Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review - Corpse in the Crystal Ball


Corpse in the Crystal Ball: A Fortune Teller Mystery

By: Kari Lee Townsend
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: June 2012
ISBN: 978-0425251331
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: May 2012


Sylvia “Sunny” Meadows was settling in nicely in Divinity, despite her recent, unsettling setback. Never in a million years had she expected the finger to be pointed at her for the murder of the town librarian after she’d read her tea leaves. Small town Divinity was a far cry from the Big Apple and her Victorian home at the end of Shadow Lane was the perfect place to set up her fortune-telling business, especially since it was “rumored to be haunted.” Her clientele list was growing and even included Mayor Cromwell, who was a regular. Granny Gert, who was singularly quirky, had just moved in to help, if you could call baking cookies helping.

Jo Burnham, Sunny’s best friend, had to chuckle at Sunny’s ‘almost’ relationship with Detective Mitch Stone. Their relationship always seemed to end before it even got started. Mitch thought that fortune-telling was tomfoolery and would have no part of it. Worse yet, his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, Isabel Gonzales, had just arrived in town and wanted Mitch back AND a reading. Sunny reluctantly held Isabel’s hands and decided she needed to use Moonbeam, her crystal ball. After placing four protective crystal angels around the ball, a vision came into view. “I clearly saw that you will be noticed, only not in the way you want.”

Fingers would once again be pointing because Isabel’s strangled corpse would soon be found in the woods. This time they pointed at Mitch. Was Sunny falling in love with a murderer? Captain Walker officially appointed her as part of the investigation team for her impressive work in helping locate Isabel. Sunny suddenly found herself driving in the fast lane in more ways than one. Granny wanted driving lessons and was trying to set her up with Kevin, the mailman, while shady out-of-towners started coming out of the woodwork. When Sunny discovered one of them floating face up in the swan pond at Mini Central Park she began her own investigation. Mitch angrily spouted, “I thought your job was reading people’s fortunes, not their Miranda rights.” He had a point because Father Moody just might end up giving Sunny her last rites after she discovered a cold-blooded killer was stalking her!

A quick tea-leaf reading shows that Sunny Meadows is going to be a first class detective. The energy simply sparkles and flows through the pages of this mystery as Sunny tries to find out whodunit. Although she couldn’t use her psychic abilities to figure out where her love life was going, I was just as anxious to find out who could land a date with this spunky scryer as I was to have her ferret out the killer. The wide variety of characters, from the psychic and the psycho to the shady and shiftless, will garner new fans for this visionary series. Granny’s charming antics add just a dash of humor that rounds out the mystery quite nicely. I predict that if you like a bit of new age in your mysteries, you’re going to adore Sunny Meadows!

Quill says: This quirky new age mystery will delight cozy fans who like a blend of excitement, romance, and a big dash of humor in their reading!