Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Strong characters and mystery wrapped up in fun
Cons: Nun worth dwelling on
The Bottom Line:
Two weeks to solve case
Introduces me to a
I Will Return to These Characters Soon
Every time I go to a mystery convention, there are the books I plan to buy there and then there are the books I wind up buying after meeting the author. One of those from last year’s Malice Domestic was Nun Too Soon by Alice Loweecey. The adventures of a former nun turned PI hadn’t necessarily appealed to me, but after meeting the author I knew I had to give it a try. I’m so glad I had that change of heart because this book is wonderful.
Giulia Falcone-Driscoll already has a full plate at Driscoll Investigations when she is offered a case she can’t refuse. It’s two weeks before the Silk Tie Killer goes on trial, and Roger Fitch, the accused, wants Giulia to find the real killer. While the police have a good case against Roger for killing his girlfriend, it is circumstantial, and he claims he was passed out drunk when it happened.
Unable to resist an underdog, Giulia begins working on the case. Immediately, she finds others with motive for the killing. But Roger continues to rub her the wrong way, and the local media has already convicted him. Is Roger just a creep? Or is he really the killer?
First, a word about the series. Giulia’s first three adventures were published by Midnight Ink, but this is the first one published by Henery Press. When they took over the series, they redubbed it slightly and called this book one. For those (like me usually) who insist on reading a series in order, it is probably worth going back to the real first of Giulia’s adventures. There is backstory that is mentioned but never fully explained and a few relationships that obviously have some backstory as well. However, this is a very minor issue, and it is all on me.
Because I fell hard for Giulia and the other series regulars. I love her relationship with her husband, Frank. Then there are her two employees, Zane and Sidney. The relationships these characters have is just so much fun to read about, and their teasing adds a nice layer to this book. Yes, I laughed quite a bit as I was reading along.
Of course, the book takes the mystery completely seriously. The plot introduced enough suspects and motives that I was kept off guard until things started to come together at the end. Giulia and I were on the same track as things came to the climax, which was exciting and completely logical.
The suspects in this book are definitely shady, and they color this book toward the soft boiled side of things away from the pure cozy of most of the books I read. This includes the nature of the crime and bits of foul language thrown in by Roger especially. They fit the book well and never feel gratuitous, so I am noting them only in passing.
As I mentioned, there are a number of suspects, and they are all very sharply drawn. Some have only one scene, yet I had no trouble remembering who they were when Giulia brought them up again later.