About the Book:
Astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought her chosen profession would bring danger into her life, but her outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of San Francisco’s recently-arrived cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle. The followers of the power hungry preacher will stop at nothing to quell the voices of those who would stand in his way and Julia’s at the top of his list. She’s willing to bet the charismatic Reverend is a Mercury-ruled individual, and she knows all too well that Mercury wasn’t just the messenger of the gods, he was a trickster and a liar as well.
Life is good for Julie Bonatti. She has a thriving astrology career plus she writes a column for the local paper. After her response to a submitted question involving the cynicism of a cult leader, his practices, and the religion as a whole, Julie finds her world crumbling. Seeking solace and safety, she temporarily stays in the estate of a wealthy pair of elderly ladies, Evandra and Eunice, who are currently under the care of their niece, Dorothy. Things really begin to heat up when Evandra starts displaying odd behavior and Eunice leaves home to join up with the cult leader at his compound.
Honestly, I wasn’t really sure about The Madness of Mercury at the beginning. Yes, I read the synopsis and I knew the book would involve astrology to some degree but I wasn’t prepare for the amount that was used in the book. As someone who isn’t really interested in astrology, I didn’t really have anything in common with Julia, it was hard to relate to her. However, as the story progressed, I was able to push the astrology parts aside and focus on the the characters and the plot.
The multi-faceted story line kept me engaged and interested. The goings on within the sisters’ estate, along with the threats from the cult that invaded San Francisco, will have the reader pushing on with anticipation. The character development and world building was done well and nothing was lacking. The mystery wasn’t easily solvable and I found that the couple people I thought could be responsible were not, so the author did a great job building up the mystery without giving anything away early.
Lovers of cozy mysteries will enjoy this first book in the Zodiac Mystery series.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher at no cost in exchange for an honest review.