Monday, May 23, 2016
The Madness of Mercury - Blog Tour Review + Giveaway
The Madness of Mercury (A Zodiac Mystery #1) by Connie di Marco
Source: Blog Tour
Description: 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. (From Goodreads)
Why I Picked This Book: The astrology aspects interested me and I love this author's books under the name Connie Archer.
My Impression: I must say this is the first book I've read about an astrologer. I'm familiar with horoscopes but never gave much thought to all the retrogrades and what have you. I found it interesting that while Julia is an astrologer she's very clear about how different that is from psychics or mediums and all the other things that get kind of lumped together. Julia herself is an interesting character. She's intelligent and a bit damaged without being angsty about it. She takes her job seriously and I liked that she was professional in how she dealt with her clients. It always drives me a little crazy when the main character in a cozy mystery has a job but never actually seems to do it. With Julia not only do we see her doing her job but we see how the protests from the followers of Reverend Roy impacts her professionally and personally. I also enjoyed seeing members of the occult community coming together.
I was a little annoyed with Julia's reluctance to report certain events to the police. As the story progressed it became clear why she didn't trust them but it did bother me that she refused to make a police report and then would immediately encourage a colleague to call the police so that there would be a pattern of harassment. It didn't make sense. There's also a little more telling than showing which at times kept me from getting fully into the mystery. Since I've read and loved other books from di Marco under the name Connie Archer (A Clue in the Stew is fantastic) I think this is because it is the first book in the series and a lot of setup is required.
I really enjoyed the mystery itself. There's a lot going on but di Marco never let the story get confusing or muddled but kept me guessing throughout the book. I was never certain how things were going to unravel until they did. This was a fun read with an entertaining and unique main character. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of trouble Julia gets into next and how she and her friends get themselves out of it!
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Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! I'll definitely be picking up the 2nd book in the series and I'm looking forward to catching up on her Soup Lover's series under the name Connie Archer.
Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely! There are a few first book in the series flaws but the mystery and the characters are so much fun!