Praise for Master of Ceremonies

Gold Medal Winner Foreword Review’s 2014 Indiefab Book of the Year

1st Place Catholic Press Association for Catholic Novel

U.S. Catholic Book Club April 2015 Selection


Excerpt from Donald Cozzens interview in the National Catholic Reporter

NCR: Why did you choose to write your first novel rather than another nonfiction book? Are you a fan of suspense novels?

Cozzens: We know that stories compel us in ways that only the best of nonfiction can. So I thought that telling a story about our wounded church might be something I should try. And once I started, I simply couldn't stop. I do like suspense novels, and I'm happy to have the book described as a thriller, because I wanted the story to move at a fairly fast pace. One of my colleagues in the English department here at John Carroll, a novelist himself, said that it galloped.

Most Catholics are sick and tired of news about priests who abused children and bishops who covered up for them. So a good many may not welcome a mystery novel about the same. This, however, is no fictional attempt to rehash decades of old news. Rather, “Master of Ceremonies” is at once informative, entertaining and inspirational. --Mitch Finley,


As a non-Catholic, I found this to be an engaging and honest look at an issue faced by the entire Christian community. Cozzens develops complex characters that are hard to label. A retired CIA agent who reluctantly breaks the law for a higher cause. A corrupt and scheming priest who misguidedly tries to "protect" the church. Even an archbishop who, even while justifying egregious sin, has a inner voice that knows better. You won't find any simplistic analysis here. You will sense the pain that child abuse has wreaked upon the Christian community and a way out of the duplicity and shame. It's been a while since a book pulled me through one chapter to the next without the least bit of discipline on my part. —D. McClellan

Father Cozzens has combined his candid and compelling concerns about the Catholic church and its institutional shortcoming with his love for the core values of the church in a compelling page turner which is part “who done it”, detective story, and murder mystery. The spirit of Pope Francis percolates throughout the novel. I read it in one sitting and could not put it down. If you read it, I can assure you that you will not forget it. —C. Reitz

The Brotherhood of the Sacred Purple…Vatican intrigue…celibacy—yes or no?…the riches and blemishes of Church history…clerical careerists…sexual abuse…courageous women. Ah, Don Cozzens serves up a rich and tasty stew of events and characters in Master of Ceremonies. The ultimate insider takes us behind the impenetrable curtains of Church life; he knows where the bodies are buried and where to look for the skeletons. —Paul Wilkes, author, In Due Season: A Catholic Life

Fascinating novel by my friend Father Don Cozzens. I finished it at 1 a.m. Made me cheer for the women who hold this Church together. —Regina Brett, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Regardless of your religious persuasion, get ready for a compelling and riveting tale of clerical crimes and cover-ups that stretch to the very Vatican itself. — Reviewer