Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: Trouble in the Tarot by Kari Lee Townsend

Trouble in the Tarot (A Fortune Teller Mystery #3)
by Kari Lee Townsend
Release Date: March 5th 2013
2013 Berkley Prime Crime
Softcover Edition; 304 Pages
ISBN: 978-0-425-25197-3
Genre: Fiction / Cozy Mystery
Source: From author

3.5 / 5 Stars

Lately Sunny has been experiencing a period of big opportunity: her business in Divinity, New York, is thriving, and Detective Mitch Stone has finally agreed to take Sunny on a date. But thanks to her clairvoyant abilities, Sunny knows better than anyone that life deals out bad cards along with the good.

When Sunny agrees to read tarot cards at the annual Summer Solstice Carnival, she meets her Granny Gert‘s “arch nemesis” Fiona Atwater, and is overcome by a vision of Fiona in a violent argument. Sunny knows trouble is brewing when Granny and Fiona start having squabbles all over town. But the fighting comes to a head when a local baker gets run over by a big white Cadillac—and Granny and Fiona are found at the crime scene.

Sunny knows she should step aside and let Mitch handle the investigating, but she’s not about to ignore her visions and leave her granny’s life in fate’s hands...

My Thoughts
Trouble in the Tarot is the third novel in the A Fortune Teller Mystery Series which features Sunshine 'Sunny' Meadows and her adorable cat, Morty.  And although I felt this was the best book of the series in terms of character development, and of course, trying to find out more about my favourite character, Morty the cat, when it came to mystery and murder, I actually felt this one was more confusing and convoluted and didn't quite match up to the previous two novels.

What I really liked: Naturally, Morty the cat is a huge mystery, and every time he appears, he just adds to the mystery of what and more particularly, what he is.  I have a feeling the author is going to play with that particular thing for as long as she can just to keep her readers frustrated and longing to know, and so we can keep guessing.  What fun!!!  Sunny keeps growing on me with each book as well, and I like how her character is developing and evolving especially as I wasn't overly fond of her in the first book.  Some people seem to be trouble magnets, and Sunny just happens to be one of them.  I do have to admit that the Monster Truck scene was a bit over the top though, even for Sunny.  I enjoyed the pace of the novel and although the arguments between Granny Gert and Fiona drove me nuts in the beginning, when it finally settled down, I found myself enjoying their two characters very much, although the solutions to their problems seemed quite simplistic.

What I'm not sure about:  I did enjoy the plot, and thought there were quite a few suspects thrown in the reader's lap, with lots of twists and turns.  With everything that was going on however, I wonder if maybe the plot was too convoluted and I didn't really feel like Sunny herself was invested in this mystery / murder.  I did bother me when Sunny kept getting mad at Mitch for withholding information from her; he is a police officer and the fact that she keeps expecting him to reveal information relating to a police investigation just because they're romantically involved drives me crazy.  Where does this sense of entitlement come from?  If they ever get married, he would still be obliged to withhold information, it's his job, and he could, and should, get fired for it.  Sunny didn't really use her paranormal abilities in this case, and when she did, she used them for things she could have figured out on her own.  I just felt like there was something missing when it came to the mystery aspect in this one that wasn't there in the first two.

Trouble in the Tarot was an interesting and fun read, and I did enjoy it very much, but more for the romantic aspect of the novel, rather than for the mystery aspect of it.  I thought the plot was too convoluted and didn't quite wrap things up or explain things well enough, but I did enjoy the character developments and the intertwining relationships in this community.  The plot does move along nicely however, and the author's writing style is captivating and engaging; you can't help getting caught up in Sunny's world.  I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series, and hopefully discovering more about Morty the cat.