Review of Tempest In The Tea Leaves (A Fortune Teller Mystery, Book #1)

Sunny Meadows had left home and moved to Divinity, New York.  She realized that at age 29, it was time that she followed her passion and live her life the way she wanted to.  Her parents do not understand her and are not happy with her career choice.  You see, Sunny is a fortune teller and a darn good one, if she does say so herself.  She has moved into a “haunted “ house, which she feels will be good for business.  What is not so good for business is the fact that her first customer winds up dead only a few short hours after the reading.   A reading that warned that the client was in danger and would be killed.

9677446  After the client left, Sunny was so concerned about what was going to happen that she called the police.  When a detective (Mitch Stone) showed up, Sunny tells him that a murder is going to happen and even who the victim is.  Even though the detective is skeptical, he pays a visit to the victim’s house, only to find her dead.  Sunny becomes the number one suspect, since she warned of the murder and tea was found at the crime scene.   Being a suspect will not be good for business, so Sunny decides there is only one thing she can do.  Find the killer herself.  And much to the chagrin of both Sunny and Mitch, they eventually find themselves working together to solve the case.

I found the concept of a fortuneteller unique and refreshing.  There are probably other fortuneteller series that have been written, but I have not read any.  I love reading paranormal cozies and this fit the bill nicely.  The fortunetelling and the “haunted” house and the magical cat, Morty, that just appears inside the house were the perfect combination of mystical and mysterious.  I loved how the author wove all of these elements to give the story a magical feel.

Another thing that I found refreshing was the fact that Sunny is basically on her own.  In most of the cozy series I read, the protagonist always have a group of friends to help her investigate.  Most of the time they have been friends forever.  And do not get me wrong, I enjoy these and love reading about their friendships and relationships.  But I also enjoyed the fact that Sunny did not have that group of friends to lean on and had to rely more on her own skills (and those of Morty) to solve the case.  I really enjoyed that and made this book a standout, in my opinion.

I thought this book had it all.  There was humor, mystery, supernatural and suspense.  I found myself laughing out loud reading about the relationship between Sunny and Mitch.  I enjoyed the bickering and bantering between the two.  I loved the loyalty Morty had to Sunny and how he was able to relay messages to Sunny and help her with the case.  The mystery was carried out through much of the book and I thought it was well plotted.  I eventually figured out who the killer was before it was revealed but that was alright.  I still did not know how the book would end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a paranormal cozy read.  This is the first book in the series and There are two more books already written.  I will definitely be reading both of them.  I am just sorry that it took me so long to read the first book.

Review of Death By Coffee

Krissy Hancock moves to Pine Hills with her best friend, Vicki, to open a coffee/bookstore.  They name the store “Death By Coffee”.  They picked this name because that is the name of Krissy”s fathers famous mystery book.  Krissy does not really like the name because she thinks it is a little morbid.  And when the name becomes a reality, Krissy is ready to rename the place.

The first day that the shop is open a man comes in for a cup of coffee.  He is not very pleasant and does not seem very impressed with his beverage.  Not long after he arrives in the store, he receives a phone call and leaves and returns to his place of business across the street.   A short time later emergency vehicles are in front of “Death By Coffee” and Krissy learns that her unfriendly customer is dead.  Although it is initially believed that his death was accidental, after more investigating it is believed it may be murder.  He died from anaphylactic shock and although he was extremely allergic to peanuts, no epipen was found with his body.  And since Krissy was one of the last people to see him alive and her coffee 22891462 was one of the last things that he drank, she is a person of interest.   She knows that she has to clear her name and the reputation of the shop, so she decides to find the killer herself.  Besides, she really enjoys solving puzzles, and this is a whopper of a puzzle.  But the more she delves into the life of the deceased, the more she learns that he was not an ideal family man and is known for being a womanizer.  This may be the one puzzle that she can not solve, but it may be the most important one of her life because her freedom might depend on it.

The characters are well developed and well rounded.  I thought that Krissy was very funny and I laughed at loud at some of her thoughts and ideas.  I also laughed at the antics of Trouble and Misfit, two crazy cats owned by Krissy and Vicki.   At times Krissy acted a lot younger than she was but that was alright with me because it just added to the humor.

The mystery is carried out throughout much of the book and I thought it was well plotted.  Since the victim was not the nicest man in town, there are many suspects to consider,  Twists and turns made it difficult to determine the killer and I did not know who the culprit was until it was revealed at the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a well crafted cozy mystery.  It is the first book in the series and I will definitely read book two.  One thing that I found interesting is that this book was written by a male.  I do not know if I have ever read any other cozies written by a man.  I just know that he did a good job, in my opinion.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.  I would like to thank NetGalley and Kensington for the opportunity to read and review this book.