The protagonist of The Monsignor’s Wife is a priest and bestselling author with doctrinal ideas running counter to orthodox Catholic doctrine. He’s a man with ambition to make Bishop, yet he has a skeleton in his closet, namely a romantic and sexual relationship outside of his priestly vows. His life becomes more complicated when his lover is murdered. He soon becomes an amateur detective, a murder suspect- and even the next potential victim. Who can he trust? Who not? Benevento’s novel is meticulously plotted and full of surprises- he keeps us guessing from chapter to chapter, page to page.

~ Jack Smith, author of Hog To Hog (George Garrett Fiction Prize Winner)

“When Monsignor Tony Cupelli’s longtime love turns up murdered, he finds himself at the center of a murder mystery as complicated as the Holy Trinity itself. The satisfyingly complex lead character must navigate the world of the Catholic Church and its doctrines, along with his longtime friendships and loves, to catch a serial killer before it’s too late."

~ Lara Olsen, Television Writer and Producer (RebaPrivate Practice90210Mixology)

“Rollicking with the trenchant patois of working-class Queens, New York, and its old world Catholic community, Joe Benevento’s The Monsignor’s Wife is a witty, fast-paced portrait of a man who doesn’t seem to realize that he’s racing face-first into the teeth of his own hypocrisy and weakness.

~ Stephen Wingate, Author of Wifeshopping (Bakeless Fiction Prize Winner)

“Admirers of Jorge Luis Borges, Edgar Allan Poe and the detective short story in general will find both great entertainment and serious issues to reflect on in this daring and imaginative mystery debut. We’ve all read stories that affected us so much we speculated about how the plot might transpire with people we know or in settings we’re familiar with, and Joe Benevento makes such speculation real in The Monsignor’s Wife, with its double and triple layers of meaning, its gritty and authentic Queens, NY background, its troubled and conflicted protagonist, and its wonderfully diverse supporting ensemble. 
A great debut.

~ Carol Goodman, Hammett Award Winning Mystery Writer, The Seduction of Water

"It’s a little unsettling to realize that a guy you've known for two decades. . .spends a lot of time thinking about how to kill people.

In detail.

Oh, and it’s about a randy priest with a steamy secret life, and how people associated with that secret existence start turning up dead. . .
  [read complete review]

. . .The Monsignor’s Wife has suspense, indirection, detection. It’s a classic whodunit."

~ Adam Brooke Davis teaches folklore, medieval studies, writing and linguistics at Truman State University. He has published fiction, poetry, essays and scholarship, and serves as managing editor of Green Hills Literary Lantern.

The Monsignor's Wife published by Moonshine Cove Publishing, 2013

Available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and other fine retailers.