Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Clock Strikes Nun (A Giulia Driscoll Mystery Book 4)

Author:  Alice Loweecey
Genre:  Mystery, Suspense

Hardcover; Trade Paperback; Digital Book
ISBN #:  9781635112184; 9781635112153
Henery Press Publishing
268 Pages
$27.52; $15.95; $4.99 Amazon
May 30, 2017

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When terrified Elaine Patrick knocks on Driscoll Investigations' door and insists her house is haunted, Giulia Driscoll's first response is "we don't handle ghosts."  When Elaine's housekeeper and crackpot filthy rich cousin descend on Giulia and demand she find out who's trying to steal sweet, fragile Elaine's family business out from under her, that's a different story.  They want DI to provide Tarot readings, ghost hunting sessions, and even an exorcism.  Ghost hunting?  There are apps for that.  Tarot readings?  Experts in the skill are right across the street.  Exorcisms?  Having a priest for a brother-in-law comes in handy.  Giulia plunges into a crash course in all things supernatural, convinced everything happening to Elaine is stagecraft.  Except when it isn't.  Giulia's about to discover a new dimension to sleuthing, if she can survive attempted murder long enough to see through the web of lies around her client.

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Giulia Driscoll doesn't know what is in store for her when a young woman basically pushes her way in to see her.  It seems that Elaine Patrick is convinced there are ghosts inhabiting her home, determined to drive her insane.  But before she can hire a skeptical Giulia, her husband Pip arrives and whisks her away.  That should be the end of it, but it isn't...

The next day she is visited by a Victorian throwback named Muriel Lockwood, who is Elaine's cousin and fills in Giulia on Elaine's history.  It seems Elaine was orphaned many years ago when her parents were brutally murdered in their home, and she has been raised alone since.  She is also the sole owner of a wildly successful internet company that sells clothing - Dahlia - and both Muriel and Elaine's housekeeper Cissy think the three members of the Board of Directors at Dahlia is behind it, trying to keep the power within their reins.

So it appears Giulia has a new client - albeit one who thinks there's ghosts to be exorcised - and her job is to discover if one or more of the board members is behind the haunting.  To this end, she sets appointments to meet with each of them separately, but after one of the meetings, she is nearly run off the road and killed, bringing her investigation to a whole new level.

 Now Giulia is determined, if only for herself, to find out the truth of the matter, even if it means learning a little of the spiritual arts.  But what Giulia wants to really know is:  Is she going to exorcise a spirit, or a killer?

First off, let me say that I love mysteries with ghosts.  But I felt that as Giulia is an ex-nun and as such, it seemed rather odd for her to embrace all the spiritual trappings she used on this case - Tarot, exorcism, EMF detectors, etc.  I would think she would have been less willing to do so because of the way she was raised, as she puts it herself - a 'cradle Catholic.'  Saying that, the mystery itself was enjoyable, and the writing is, as always, top notch.  Ms. Loweecey is a talented author with tales to tell, and an entertaining manner.  It is only that I feel in this book she is veering into territory (ghostbusters-like) that seems so out of character of the other three books.

However, the mystery was done well with unexpected twists, and enough suspects to please even the most hardened mystery reader.  It is written well enough that one doesn't even realize for quite a while that this is not your usual mystery - and when you discover why, the story is neatly finished and tied up pleasantly.  While there is no happy ending, per se for the clients, it was still quite engaging and I look forward to the next in the series.  Recommended.

https://www.amazon.com/Clock-Strikes-Giulia-Driscoll-Mystery/dp/163511215X/

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2064590002

More on Alice Loweecey's Books:  https://www.fantasticfiction.com/l/alice-loweecey/

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