Tuesday 16 March 2021

The Case of the Flower Phantom - Karen Kelly Boyce and Sue Anderson Gioulis - Sisters of the Last Straw Book 4

The Case of the Flower Phantom
Sisters of the Last Straw Book 4
Karen Kelly Boyce
Sue Anderson Gioulis (Illustrator)
TAN Books
eISBN 9781505112016

I have now read the 6 books that are currently available in this series. And there are two that have been announced but that I have not been able to find release dates for. I read these books completely out of order. I read them in this order: 5, 1, 2, 3, 6, 4. And for the last two my youngest daughter read them to me as part of her daily reading time. And her and I have circled back and am rereading them all in publication order. The books do tell a continuous story and are best read in order. But each story is well enough written that they can be read as standalones. My youngest two children ages 10 and 13 love these books. And in my mid 50’s I really enjoy them as well. They are great reads and fun for the whole family. With each book I have read in this series, I appreciate it more. 

I previously stated that the series reminds me of Tales of a Magic Monastery by Theophane the Monk. These are really fun reads. Bu they also have good lessons. Lessons that kids will pick up on and lean from, but also lessons that we as adults can appreciate and be challenged by. I plan on reading a book a week until I have finished the series. I started out prereading them prior to reading them with my youngest two children. But, as mentioned, let my youngest read me book 6 and this volume.

In each volume in the series, we find out more about Sisters of the Last Straw. How they came to be, and what some of them are working on personally in their process of striving to become saints. They always seem to end up in a awkward circumstances. They still have a grouchy neighbour. And in this story, they have a visitor at the convent, Gabby Fibber. Gabby lives up to both her names, and happens to be cousin to Sister Lovely. If the sisters have a knack for ending up in trouble all by themselves, imagine the results when someone is stirring the pot. And I do not mean the one in the kitchen. All while the sisters are trying to prepare thanksgiving dinner for the parish and the poor.

The sisters in this story are fun, and the tale is often funny. The sisters are:

Sister Krumbles
Sister Shiny
Sister Lovely
Sister Wanda
Sister Lacey
Mother Mercy

In this volume the black and white illustrations by Sue Anderson Gioulis continue to add to the story. The book teaches us about human nature, about living the gospel, and about trusting God. It also teaches us about the different strengths and weakness in different characters, and how to live in community. The nuns seem to end up in strange situations, but with faith, hope, and prayer they usually come to a solution. From the chapter titles you always have a preview of what is about to happen next:

That Darn Rooster
Muddy Messes 
Praying About Problems 
Turkey Turmoil 
Park Pandemonium 
Bathtub Surprise 
Monster in the Closet 
The Phantom Revealed 
A Thanksgiving Feast

In this story we have mysterious flowers and notes being left for the guest. We have rumours and innuendo's being splashed about, and about all the sisters. We have a troublemaker instigating the whole group. And we have sisters who realize something is amiss and try to figure it out and to make it right. And turkey dinner to server, and if lucky maybe even one for the sisters.

There are excellent lessons for the young readers of the series for whom it is written for, and also for us older folks who might read it with or to them. Or even just on our own. It is a great story in a very fun series. And we look forward to reading the series again as we await the two new titles. Pick it up I am certain you will laugh at and with the sisters of the last straw.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews 2021 Catholic Reading Plan!

Books by Karen Kelly Boyce:
A Bend in the Road: A Year's Journey Through Breast Cancer
Down Right Good
According to Thy Word
Into the Way of Peace
In the Midst of Wolves

Sisters of the Last Straw Series:
The Cause of the Haunted Chapel
The Case of the Missing Novice
The Case of the Stolen Rosaries
The Case of the Flower Phantom
The Case of the Christmas Tree Capers
The Case of the Easter Egg Escapades
The Case of the Campground Creature
The Case of the Mixed-Up Marathon

The Hope Trilogy:



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