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An Unhappy Medium

by Dawn Eastman

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545387,732 (4.14)5
"All of Crystal Haven, Michigan, is psyching up to participate in a Zombie Fun Run organized by Clyde's nephew Seth, but Clyde is fretful about the undead festivities. For one thing, her sister, Grace, has unexpectedly returned to town after fifteen years. For another, Clyde has the nagging feeling that something is about to go wrong. When one of the zombie runners is found murdered and then Grace disappears, Clyde realizes her grim premonition is dead-on. Now, she and her police detective boyfriend Mac must find a ghoulish murderer before someone points the finger at Grace. And when a tangled web of family secrets and old grudges combines with a mysterious case of stolen diamonds, even someone as quick-witted as Clyde might not be able to outrun a killer"--Back cover.… (more)
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Clyde Fortune is a former cop who has moved back to her hometown of Crystal Haven, Michigan, on the Lake Michigan shore. She and her boyfriend Mac, a local police detective, Clyde's nephew Seth and two dogs live down the street from Clyde's parents and Aunt Vi. Clyde and her nephew are preparing for Settler's Day and a Zombie Run which will benefit the animal shelter. The catch is that Clyde and most of Crystal Haven's residents are mediums of some sort or other. Clyde has the ability to find lost things and has dream premonitions. Seth can communicate with animals. Aunt Vi thinks she can communicate with animals. Clyde's mom reads tarot cards. otherwise crystal haven is a fairly normal small Midwest town. Clyde's sister Grace, at the last minute, decides to return from NYC after being absent for 15 years. Grace can see stock market numbers. The Fortune family hurriedly prepares for Grace, her husband Paul and daughter Sophie's visit. Something isn't right. Grace and Paul, out of the blue, ask Clyde and Mac to formally become Seth and Sophie's guardians, should anything happen to them. Clyde has very unsettling premonitions which she just can't seem to get a handle upon. Meanwhile the whole family participates in the zombie run. Fun was had by all until one of the zombie's turns up really dead.

I really enjoy Eastman's writing style and would love it if she would write more of this series. ( )
  Raspberrymocha | Aug 7, 2020 |
If a book can hold your attention when you're in a slump, it can't be half bad right?

I enjoy this series as it's one of the few rational cozy series out there; most of the characters are likeable, the small town setting is vivid and the plotting is usually pretty good. Clyde is a strong, normally intelligent main character trying to come to grips with a psychic gift she's ignored most of her life and her family is just crazy enough to be realistic. Mac is a great romantic lead who doesn't define himself by his ability to alpha male everyone around him.

This book's plotting, though, wasn't quite as strong as the others. I'm left with the impression that the mystery itself was just an excuse to further Clyde's family's story arc along. To string the mystery out, the author made Clyde dim: her visions were fairly easy for the reader to interpret as events unfolded, but Clyde remained clueless and the final denouement revealed a culprit that was never a suspect either for anyone in the book or the reader as there simply wasn't any forward progression after the initial murder scene.

I was going to ding the rating for this, but my rating reflects my enjoyment and I did enjoy this book; the character sub-story was interesting enough that I didn't miss what was missing from the mystery itself. ( )
  murderbydeath | Dec 3, 2016 |
I enjoy Dawn Eastman's Family Fortune cozy series. The main character Clyde (short for Clytemnestra-- don't tell anyone) has a police background which comes in handy whenever she trips over a body, and she's funny, smart, and full of common sense to boot. The paranormal element in this book-- and the entire series-- is done with the very lightest of touches, which is something that I prefer.

Eastman does an excellent job in the scenes that take place during that Zombie Apocalypse Fun Run, making them both extremely creepy and very funny. Thank heavens for that humor because zombies give me the willies. (Yes, I know that's silly.)

As in all the best cozy series, characters are the strength of the Family Fortune mysteries. In An Unhappy Medium we finally get to meet Clyde's sister Grace and her husband Paul. Since they've seemed perfectly happy to have their son Seth move across country to live with Clyde and go to school, this was a much-needed meeting. Something's got to be going on, right?

Probably the biggest character of them all in this series is Aunt Vi, supposed pet psychic, owner of the new Psychic Finders business, and all-around yarn bomber. Yes, she's more than a bit kooky, and... if her businesses are so popular, why does she always have the time to stick her nose into Clyde's business, hmmm? She's one of those family members that you just have to shake your head at and laugh.

Amidst all these characters and relationships, Eastman has created a good solid mystery. There's more going on than meets the eye, and there's some excellent misdirection. If you're in the mood for well-written, light-hearted reads, I recommend Eastman's Family Fortune series, which just keeps getting better with every book. ( )
  cathyskye | Sep 19, 2016 |
This is my first book to read by this author but I will be going back and getting all her books. She is very gifted and the story was incredible. The book is a paranormal cozy mystery and it sure kept my interest. It has a great cast of characters that make the story so enjoyable to read. The details of the town were so vivid I wanted to go there and be a part of it. The book is sure to a winner for this author as she cleverly placed creative characters like Zombies and tarot readers in the town. Did I mention the Zombies?

It's a great day in the little town as Clyde and her crew are having a Zombie Run. Of course not everyone is on board with this great idea. When something horrible happens during the run, Clyde seems to be at the forefront of the investigation. The town comes out in full force to point fingers and whisper like a group of gossips about the horrible incident. I have to mention the town meeting. It was hysterical and it made me think of a scene from the Gilmore Girls. Whenever they had a town meeting, it was like a big production complete with quirky characters and snacks. I was so sure I would figure out the mystery. I was so wrong. The author did a tremendous job of keeping readers guessing with the twists and turns. This is one book that you definitely don't want to miss.

I was given a copy of this book from Great Escapes Books Tour for an honest review. ( )
  Harley0326 | Apr 6, 2016 |
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"All of Crystal Haven, Michigan, is psyching up to participate in a Zombie Fun Run organized by Clyde's nephew Seth, but Clyde is fretful about the undead festivities. For one thing, her sister, Grace, has unexpectedly returned to town after fifteen years. For another, Clyde has the nagging feeling that something is about to go wrong. When one of the zombie runners is found murdered and then Grace disappears, Clyde realizes her grim premonition is dead-on. Now, she and her police detective boyfriend Mac must find a ghoulish murderer before someone points the finger at Grace. And when a tangled web of family secrets and old grudges combines with a mysterious case of stolen diamonds, even someone as quick-witted as Clyde might not be able to outrun a killer"--Back cover.

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