Break-In at the Basilica by Dianne Ahern

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Book 2 of the series! 

Luigi, a desperately poor man, breaks into the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy, to steal something of great value. He hides behind the wooden choir stalls and waits for nightfall. The howl of a wolf breaks the quiet of the night and a burst of warm air sends chills down his spine. Thus begins anotherAdventure with Sister Philomena, Special Agent to the Pope. Eager to assist their aunt and find clues, Sister Philomena’s niece and nephew explore the basilica, study its frescos, sneak into the tomb of Saint Francis, wander through the hill town of Assisi, and end up in the little church of San Damiano. Every once in a while they spot a wolf, hear its howl or feel its presence. Is it real or a spirit? Good or evil? What is it trying to tell them? Woven into this great tale of adventure are the personal stories of Saint Francis and Saint Clare and the sights and sounds of Assisi.

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About the Book:

Break-In at the Basilica finds Luigi, a desperately poor man, breaking into the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, Italy, to steal something of great value. He hides behind the wooden choir stalls and waits for the right time. The howl of a wolf breaks the quiet of the night and a burst of warm air sends chills down Luigi’s spine. Thus begins this Adventure with Sister Philomena, Special Agent for the Pope. A boy, Riley, and his little sister, Delaney, are sent to Italy to stay with their aunt, Sister Philomena. At first the kids were sure this would be a miserable summer stuck in a convent with a bunch of nuns that do nothing but go to church and pray all day. Boy, were they wrong!

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Sister Philomena, the Pope’s private eye, is called upon to go to Assisi to investigate the break-in and theft of the priceless Chartula of Saint Francis and she has no alternative but to take the children with her. Eager to assist their aunt and find clues, Riley and Delaney explore the basilica, study its frescos, sneak into the tomb of Saint Francis, wander through the hill town of Assisi, and end up in the little church of San Damiano. Every once in a while they spot a wolf, hear its howl or feel its presence. Is it real or a spirit? Good or evil? What is it trying to tell them? Woven into this great tale of adventure are the personal stories of Saint Francis and Saint Clare and the sights and sounds of Assisi. The book also has an appendix of Italian words and phrases that will help young readers become world travelers.

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Reviews:

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From Sr. Paule Pierre Barbeau, OSB

A theft at the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi and a mysterious wolf are at the center of Riley and Delaney’s second adventure.  Riley and Delaney learn about St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare of Assisi, and I was touched by the inclusion of a blessing by St. Francis as well as one of his prayers.  I loved how Riley and Delaney were able to solve the crime by doing what kids do – play!  It was also heartwarming that the main message of the story turned out to be one of forgiveness and mercy.


About the Author: 

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Dianne Ahern grew up on a farm in Illinois, has traveled extensively for business and pleasure, and now resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Medical Technology from Marian College (University), and a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Indiana University.  After rewarding careers in laboratory medicine, hospital administration, and healthcare consulting, Dianne found a new love: researching and writing about the events that shape our lives.

It was after her first Vatican visit in 1999, when Dianne looked into the eyes of Pope (Saint) John Paul II, held his hand, and kissed his ring, that she felt called to write books for Catholic children and their families.  Already a successful businesswoman, Dianne formed her own publishing company, Aunt Dee’s Attic, to support her new calling.

Beginning with the sacrament of baptism, Dianne outlined a series of books on the sacraments designed to prepare families for these most important events.  Her books’ formats merge storybook, reference book, and memory book elements into beautiful keepsake books. The sacrament books feature the imprimatur of the Catholic Church to assure families that the contents are true Church teachings.

In addition to her books on the sacraments, Dianne has developed a series of adventure/mystery books for young readers subtitled Adventures with Sister Philomena, Special Agent to the Pope.  The Adventure books place fictional characters in real settings to teach about the Church, saints, and holy places.  Her books have won accolades from retailers, readers, clergy, teachers, grandparents, and moms and dads.