Better Than Nun (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery)
by Alice Loweecey
Cozy Mystery
6th in Series
Henery Press (May 21, 2019)
Hardcover/Paperback: 284 pages

Ghosts for Mardi Gras!

Giulia Driscoll used to say running a detective agency was the busiest job she’d ever had. Then the ghosts showed up, and she figured now she’s the busiest ever. This of course challenged the Universe to say, “Hold my beer.”

Today she’s running the agency, sleuthing on behalf of the ghosts, and being the mother of a two-month-old. At last she understands those 5-Hour Energy commercials.

The Universe then dropped two clients in her lap for Mardi Gras: a family greedy to find hidden money and the son of her least-favorite person, Ken Kanning of The Scoop. The positive: a date night! The not-so-positive: it’s a working date night. Driscoll Investigations is joining the big Mardi Gras costume charity gala to search for potential thieves. Kanning Junior will be at the party showing off his tame ghost.

The Scoop, a few hundred drunk revelers, a mercenary family, and a ghost who isn’t as tame as the kid thinks. What could possibly go wrong?

Did someone just hear the Universe say, “Hold my beer”?

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In the sixth book in the Guilia Driscoll series, be ready to suspend belief and just go with it. Driscoll Investigations has a several cases on the go, but the two biggest both involve ghosts or spirits. When the Jevens family show up at the door wanting to hire DI, Guilia is not sure if she can take on the case. The local Children’s Cancer Charity is holding a Mardi Gras Party at their mansion, and they want to hire DI to watch out for a thief. They don’t know what is going to be stolen, they just know that their deceased relative hid something of value in the house. The house is full of “stuff” from art to knickknacks to haunted artifacts, taxidermy, dolls and more, making this a huge job to watch everything. As well Ken Kanning wants to hire DI to help legitimize his son, Kord’s haunted whiteboard. Are there really ghosts? Will Guilia sell her soul and work with Ken Kanning of The Scoop? What is of value in the Jevens home? So many questions and yes, answers are in this book.

This was a bit unexpected for me. I had read the first three books in this series and they were fun mysteries, the ghosts did not appear until book 4. Having said that, Guilia being an ex-nun makes the whole ghost thing even more fun. I love the characters in this story. Her two employees are wonderful. They are such a close team and can almost read each other’s minds, which is a good thing considering the situations they get into. I enjoy the characters who work in the tarot shop across the street. They are quite eccentric, but help DI out in a couple of situations. Guilia’s and Frank’s relationship continues to grow and get stronger especially now with little Finn, their son. The two mysteries move forward in the book and the author brings them together at the final event in the story, The Mardi Gras Party. This party was hilarious. I can not describe this event and do it justice, you will have to read the book to see what goes on. The ending is quite climactic with lots of effects and a huge audience that makes it quite humorous yet scary at the same time. There is no murder to solve, which in itself is a nice change for a cozy mystery, but the mysteries DI has to investigate and solve were amazing. I enjoyed this humorous story, with a very different twist. This is a fun and relatively quick read, that I recommend to those who enjoy a cozy mystery with a paranormal theme or anyone who enjoys a humorous paranormal story. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Author: 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).

Twitter: @AliceLoweecey
Goodreads: Alice Loweecey

Guest Post from Alice Loweecey

Armchair ghost hunting

I write and work full time. Health insurance rules the world. Can I get a witness?

Because of my decision to eat regularly and pay my bills on time, I can’t drop everything and take research trips. As much as I’d love to.

Two books ago, something new appeared in Giulia Driscoll’s life: ghosts. Once she got her knees to hold her up again, she discovered a new element to Driscoll Investigations. Ghosts are clients too—as long as they have living relatives who can pay the daily rate plus expenses.

What? Giulia’s married and has a baby. Babies need a college fund.

Now she has a growing transparent clientele in addition to the regular flesh-and-blood clients. This is a blast to write, but I’ve never seen a ghost, myself.

This leaves the internet. Oh, the ghost videos. I’ve watched hundreds. 99% are obvious fakes. Some are quite well done. Wahoo, I thought, Giulia also debunks fake ghosts. Thus a plot element of The Clock Strikes Nun.

Fast-forward to my newest mystery, Better than Nun. We have real ghosts this time. Now I have a lively imagination, but if it isn’t real to me, it won’t be real to the reader.

Back to the 1% of the internet ghost videos. They may be fakes too, but they sure look real. Wahoo, I thought again. If I’m at least partially convinced a ghost on video is real, then I can convince the reader. Thus a plot element of both Nun after the Other and Better than Nun.

The intrepid eleven-year-old in BTN has created a homemade drawing toy (like those red ones whose name I cannot use) and he thinks he’s captured a ghost in it. He also created a ghost box out of an old radio. The instructions for them are on the internet, as are the instructions for the drawing toy.

Here was my challenge: write a ghost hunt and a haunted toy real enough to be believed. If only the haunted writers’ retreat I’m going on in October had occurred a year ago. I hope to see my first ghost in October and be done with armchair ghost hunting.

Perhaps I’ll be the one posting a ghost video. Stay tuned!