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Lawyer and bluesman Monty Collins is used to defending murderers?and occasionally investigating murders himself?but he's never come up against anything like the case of Reinhold Schellenberg, a world-renowned German theologian who has been found dead on the altar of an old church in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Saint Cecilia's day. The controversial priest, once a top insider in the Vatican, was known to provoke strong feelings in Catholics of all ideological stripes, and now those feelings have overflowed with horrifying results. At least Monty knows where to look for clues; his friend Father Brennan Burke has just opened a choir school at the church, and the students provide an international cast of suspects?including a flamboyant Sicilian priest, an eccentric English monk, a disgruntled American, a Vatican enforcer, a church lady with a history of violence, and, most perplexing of all, a police officer from the former East Berlin.