Saturday, August 22, 2009
A Deadly Habit - Andrea Sisco Mystery Writer
A Deadly Habit
A Penelope Santucci Mystery
by Andrea Sisco
When Probation Officer, Penelope (Pen) Santucci was a child, she dreamt of being a nun. She dressed in bed sheets and roller-skated regularly into the confessional of Father Daniel Kopecky. There she bared her soul, fabricating sins only a precocious eight-year-old could invent. As a twenty-seven-year-old woman, she's doing the same thing, sans the roller skates and bed sheets. Only this time, she isn't inventing stories. She's confessing her involvement in a murder; a murder she didn't commit, but one in which she is the most promising suspect.
Wisecracking, safecracking Pen lures an elderly priest and a young nun into committing felonies on their wild search for the truth. Hardly appropriate behavior for the dedicated probation officer, but while Pen believes in her job, she has little faith in the justice system. Unfortunately, Pen digs herself deeper into trouble and straight into a muddy grave, dragging her sexy attorney in with her. If they ever get out of it alive, he plans to wring her neck himself.
Andrea has had an eclectic career as a probation officer, television host, flight attendant, book reviewer and adoption activist. The charge that the character of Penelope Santucci is autobiographical is only partially true. It is true, however, that Andrea’s husband consented to his murder, but only if it took place on the pages of a book. She has kept her promise. Andrea is the co-founder of http://www.armchairinterviews.com/, a web site that reviews books and interviews authors–and was honored by Writers Digest as one of the “101 Best Web Sites for Writers” in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. A Deadly Habit is her first mystery. She is currently coauthoring a Young Adult Fantasy series. Her website is http://www.andreasisco.com/.
A Deadly Habit can be purchased at book stores (if they don't have it on the shelves they will order it for you) or from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com or any online bookseller.
Meet Penelope “Pen” Santucci, 27-year-old Minneapolis probation officer, estranged wife, and murder suspect. When she breaks into her house to get some belongings (because her husband, attorney Paul Preston, changed the locks after they separated), Pen finds Paul’s body and envisions herself, the soon-to-be ex-wife, in a prison jumpsuit. For help, she turns to Father Daniel Kopecky, the neighborhood parish priest to whom she made exaggerated childhood confessions even though she wasn’t Catholic, and to her sister, Germaine, who converted to Catholicism and became a nun. Pen has soon involved these two people of the cloth in various felonies while trying to avoid conviction. Meanwhile, she uncovers mounds of dirt about Paul, including the fact that a sizable number of people wanted him dead. Pen, who seems to be an equally smart-mouthed but less-disciplined version of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum, may exasperate some readers with her flightiness; still, the religious angle adds interest, and Sisco’s deft storytelling, slick prose, and well-crafted characters should win a following for this smart and sassy new series. — Michele Leber
When she finds her husband murdered, a probation officer who's been planning divorce must make other plans.As she tells Father Daniel Kopecky, the old friend she confesses to even though she isn't Catholic, Penelope Santucci didn't kill her philandering husband Paul Preston, a criminal attorney in both senses of the term. She just stumbled on his corpse after she broke into his house to grab some of her possessions before he could boost them. Father Kopecky is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, Sgt. Clifford Masters of Minneapolis Homicide somewhat less so. When he shows up at her apartment to ask questions, Pen skedaddles. Sisco's debut is less a mystery than a chase/adventure with both eyes focused like a laser on Stephanie Plum. Pen has a nose for trouble, an overbearing mother, bad luck with the men who flit through her life, self-esteem issues, enough resilience to bounce back from repeated beatings by goons seeking Paul's ill-gotten gains, and a habit of running her mouth, though her irrepressible repartee is mostly PG. Her insouciant lack of self-control takes her from Paul's interment, where his current mistress shoves her into his grave, to a convent, a law office and a judge's chambers, most of which she's entered under false pretenses.
Precious little detection, but the energy level never dips below the red zone. Fans who want something to read during the three months per year that lack a new Janet Evanovich title may have found their fix.