Thursday, April 19, 2018

Nun After the Other by Alice Loweecy - #review #giveaway

Nuns and murder and ghosts, oh my! Here comes Giulia Driscoll again, and boy, is she in for it this time.

It starts when a frenzied Chihuahua leads Giulia and Frank Driscoll to the body of a nun in the street near a convent. The nuns fear they’re being harassed by the biggest developer in town and quickly embrace Giulia as their savior.

Of course the former nun who exposed the drug ring run by a priest and nun will save their home and discover the murderer.

And of course not only Giulia takes this job, but also all the other jobs clamoring for her attention. The result: Driscoll Investigations is pushed to its limit.

Then Giulia’s brother falls into a coma and she brings his kids to her house. Talk about a crash course in parenting for pregnant Giulia!

Did we mention the convent ghost? She loves the house, hates the nuns, and chain-smokes. Why couldn’t Giulia’s first honest-to-goodness ghost be shy and sweet?

More important, does the ghost hate the nuns—or the developer—enough to indulge in a bit of murder to liven up the afterlife?



Who says life in a convent isn't exciting?  Well, not these nuns, certainly and definitely not this convent.  They have been plagued for weeks or months with vandalism.  Is it random low-lifes in their run-down neighborhood, or is it the developer buying up every other building in the area?  Things take a nasty turn when one of the older nuns is found dead on a sidewalk in the neigborhood while walking the dog.

Guilia Driscoll, ex-nun and PI extraordinaire, is drawn into the situation, after the sleazy developer is found dead wedged in a basement window of the house that serves as the convent.  It appears he was caught off-guard in the act of attempted arson and wound up inadvertently catching himself in his own trap.  Guilia's policeman husband, Frank, and his partner are assigned that case.

A delicious twist in this tale is the presence of Florence.  Flo is a ghost, a Gibson Girl, and architect of the convent house from back in the day.  She pulls the usual haunting trickeries on the nuns living there, but really gets riled up when she learns the house may be sold and razed to make way for 'new development'.  Flying crosses, books exploding into clouds of confetti brings a whole new definition to 'shake, rattle and roll'.

And, of course, The Scoop, Guilia's expose tv nemesis, is there to capture the whole thing.  But nuns can get co-operation like nobody's business, sometimes even moreso than when top shelf mediators are called in.  Guilia wrangles a truce and a deal between Florence and the new CEO of Eagle Development to preserve the house.  She also negotiated a good  price on the building for the nuns, giving them maximum options when relocating.

But, for me, a piece de resistance came when one of the older nuns, bedridden and with only the occasional bout of clarity, recognized The Scoop's cameraman as a former student, and brings the lumberjack-like Pit Bull to heel with just an authoritarian call of his name ... "Clarence!"

My one concern in the book came with the fact that Giulia is preggers and engaging in potentially dangerous activities.  That may just be sour grapes on my part.  During my last pregnancy, I was working for a police department in Texas.  At one  point, they opened up ride-a-longs to civilian employees.  I had been there for years waiting, but then did not feel it a wise choice for me.  *sigh*  Oh well.  Guilia's out there providing me with more than enough thrills and chills to prove I made the right decision all those years ago.

It is always a joy to see the camaraderie of Guilia's personal and professional circles.  Disparate personalities both support each other and challenge each other to grow.  We should all be so lucky.

The "Guilia Driscoll Mysteries" (my aka "The Nun Books") are a charm-filled set of thrilling cozy mysteries.  Ms. Loweecey deftly shows that life and death can both be adventures - no matter which side of the veil one is on.


Alice Loweecey is a baker of brownies and tormenter of characters, Alice Loweecey recently celebrated her thirtieth year outside the convent. She grew up watching Hammer horror films and Scooby-Doo mysteries, which explains a whole lot. When she’s not creating trouble for her sleuth Giulia Driscoll or inspiring nightmares as her alter-ego Kate Morgan, she can be found growing her own vegetables (in summer) and cooking with them (the rest of the year).




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.)

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