Welcome back! I hope everyone had a delightful day! I spent my afternoon up on my roof (I was not sunbathing). I needed to clean the leaves and limbs off before they damaged the roof. The hardest part for me is getting up the ladder (hard on my legs). I only managed to get the big stuff off. I will have to go back up with the blower to get the rest of the leaves (and repair a section of shingles). My little buddy (the raccoon) kept me company (from his tree). I hope the rest of you had a less arduous day.
The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco is the first book in A Zodiac Mystery series. Julia Bonatti is an astrologer living and working in San Francisco, California. Julia has private clients and also does the Ask Zodia column for the local newspaper. Dorothy Sanger is a current client who has Julia to come over to her aunt’s home, Gamble House. Dorothy has recently separated from her husband, Richard (but is hoping her chart has news that they will get back together). Evandra Gamble is eight-nine years old and has begun having issues lately (and wants a reading). Evandra now fears for her life (that someone is trying to harm her). After visiting with Evandra (and trying to soothe her fears), Julia is in the kitchen when she notices that Luis, the jack-of-all trades, has disappeared. The lawn mower is still there and running. Dorothy and Julia run out and find Luis has fallen over the wall (there is a big drop). Luis did not make it. Julia is checking her work email when she receives three odd emails. There are religious in nature. Then she gets calls on her home phone line. Then people with signs (Witch Burn Witch) show up outside her apartment complex which upsets a new client. Julia arranges to meet the client at the Mystic Eye owned by her friend, Gale. Unfortunately, the protestors are also at Mystic Eye. The group is against the occult, and they are not going away quietly. The group calls themselves Army of the Prophet and are guided by Reverend Roy. Reverend Roy is new to town, but he has quickly inserted himself into local politics (meaning the police are no help). It is not a good week for Julia and her friends. Someone then starts a fire at the Mystic Eye and Julia is attached by a man with a knife (I think Julia should have checked her own chart for this week). Julia has to leave (move somewhere else) her apartment (because of the protestors) and ends up staying with Dorothy (who is having issues of her own). Dorothy needs help with her aunt’s. Evandra’s mental faculties seem to be declining and then a young man shows up claiming to be a long lost relative named Reggie (there is a trust—always comes down to money). Julia believes something fishy is going on at Gamble House. Will she be able to get to the bottom of the problem? What is she going to do about Reverend Roy and his followers? The planets are definitely not aligned for Julia.
The Madness of Mercury was a delight to read. I enjoyed the characters (we did not get a lot of information on them, but it is the first book). I did not understand the astrology stuff (planets in retrograde, alignments, etc.), but that did not hinder my reading pleasure. The Madness of Mercury is well-written and engaging. I started reading the book and kept going until the end (the book had a good pace). The mystery was the best part of the book. It was complicated and twisty with a delightful curve ball at the end (I loved it). I liked the unique method of the murderer used by the killer. I give The Madness of Mercury 4.5 out of 5 stars (I downgraded a little because I did not understand the astrology information). I look forward to reading the next book in A Zodiac Mystery series.
Connie di Marco is also known as Connie Archer. Ms. Archer is the author of the Soup Lovers Mysteries (you should check them out if you enjoy cozy mysteries). I received a complimentary copy of The Madness of Mercury from NetGalley and Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel.
I am off to relax (I am hurting) and read. I am reading Title Wave by Lorna Barrett. I hope all of you have a good night! Take care and Happy Reading.
The Avid Reader