"I did not expect to meet the Angel of Death while he was extricating himself from a washing machine. Actually I wasn't really expecting to meet the Angel of Death at all. Not this soon. Not in this place. Yet there he was, slowly unwinding himself from the open door of Dixie Manufacturer's finest front loaded commercial washer, twisting and turning and pulling his full body up over the rim and out onto the Laundromat floor."
When fresh seminary graduate, Andrew Benoit, is sent to the tiny parish of Erasmus, he soon encounters the Angel of Death who threatens to destroy the town. What ensues is both deadly fun and deadly serious.
Along the way, Andrew follows many paths of inquiry, discovering the history of the American cinema, encounters with medieval saints, fear of the apocalypse, the Angel of Death, and conversations with a curious group of mystics who meet at the Instant Coffee Cup. This modern-day Jonah tries desperately to save a small town only to discover that he himself is the one who needs saving.