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The Madness of Mercury (A Zodiac Mystery) by…
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The Madness of Mercury (A Zodiac Mystery)

by Connie di Marco

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What I know about astrology has pretty much been limited to random glances at horoscopes over the years. The main character, Julia Bonatti makes her living as an astrologer, both in person and with a newspaper column. Luckily, a dead body shows up fairly quickly, although the how is not immediately apparent. Luis was the gardener on the estate of Julia's friend Dorothy's elderly aunts. Julia is the subject of a witch hunt and how that ties in with a local Prophet's group keeps the story moving very quickly. I read this author under her other pseudonym and was pleased to find it another good read. The characters are well developed and easy to get to know. And I liked the tidbit about Mercury being a trickster. ( )
  ethel55 | Jul 8, 2016 |
The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco is the first book in A Zodiac Mystery series. Julia Bonatti is an astrologer living and working in San Francisco, California. Julia has private clients and also does the Ask Zodia column for the local newspaper. Dorothy Sanger is a current client who has Julia to come over to her aunt’s home, Gamble House. Dorothy has recently separated from her husband, Richard (but is hoping her chart has news that they will get back together). Evandra Gamble is eight-nine years old and has begun having issues lately (and wants a reading). Evandra now fears for her life (that someone is trying to harm her). After visiting with Evandra (and trying to soothe her fears), Julia is in the kitchen when she notices that Luis, the jack-of-all trades, has disappeared. The lawn mower is still there and running. Dorothy and Julia run out and find Luis has fallen over the wall (there is a big drop). Luis did not make it. Julia is checking her work email when she receives three odd emails. There are religious in nature. Then she gets calls on her home phone line. Then people with signs (Witch Burn Witch) show up outside her apartment complex which upsets a new client. Julia arranges to meet the client at the Mystic Eye owned by her friend, Gale. Unfortunately, the protestors are also at Mystic Eye. The group is against the occult, and they are not going away quietly. The group calls themselves Army of the Prophet and are guided by Reverend Roy. Reverend Roy is new to town, but he has quickly inserted himself into local politics (meaning the police are no help). It is not a good week for Julia and her friends. Someone then starts a fire at the Mystic Eye and Julia is attached by a man with a knife (I think Julia should have checked her own chart for this week). Julia has to leave (move somewhere else) her apartment (because of the protestors) and ends up staying with Dorothy (who is having issues of her own). Dorothy needs help with her aunt’s. Evandra’s mental faculties seem to be declining and then a young man shows up claiming to be a long lost relative named Reggie (there is a trust—always comes down to money). Julia believes something fishy is going on at Gamble House. Will she be able to get to the bottom of the problem? What is she going to do about Reverend Roy and his followers? The planets are definitely not aligned for Julia.

The Madness of Mercury was a delight to read. I enjoyed the characters (we did not get a lot of information on them, but it is the first book). I did not understand the astrology stuff (planets in retrograde, alignments, etc.), but that did not hinder my reading pleasure. The Madness of Mercury is well-written and engaging. I started reading the book and kept going until the end (the book had a good pace). The mystery was the best part of the book. It was complicated and twisty with a delightful curve ball at the end (I loved it). I liked the unique method of the murderer used by the killer. I give The Madness of Mercury 4.5 out of 5 stars (I downgraded a little because I did not understand the astrology information). I look forward to reading the next book in A Zodiac Mystery series.

I received a complimentary copy of The Madness of Mercury from NetGalley and Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest evaluation of the novel. ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Jun 9, 2016 |
Such a great start to a new cozy series. Madness of Mercury by Connie Di Marco is a fun, exciting, page turning adventure. All of the characters are well thought out and full of independent strong women. Julia Bonatti is starting over and is living in San Francisco where the fog rolls in everyday and she loves it. She is an astrologer and to supplement her income work for the local paper doing a column called Ask Zodia. She has a new client, Dorothy who is a nurse and caregiver to her ailing aunts Eunice and Evandra Gamble. She is looking for advice on her love life when one of the aunts come to her and say that they are in danger! Julia looks into the charts and realizes things are not looking good. Things are lining up that could cause major problems. Then she gets a call to come back to the Gamble house only to find out that Luis, the aunts handyman is found dead??? Why would anyone want to kill Luis?
On top of all of this she has some crazy followers of Reverend Roy and the Prophets Tabernacle picketing not only her and her house but her friend Cheryl who is the manager at the Mystic Eye.
How is she going to get rid of these crazy followers before they do more damage than just to her and Cheryl's business?
Great and fun start to a new series! Look forward to book two.
I recieved this book from NetGalley for an honest review. ( )
  Penny_Burns_Marks | May 31, 2016 |
I received this book from the publisher, Midnight Ink, for a review. This is the first of this author's work that I have read and I am impressed. I loved the cover and the introduction was WOW! The action did slow a little now and then for some astrological facts, none of which I understood, but the story held my attention completely.
The main character is Julia Bonatti, who makes her living as a professional astrologer. She does private readings as well as writing a newspaper column. Her answer to a question from a reader lands her and her friends on the wrong side of the Prophet, a well known religious leader. His followers promptly picket her home and occult businesses in the area. Prophet promises to rid San Francisco of these sinners. Broken windows and attempted arson follow. Because of large donations made to local politicians, police are told to lay off his followers
First death occurs, doesn't appear to be related.Things grow increasingly worse until the end. Action only slows during astrology talks.Very well written and edited.
Main character not very sympathetic and if p.m. was done on gardener why wasn't poison found? All else is good. ( )
  florabundi | Mar 7, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738749125, Paperback)

San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti's life is turned upside down when she becomes the target of the city's newest cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet's Tabernacle. Driven out of her apartment in the midst of a disastrous Mercury retrograde period, she takes shelter with a client who's caring for two elderly aunts. One aunt appears stricken with dementia and the other has fallen under the spell of the Reverend Roy. To add to the confusion, a young man claiming to be a long lost nephew arrives. The longer he stays, the more dangerous things become. Is the young man truly a member of the family? Can astrology confirm that? Julia's not sure, but one thing she does know is that Mercury wasn't merely the messenger of the gods―he was a trickster and a liar as well.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 08 Feb 2016 20:50:23 -0500)

After thwarting several assassination attempts and stopping the kidnapping of a socialite, Mike Hammer tries to figure out who wants him dead and why--

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