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Back in the Habit (A Falcone & Driscoll Investigation) Paperback – February 8, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Giulia Falcone, of Driscoll Investigations, goes undercover to the Motherhouse in Pittsburgh to help determine why a novice, Bridget, killed herself. The superior general of the Motherhouse, Sister Mary Fabian, insists Bridget was psychologically unfit to be a nun, but Bridget’s parents disagree. Giulia takes on the assignment reluctantly, for she left the sisterhood only a year and a half ago, and she is still coming to terms with her decision. Giulia soon determines something is very wrong. The remaining two novices are overworked and unhappy, and one is drinking. As nuns from around the world gather for the Saint Francis Day celebration, events spiral out of control, leaving Giulia in danger as she discovers the shocking truth behind the novices’ troubles. The novel boasts a complex heroine and a story that draws the reader into the world of the sisterhood. --Sue OBrien

About the Author

Alice Loweecey is a former nun who went from the convent to playing hookers on stage to accepting her husband's marriage proposal on the second date. A regular contributor to BuddyHollywood.com, she is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. She is the author of Force of Habit and Back in the Habit. The author lives with her family in Amherst, N.Y. Visit her online at: AliceLoweecey.com.

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Product Details

  • Series: A Falcone & Driscoll Investigation (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink; Original edition (February 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738726680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738726687
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,726,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Our sleuth, Giulia Falcone, newly hired as a Private Investigator in training, is sent to her worst case possible...undercover at the Motherhouse. Eager to gain important clients, Frank Driscoll, head Private Investigator of 'Driscoll Investigations' sees this job as a great opportunity to get better clients and cheerfully assigns traumatized Giulia to the case.

Giulia, now must resume her past as Sister Mary Regina Coelis. As Regina, she must undercover why a Novice committed the most dreadful of sins, suicide. What drove this young woman to such lengths when she could have escaped the convent (jumping the wall,) and from the safety of her family's home quit the life?

In this novel we are introduced to Giulia's former foes and reasons that she found convent or community life just too much. There is such evil running through the halls that I found this book to be a page turner. I do wish a better balance had been offered though.

Mas. Loweecey does write a compelling mystery. I was held enthralled by the storyline and wondering what would happen next. Was I shocked? A bit, I must admit. Now, I will go see if she has published a new book lately.
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Format: Paperback
The unthinkable has happened to Giulia; she's headed back to the convent as a nun. Luckily, it's only undercover and the things that goes on behind the convent doors is deeply puzzling to say the least. What a great read. The mysterious elements in this well-crafted and action-packed drama created a wonderful story that I could not put down and pulled me in from the beginning. The tone of the story was very comfortable and the characters very likeable. Our heroine, Giulia, is an interesting character and watching her learn to survive in this new world is fun and I especially liked the internal dialogue that helps her cope with a variety of situations. This is an enjoyable read and I look forward to the next book in this pleasant series.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Giulia enters the Motherhouse of Franciscan community to explore the conditions that cause a Novice to commit suicide. There is excitement as the Nuns prepare to celebrate the joining of the 3 communities on Saint Francis Day. Giulia is not happy to be back as her problems have not changed. As day draws closer she has not uncover any reason The Novices are overwork. Unless Giulia finds the answer it may mean her death. Parental guidance suggested.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was a wonderful, well-told story and covered so much of Giulia's ambivalence and emotions that I had been curious about after finishing the first novel. The plot line was kept tight, with enough red herrings to keep me guessing. The climax was scary, but I loved Sister Arnulf's solution... HA HA! What I loved best, though, was the insider's view of the life and personalities and conflicts within a convent. And now I have the earworm of "O Sanctissima" stuck in my head. I was in elementary school before Vatican II, what can I say.
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Format: Paperback
This book was almost as good as the first. The second book in the series is always the toughtest and Loweecey has acquitted herself well.
The writing is good, the pace is quick and readers will care about the main character.

However, the plot was thin and predictable. The premise wasn't plausible to me. For one thing, a superior of the order would be elected, and this one seems forced on the community. (That's not a spoiler: Giulia, the heroine, spills all on the first couple of pages.) The order seems very old-fashioned, to say the least, and it's hard to imagine why anyone would join, let alone stay. Still, Loweecey has some good scenes with nuns sharing a sense of community; I'd have expected the heroine to acknowledge the good as well as the bad. And do convents have bad food? I visited a friend who'd joined a convent, many years ago; the food was excellent!

The crime itself seems a little far-fetched, mainly because it would be hard to keep a big secret in a tight community.

It would be interesting to hear from some nuns and ex-nuns. The author herself is an ex-nun but she may have taken some literary license!

Regardless, the book was one of the better mysteries I've read this year and one of the best from a new author. I'll look forward to the next volume in the series.
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Format: Paperback
I love the idea of the book, an undercover investigation in a convent, but it didn't quite pique my interest as much as I would have hoped. It dragged on a bit, and there were some chapters that hardly seemed necessary. I liked the ending, and I felt that if there were other parts and chapters in the book that was as exciting and interesting as the ending throughout the book, this would've gotten a better rating from me. Besides have all the nun/convent/religious terms confound me, I also felt that there was a lacking in character growth and personification; the characters could've used some descriptive elements. In all the book was a good fast read, with an interesting ending and I might, one day, try to find and read the first in the series (A Force of Habit.)
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is the second book in the FALCONE AND DRISCOLL series.

A little over a year earlier Giulia Falcone had left the convent, leaving the home she had known for the past decade and accepting the rejection of her family to face life in the outside world. She had managed to learn how to support herself and even begin a new career as a private investigator. When one of her chief tormentors from the convent came into the office seeking help Giulia was amused by the irony of the situation, at least until she discovered that the case would take her right back behind those covent walls. Would she be able to go back to the life she had been so eager to flee?

This is an odd little series of cozy romance mysteries. The premise is great, Giulia learning how to cope with life outside the convent provides lots of material for interesting stories. Her partner, Frank Driscoll, apparently has some back story of his own that is slowly being revealed that will probably add to the on going story arc. There characters are being filled out quite well in a way that will keep readers coming back for more. The mysteries themselves are clever, going beyond the usual weak fare that is often found in cozy romance mystery series.

It is too bad that the author (and her editors) have not followed through on these great beginnings. There are scenes that go on too long, covering ground that has already been well trod. The dialog often times needs to be polished and tightened in many places. The biggest problem though is the continuing plot line of the romance between Giulia and Frank. This 'does he really like me? What'll I do if he tries to kiss me?' stuff is more appropriate to a story aimed to the middle school crowd rather than an adult audience.
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