I am super-excited today to provide a review at my blog stop for Tail of the Dragon by Connie di Marco on her Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour.
Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery)
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (August 8, 2018)
Paperback: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B075W42GWP
San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought murder would be part of her practice, but when her former boss and current client asks for help she agrees to go undercover at his law firm. Three people have received death threats and the only common denominator between them is a case long settled–the infamous Bank of San Francisco fire. Julia’s astrological expertise provides clues but no one wants to listen. Before she can solve the mystery, two people are dead and her own life is in danger. Julia must unmask the killer before he, or she, takes another life.
Protagonist Julia Bonatti has been invited back by her old boss to cover for his assistant while she is on vacation. Good for Julia, as she can always use the extra cash since she’s gone on her own full-time into astrology and she could use the extra bucks. Unfortunately, things haven’t been all cupcakes at the law firm since she worked there previously and, in fact, have now escalated with death threats on three partners. The three shared a common case with a previous firm and Julia suspects the threats are tied to their shared tragic settlement.
Her former boss, David, is aware of her astrology expertise and has used her services before. He levels with her that in this instance he is more interested in her snooping and studying signs than he is the legal administrative work, as he is hoping to head off any serious threat to his litigation team. He has also hired a security firm to bring in personnel and she is introduced to Adam Schaffer, a private investigator. Her first hour back on the job, however, sees the first casualty.
I’m not sure you’d have to be a believer in astrology to enjoy this book as it is a fascinating study. The author throws out some seriously detailed Zodiac signs and how they clash or agree and it appears she knows the subject very well. (I couldn’t argue her transiting discussions as I know nothing about it.) Julia is careful to get complete information including birth date and hour to generate her natal charts. (It’s a Zodiac mystery–it is going to include all that mystical stuff. I’m up for that and had no problem with it.) She’s done well with her charts and has many more hits than misses. She’s proven her work. Single, she has been around the block and is not naive. Independent, competent, and fairly attractive, she lives in the heart of San Francisco and knows and loves her city. She has a network of friends and is acquainted with the art world. Peripheral characters are fleshed, exciting, and add interest. Descriptions of the city leave you with a sense of salty ocean air mixed with chilling fog.
There were a few things I did have a problem with.
The first murder (and yeah, there’s another) happens very abruptly; first day, first hour. Red herrings thrown in, background history brought forward regarding Julia’s deceased fiancé (temporarily derailing the plot), characters with little purpose, and credibility gaps. Julia falls almost instantly for Adam, and he seemingly for her, and before you know it they are making plans for when the case is over. Huh?! She tends to shun the police, even when she should be reporting suspicious and serious threats.
HOWEVER, the protagonist is unique and the plot multi-dimensional, fleshed with a well developed main character (as well as support characters), although the love bug bite was a bit much. The antagonist(s) was fairly obvious, although one of the red herrings may have thrown you off temporarily. The explanation in the conclusion pushed into disbelief, but again, the who is not a real surprise. The author wraps most loose ends up very neatly, while dismissing anything irrelevant.
I was granted this uncorrected proof by the publisher and NetGalley for the purpose of the book tour for Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and greatly appreciate the opportunity to read and review. Recommended for those interested in astrology or who love a cozy mystery with a unique plot device, sans recipes. How about a reading?
Enter to win one of five of your choice either print (U.S. only) or digital copy of Tail of the Dragon in this Rafflecopter giveaway.
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti. Tail of the Dragon, third in the series, will be released on August 8, 2018.
Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her favorite recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.
Author Central: amazon.com/author/conniedimarco
Thank you for visiting my stop on the tour and please visit the other stops listed below!
June 14 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW
June 14 – The Montana Bookaholic – SPOTLIGHT
June 15 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
June 16 – Babs Book Bistro – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
June 17 – Varietats – GUEST POST
June 18 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 19 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW
June 19 – Teresa Trent Author Blog – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – My Fiction Obsession – SPOTLIGHT
June 20 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 21 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW
June 22 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT
June 23 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST
June 24 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW
June 24 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
June 25 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – REVIEW
June 25 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
June 26 – Books Direct – SPOTLIGHT
June 26 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST
June 27 – Jane Reads – GUEST POST
June 27 – Ruff Drafts – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
©2018 V Williams