Saturday 6 August 2022

Nun of My Business - Karina Fabian - DragonEye, PI Book 3

Nun of My Business
DragonEye, PI Book 3
Karina Fabian
Laser Cow Press
ISBN 9781956489071

Wow! What an excellent story! I could hardly put this down. I have been reading stories from Karina Fabian since 2008. But in the last two years I have read or reread 33 books and stories published by her, across most of her series. To say I am a fanboy might be a bit of an understatement. I usually read her books and then often listen to them a second time using adaptive technology. This one was so good I read it in 2 sittings, including staying up way to late on a work night to finish it. I was so tired when I finished the novel I did not read the bonus short story, Siren Spell, the next morning over my first coffee. My understanding is that this is the order of the series:

3.6 Christmas Spirits
4.0 Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Revised edition)
5.0 Live and Let Fly (Revised edition)

I have the older original eBooks of 4 and 5 that I picked up in 2011 and never got around to reading, and to be honest mainly because of the covers. My understanding is they are undergoing a major rewrite, and if they are as good and the three more recent volumes, they will be well worth the wait. There are a couple of other short stories published in this universe as well:

Of Slings and Feeling Vexed
A Winkle in Time

But back to this story. The description of this book is:

“When a Faerie nun shoves a piece of music under Vern’s nose and insists it’s an evil spell, he has some doubts as to her mental stability. But work is scarce for a dragon detective on the wrong side of the Interdimensional Gap, and if Sister Grace McCarthy wants to pay his bills for a wild goose chase, who is he to argue? 

Unfortunately, Vern is not the only one with concerns about Grace’s sanity. When a child accuses the nun of hexing her voice, the city is in an uproar, and Vern has to uncover the truth – for Grace, for himself, and for the fate of the Faerie and Mundane universes.”

I do not know how you could read about Vern and Sister Grace’s back story and not be entertained, moved, and maybe even shocked. I smiled often. I laughed out loud. I chucked and a few times I even grimaced. One of my favourite pieces of dialogue is:

““You want me… to partner with you? As a detective?” She set my coffee on the table but forgot to retrieve her own cup before she sat down.

“It’s not too different from the Inquisition. Somewhat more searching for missing pets, but I’ve had to save the universe a time or two.”

“You get Save the Universes Cases?” she asked, and I could hear the capitalizations.

“Yeah, I get STUC that way,” I quipped. Overtop her giggles, I added. “You have to know, the work isn’t always steady, and the pay is not good.”

“Perfect for a vow of poverty.””

Another great segment is:

“Acediadeus glared at me with narrowed eyes, but I knew I was right. We had a long history. In the Great War, we’d fought a battle that left me with 100 years of depression and indigestion and him with the stigma of perpetual failure and banishment to the Mundane. Since my emigration, we’ve had an uneasy, Casablanca kind of detente: a down-and-out dragon detective trying to do good and a burned-out demon who’d lost his motivation to do evil.”

The idea of a dragon, even one still greatly diminished after a run in with Saint George babysitting a former mobsters kids just for some home cooked chilli or Italian cuisine is very entertaining. And then to have him get in cahoots with the kids to pull a massive trick to bring the truth into the light! Pure genius, almost dragon worthy. The chapters in this story are:

My Kind of Nun
Nonsense-or Nunsense?
Nun of Mystery
Innuncent Until Proven Guilty
Am I My Sister’s Keeper?
Nunwhere to Run To
Nunwhere to Hide
Nun the Wiser
Unconventional Respite
Nunthing to Report
Hell on Feelz
Operation Trapison
Despredators Measures
Amazing Grace
Saving Grace
Grace Under Pressure
My Sister’s Keeper
Good Graces
For the Grace of God
Nun of My Business

And the puns do not stop there. In this story we have a cast that includes:

Vern: the dragon that fought St. George,
         and is now earning back his 
         powers by good deeds.
Sister Grace McCarthy: of the Fairy Catholic Church
         Specifically the Faerie Order of Our Lady of Miracles
        Part human and part, … something else.
Captain Santry: new police chief
Father Rich: local parish priest, Vern’s friend and often defender
Acediadeus: A demon banished to our realm 
Octothulu: a slimy tentacled monster
Addison Lukas: a child of great will, a drama queen with extreme acting abilities

And many more. This book was so hard to put down. Even if I have not read a number of other stories with the Characters I would have been hooked very early on. The plot is excellent. The pace is wonderful. The characters are amazing. 

This book is a highly entertaining read. It is another excellent offering from Fabian’s masterful pen. Even if you have not read any of the other DragonEye PI stories I can easily recommend this book to you. In many ways it reads like a catholic version of Robert Apsrin’s MYTH series or the works of Tom Holt. Give this book or the series a try; I am certain you will be entertained. It is so much pun, I mean fun!.  

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2022 Catholic Reading Plan!

Dex Hollister Series:

The Old Man and the Void
Dex's Way

Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator Series :
Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator
I Left My Brains in San Francisco
Shambling in a Winter Wonderland

DragonEye PI Series:
DragonEye PI Novels:
?.0 Magic, Mensa and Mayhem (Revised edition)
?.0 Live and Let Fly (Revised edition)

DragonEye PI Short Stories:

DragonEye PI Original First Editions:
Live and Let Fly

Space Traipse Series:
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 1
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 2
Space Traipse: Hold My Beer, Season 3
Space Traipse Stories

Mind Over Series:
Mind Over Mind
Mind Over Psyche
Mind Over All
Hearts Over Mind

Edited by: Karina Fabian:
Infinite Space, Infinite God I
Leaps of Faith
Infinite Space, Infinite God II

Contributed to:
Firestorm of Dragons
The Zombie Cookbook
The Book of Tentacles
Twisted Fayrie Tales
FRIGHTLINER: And Other Tales of the Undead
Mother Goose is Dead
Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary
Image and Likeness Literary Reflections on the Theology of the Body
Corrupts Absolutely? Dark Metahuman Fiction
Weird Noir
The Complete Guide to Writing Paranormal Novels
Manifesto UF
Avenir Eclectia
Planetary Anthology: Jupiter
Planetary Anthology: Pluto
Planetary Anthology: Luna
Planetary Anthology: Uranus
FlagShip Science Fiction and Fantasy v2i5
My Little Book of Headdesks
To Be Men: Stories Celebrating Masculinity

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