Friday, July 6, 2012

Corpse in the Crystal Ball

Corpse in the Crystal Ball by Kari Lee Townsend is the second book in her Fortune Teller series. It's a fun, fast read. The characters are engaging and the mystery is just complicated enough to keep a reader's interest.

Psychic Sunny Meadows (!) has the hots for Detective Mitch Stone and just as she works up the nerve to do something about it his ex comes to town. Before you can say "Red Shirt!" she's dead and Stone is accused of the crime. Meadows is asked by the mayor of the town to help clear Stone's name. If that's not enough to do, she has to look after her Granny Gert who is, let's just say, slightly wacky. Not as wacky as Stephanie Plum's granny but cast from the same mold.

The things I don't like about this series are mostly small things but every time I notice them they pull me out of the story and that, for me, is a big problem. The main character's name bugs me. Sunny Meadows. It's really hard to take her seriously.  She's supposed to be this terrific psychic but she seems to have trouble reading people and situations. She often jumps to conclusions that are skewed if not outright wrong.

As with the first book in the series, the idea that the mayor would insist that she work with the police to solve a crime is implausible. I can see a defense attorney getting a lot of the "evidence" she uncovers thrown out.* Especially in this case where she wants to do the nasty with the prime suspect.  I know this is a work of fiction but the basic premise has to be plausible. I just don't buy it.

Having said that, the book is well written and the characters likable enough to hold my interest. I will probably read the next book in the series with the hopes that Sunny will be a paid consultant with a willing Detective Stone so the mayor doesn't have to insist they work together.

*I will concede that some of my objections stem from differences between the US and Canadian legal systems and my understanding thereof.

I received a review copy of this book.