The messenger was a trickster ~ The Madness Of Mercury ~ Review and Giveaway

Posted: May 23, 2016 in Blog Tour, Cozy Mystery, giveaways, Mystery, reviews
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The story is very well-written, and the characters are realistic and likable.
~Book Babble

Full of suspense and surprises…
~Laura’s Interests


The Madness of Mercury
(A Zodiac Mystery)

Cozy Mystery
New Series
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0738749129


My Review

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.

4 Stars



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.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links

Amazon –  B&N 


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Follow The Tour

May 20 – deal sharing aunt – Spotlight*

May 20 – Book Babble – Review

May 21 – Laura’s Interests – Review

May 21 – LibriAmoriMiei – Review

May 22 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – Spotlight*

May 22 – Mystery Playground – Interview

May 23 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – Review

May 23 – fuonlyknew – Review

May 24 – Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

May 24 – Musings and Ramblings – Guest Post

May 25 – Back Porchervations – Review

May 25 – The Bookwyrm’s Hoard – Review, Guest Post

May 26 – Bea’s Book Nook – Review

May 26 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – Review, Interview

May 27 – The Book’s the Thing – Review

May 27 – Thoughts in Progress – Spotlight*

May 28 – Shelley’s Book Case – Review, Guest Post

May 29 – A Blue Million Books – Interview

May 30 – StoreyBook Reviews – Review

May 31 – I Read What You Write – Review, Interview

June 1 – A Holland Reads – Spotlight*

June 1 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – Review

June 2 – Booklady’s Booknotes – Review, Guest Post

June 2 – Brooke Blogs – Spotlight


Thanks so much for visiting fuonlyknew and Good Luck!

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  1. Mary Preston says:

    What a fun read this promises to be.

  2. I think I might have this one to review, I can’t remember if I decided to get it or held off on it. Sounds like a good one. :)

  3. Yvonne says:

    I’m reading this one now for a review and a blog tour. I’m enjoying it so far.

  4. noraadrienne says:

    I really hope I win a copy of this book. I have it on hold at two different county library systems and don’t want to wait months to read it.

  5. Hi, Laura! Thanks for being part of Connie’s tour/giveaway. I enjoyed her “cozier cozy” series, the “Soup Lover’s Mysteries.” This one sounds a bit edgier. Looking forward to it! –Michael

    • Connie di Marco says:

      Oh, hi Michael ~ thanks for visiting! Julia does live a different life, hope you enjoy her adventures!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      Hi Michael! Yep, this is edgier! I’ve read one of the Soup Lover’s books and loved it so I was thrilled to start this series too:)

  6. I love cozies too and recommendations from you and Michael make me want to read them even more. Great job.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    • Connie di Marco says:

      Hi Sherry ~ Thanks for visiting! I love Michael’s books too! Best of luck!

  7. Sounds like a fun one! I don’t read a lot of cozy mysteries, but this seems good. I actually like it more character driven and even more convoluted. Great review!

  8. diannekc says:

    This sound like an intriguing read. I would enjoy learning more about astrology. Looking forward to reading.

  9. Lola says:

    I don’t know a lot about astrology or am even interested in it, but this book sounded so fun and like you I love cozies and this sounded like an original theme for one. I got this one for review from netgalley and I hope i can make time to read it soon.I am glad to hear this one kept you guessing and you liked the characters. i hope I’ll enjoy this one as well! Great review!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      It is a different theme and I love it when I find a new one. Yeah, I’m a cozy addict! LOL

  10. Good review! I agree that this series feels more serious than some of the other cozy series I’ve read. And it did get off to a bit of a slow start. But I enjoyed it and plan to read the next one when it comes along!

    • fuonlyknew says:

      We felt the same. Awesome! I will be reading more of this series too. You wouldn’t believe how many different cozy series I’m keeping track of. LOL