A murdered mother leaves a shop full of secrets
Much to Alanis McLachlan's surprise, her con-woman mother, Barbra, has left her an inheritance--The White Magic Five & Dime, a new-age shop in tiny Berdache, Arizona. Reluctantly traveling to Berdache to claim her new property, Alanis decides to stay and pick up her estranged mother's tarot reading business in an attempt to find out who killed her.
With help from a hunky cop and her mother's live-in teenage apprentice, Alanis begins faking her way through bogus tarot readings in order to win the confidence of her mother's clients. But much to her surprise, the more she uses the tarot deck, the more Alanis begins to find real meaning in the cards.
My Thoughts :
I wanted to try this book because of the cover and title. I decided I had to read it when I checked out the blurb. The concept sounded different enough for the book to stand out and it actually turned out to be very original and interesting. For a debut in a new series it was extremely well written and after checking out the author page at the end of the book I realised why. Steve Hockensmith isn't a new author but a well known one. He is actually the best selling author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies as well as many other novels.
The main character was easy to like. She had a history that I couldn't wait to hear all about and her stories regarding her childhood the memories of her mother were not only critical to the plot but also very revealing. Finding out so much about Alanis made the story even better and the author wasn't scared to tell the reader more about the daughter of a con artist. It came across as realistic and didn't sound stupid or over the top.
As plots go this one was nice and fresh. The whole thing was calling to me constantly and I kept grabbing the book and reading as much as possible all week. I couldn't keep away from the story that was unfolding. There were so many possibilities and a nice twist here and there. I had a feeling I knew who did it but I couldn't figure out why until Alanis did. A great revelation that I am sure a lot of readers will not see coming!
While this cozy mystery isn't paranormal it does revolve mainly around the tarot. Each chapter begins with a card and there are a lot of readings/interpretations throughout the book. The themes in this series is obviously tarot although there is also the con artist angle. The two fit together nicely and it is an interesting choice that makes this one not overly cozy but a little more rough around the edges.
The White Magic Five and Dime was a surprisingly good debut that has me hoping there will be more. The ending suggests this is to become a series and I certainly want to read more about Alanis and see what happens next. If you are a cozy mystery lover or someone interested in the tarot then you do not want to miss out on this book when it releases at the beginning of next month. A nice one to curl up with over the holidays!