The story is very well-written, and the characters are realistic and likable.
Full of suspense and surprises…
The Madness of Mercury
(A Zodiac Mystery)
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01A5OGTRS
First things first. I love cozy mysteries and as such, I was excited to find one with an astrological theme. It’s not that common, and this had me curious.
I confess I know little about astrology. I do like to read my horoscope. Yeah, I’m into that. Much of the jargon had me stumbling while reading and caused me to pause. Once I got past trying to understand all of it, I let the characters and mystery pull me in. A glossary with some definitions would have been great.
Julia Bonatti has a thriving business reading astrological charts for her clients and supplementing her income writing an advice column for the newspaper. An article Julia writes makes her the target of a cult leader, the Prophet. He sends his followers to harass her and her clients, and anyone connected to her. The local police aren’t much help. Probably thanks to the Prophet’s friends in high places.
Driven from her home, she goes to stay with her friend Dorothy. Dorothy is taking care of her two rich, elderly aunts. one of which has declining mental capacities and thinks Dorothy is trying to kill her. And then there’s the death of the grounds keeper. His death is stated to be accidental, but further digging may reveal something else.
While this is tagged as a cozy mystery, I felt it was more serious, deeper and convoluted. Just a heads up for those cozy fans looking for the much loved and usual cozy.
I’m also big on character driven stories. There’s quite a cast of characters, and even though I didn’t feel a strong connection to many of them, I enjoyed getting acquainted, and their roles in the mystery were well played out.
You know from reading the blurb that there’s more than one mystery going on. The threads don’t tie together until the conclusion and it definitely keeps you guessing.
While not being quite the cozy mystery I was expecting and a slow start, I did enjoy this one, and I would like to read the next book. I have a feeling I’ll form a deeper connection with the characters as another mystery waits to be solved.
San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti’s life is turned upside down when she becomes the target of the city’s newest cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle. Driven out of her apartment in the midst of a disastrous Mercury retrograde period, she takes shelter with a client who’s caring for two elderly aunts. One aunt appears stricken with dementia and the other has fallen under the spell of the Reverend Roy. To add to the confusion, a young man claiming to be a long lost nephew arrives. The longer he stays, the more dangerous things become. Is the young man truly a member of the family? Can astrology confirm that? Julia’s not sure, but one thing she does know is that Mercury wasn’t merely the messenger of the gods—he was a trickster and a liar as well.
Author Connie di Marco
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink. She was fascinated by astrology at an early age and this was the inspiration that gave birth to Julia Bonatti, San Francisco astrologer and her newspaper column Ask Zodia. Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Connie lives in Los Angeles with her family and a constantly talking cat.
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