Okay, so this ex-nun and a private dick walk into a bar...
Ooops, sorry, that's just one person: GUILA FALCONE, who left the convent at the age of 29, taking a string of small jobs before landing a gig as an assistant at Pittsburgh's Driscoll Investigations.
She's still getting used to life outside the convent -- dealing with everything from makeup to her suddenly rediscovered attraction to men. On top of that, she soon finds herself having to learn new skills -- obstensibly hired as an assistant, she's soon sent out in the field. After the convent, all the deceptions and subterfuge required by her job are alternately baffling and exhilarating.
Suffice it to say Guila's felling a tad guily...
Meanwhile, FRANK DRISCOLL, who heads the agency, has other things on his mind beyond guilt. He's your typical hard-boiled ex-cop-turned-P.I., gruff and rough around the edges, overly fond of his own wit, and tougher than a chunk of petrified wood. He is also, of course, one hunky slab of beefcake, and a potential romance between Guila and Frank soon rears its ugly head.
But then, this was never meant to be a noirish, everybody-is-miserable-and-it's-always-raining sorta series. Think more along the lines of a lightweight romantic comedy, with the standard quirky supporting characters (notably co-worker Sidney) thrown in for comic relief and the by-now-obligatory dreadful puns in the title. Thankfully, the murder and violence add a little welcome grit and there's enough wit, originality and compelling characterizations in these books to raise them a notch above most of the competition.
By the way, the issues Guila must deal with come naturally to the author -- Alice Loweecey is a former nun herself, who went from the convent to playing prostitutes (on stage) and accepting her husband's marriage proposal on their second date (in real life). She's a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She lives with her family in Amherst, New York.
Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.
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