Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: August 2nd 2011 by Berkley
Twenty-nine year old Sunny Meadows, daughter of socially prominent Manhattan parents, feels it is time to strike out on her own. Her parents think she should continue living in their shadow and become more like them. Sunny, however, has other ideas - she wants to start her own business using her talents as a tea leaves reading psychic. Needless to say this does not go over well with her parents!
But Sunny is determined and after using her trust fund to purchase a somewhat dilapidated Victorian home that comes complete with a cat, outside the city in the little town of Divinity, New York, she is ready for business. Her first customer is the local librarian, Amanda Robbins, whose tea leaves shake up both of them when Sunny sees Amanda as a murder victim.
What's a psychic to do when forced with such a vision? Warn the would-be victim and notify the police, of course. Detective Stone is not too impressed with her claims of visions and tea leaves but finally he agrees to check out the library. What does he find? Amanda! Dead, of course! After a little bit of investigating, it turns out Amanda wasn't quite the mousy stereotypical librarian after all. Quite a few people could have had opportunity and motive. Unfortunately, due to the manner of death, Detective Stone is convinced Sunny had something to do with it.
Well, you know how this goes with cozies - the amateur sleuth has to prove herself innocent and tries to figure out the murder on her own. Granted, with cozies, the reader knows up front some suspension of disbelief is called for but in this case it was how Sunny came to work with the police that was totally unbelievable. Also, some of Sunny's actions were very foolhardy, not to mention illegal; this is something I hope the author addresses in the future along with more credible dialogue.
Even with a few quibbles, I loved the start to this series due to the sparkling main character - Sunny Meadows is downright loveable with just the right amount of quirkiness to make her very interesting.The setting abounds with atmosphere with a little bit of mysticism and some humor in the plot make this an auspicious beginning for the new series. I loved the cat, Morty! I would definitely read the next Sunny Meadows adventure. 3*** (would have been a 4* if not for the reasons I listed)
Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Berkley in exchange for my honest opinion.
To celebrate the release of Tempest in the Tea Leaves, Berkley is allowing me to give away 1 copy of the book. Open to US only. Deadline to enter is August 18th at 5 PM. Please be sure to leave an e mail address in your comment. Bonus entries available for this contest are as follows:
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