The Story Knife by Fr. Brad Reynolds, S.J.

The Story Knife by Fr. Brad Reynolds, SJLate last year when I was trying to find books for the What’s in a Name Reading Challenge, the hardest to find was a book whose title included “an item of cutlery.” After a lot of searching I finally settled on a book I had last read in 1996 when it first came out, The Story Knife, a mystery by Fr. Brad Reynolds, SJ. Fr. Reynolds is a Jesuit priest (like Pope Francis), and he happens to have grown up right here in Spokane, Washington, where I live. I got to meet him at a book signing over twenty years ago, and the edition I read for this challenge was the very book he had autographed.

Here’s the book’s teaser from the back cover:

A man lies dead in a Seattle convention center–a lawyer with questionable ethics, brutally slain by a ceremonial knife from a village a thousand miles to the north. . .

As a Jesuit priest. Father Mark Townsend has spent much time among the native peoples who inhabit the merciless Alaskan tundra. He recognizes the deadly artifact–and knows the Eskimo tribe that carved the intricate pictures on its ivory handle. Now conscience and duty are calling him back to that place of harsh, frozen beauty and ancient spirits; a land where Inuit, environmentalists and corporate power structures collide. For there are secrets there that the blade can reveal–and a story it must tell of greed, betrayal. . .and murder.

The Story Knife is the first book in a set of four mysteries featuring Fr. Mark Townsend. Fr. Mark is a Jesuit priest assigned to St. Joseph parish in Seattle, Washington, and his Jesuit education comes in handy when it comes to solving mysteries. This first book has a hard time deciding whether it wants to be a mystery novel or a guidebook to Alaska, but it’s a quick and entertaining read.

The Story Knife by Fr. Brad Reynolds, S.J.
New York: Avon Books, 1996
Print length: 246 pages

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

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