Thursday, May 26, 2016

Review ~ THE MADNESS OF MERCURY by Connie di Marco

The Madness of Mercury (A Zodiac Mystery, #1)
by: Connie di Marco
Series: Zodiac Mystery
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Release Date: June 8, 2016
Publisher: Midnight Ink

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.

The Madness of Mercury is the first book in Connie di Marco’s Zodiac series. Told in first person from the point of view of Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco based astrologer. The events of the book take place during the Christmas season.  This is supposed to be a time of celebration with family and friends, but with Mercury in retrograde it becomes a time of upheaval.  No one knows this better than Julia, but she isn't prepared for the events to come.

I went into reading The Madness of Mercury with an open mind.  I quickly realized I was in over my head.  Astrology is a true science and for a novice like me, very confusing.  During her meetings with clients, Julia gives them details of their charts, discussing planets, houses, and whatnot.   Try as I might, I couldn't understand any of it.  In fact, in order for me to truly get into the book, I had to dismiss any discussions of Astrology.

As a main character, I liked Julia.  She's kind, caring, and very determined.  She goes out of her way to help her friends and even her clients. At times, she doesn't even think of her own safety.  We don't see an in-depth relationship with her friends, but you do get a sense of how they all care for one another.  The secondary characters to this storyline are intriguing, if a little eccentric at times.  I must admit they truly made the book. Evandra Gamble may be an octogenarian, but she does have her spitfire moments.

Julia has recently started a column in the San Francisco Chronicle called Ask Zodia.  People write into the newspaper and ask her advice regarding things currently going on in their lives.  They include their date of birth as a means for her to see what the planets and stars think they should do.  It never occurred to Julia or anyone at the newspaper that her small little column could put her life and livelihood in jeopardy.  But that is exactly what happens when Julia unconsciously goes against Reverend Roy and his Prophet’s Tabernacle.

Connie has this ability to draw you in and become invested in the characters and story.  The mystery was one I didn't see coming.  Perhaps I got distracted by the science found in the book or maybe it was simply that I found myself enjoying the story and not thinking about the who and why.  In the end, I did get a general understanding of what was going on with Mercury and why certain events occurred.   

**Received a copy from Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**

Rating: 4

Purchase The Madness of Mercury from:

You can read my interview with Connie here.

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.

Places to find Connie di Marco:

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  1. Hi Kim - Thanks so much for hosting my stop today! It's a delight to be visiting with you again!

    1. You are more than welcome. Good luck with the book. There are a couple of comments on the interview post.


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