Part Barchester Towers, (the young journalist Patrick Butler, and the widow Anne Herbert, are definitely modelled around the central lovers of Trollope's The Warden), part murder mystery, part let's-have-a-go-at-the-Roman-Catholic-Church-almost-(but-not-quite)-in-the-style-of-Dan-Brown. This is a daft mix. The basic murder mystery is interesting and well plotted. There's some lovely characterisation (especially Butler and Herbert, and Powerscourt's two children), but it really is a very silly tale, especially the hijacking of the cathedral by a mob of para-Jesuits. There are some glaring anachronisms, and a hefty dose of snobbery.
Having said which it does read well, and compels you to read on even while telling yourself that it's supremely silly. I suspect that I probably will read another Francis Powerscourt, but it will definitely be a guilty pleasure.