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The Madness of Mercury
     

The Madness of Mercury

4.6 9
by Connie di Marco
 

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Mercury retrograde wreaks havoc on astrologer Julia Bonatti

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

Overview

Mercury retrograde wreaks havoc on astrologer Julia Bonatti

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.

Praise:

"This smartly written debut from di Marco sets the stage for a promising series."—Kirkus Reviews

"Di Marco's series starter features a clever plot and a smart and feisty heroine with feet firmly planted on the ground while she searches the stars."—Library Journal

"For astrology fans that enjoy a good read,The Madness of Mercury provides an entertaining escape."—Dell Horoscope

"Danger figures in the stars for Julia, along with mixed astrological energies, some wolves in sheep's clothing and an amiable stranger with a down-under accent."—BookPage

"Connie di Marco begins a fascinating new series . . . The writing is clever and compelling and the protagonist is smart and gutsy. The villains are seriously sinister and the darkly intricate plot will keep you turning the pages."—Kate Carlisle,New York Timesbestselling author

"Connie di Marco blends real-life tragedy, heart-rending betrayal, loyal friends, and the kindness of strangers in this fast-paced, entertaining read."—Leslie Budewitz, two-time Agatha Award-winning author of the Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries

"The stars may not align for the unlucky characters inThe Madness of Mercury, but they certainly do for readers who discover this book. An astrologer with her eyes on her charts and her feet planted firmly on the ground, Julia Bonatti is an original sleuth, juggling astrological readings with a mysterious death and a Jim Jones-like cult leader. Dark wit and darker motivations unite to create a satisfying read."—Kim Fay, Edgar Award-finalist forThe Map of Lost Memories

"A great read is in the stars! With the Zodiac Mysteries, Connie di Marco gives us a bright and interesting heroine and a mystery with plenty of twists and turns. Lots of action and well-written suspense equal good fortune for readers."—Casey Daniels, author ofGraveyard Shift

"An enjoyable read."—Reviewing the Evidence

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
06/01/2016
Julia Bonatti's life as an astrologer in San Francisco is going fine until she comes to the attention of the Reverend Roy and the congregation of the Prophet's Tabernacle. They picket her apartment and threaten to drum her out of business. In addition, one of Julia's elderly clients is sinking into dementia, and the client's sister is far too involved with the Prophet's Tabernacle. Then a mysterious young man appears on the scene claiming to be a long-lost relative of Julia's patrons. Mercury is in retrograde and disaster looms everywhere. VERDICT Di Marco's ("Soup Lover's Mysteries") series starter features a clever plot and a smart and feisty heroine with feet firmly planted on the ground while she searches the stars. For Victoria Laurie readers.
Kirkus Reviews
2016-03-17
An astrologer wishes she were also a psychic when she's targeted as a practitioner of witchcraft and forced into sticking with a client who may be in danger. Though she'd much rather have her clients come to her, astrologer Julia Bonatti is willing to make an exception for her long-term client Dorothy's aunt. Evandra isn't infirm, but much as she thinks she needs Julia's guidance, she's not inclined to leave her house on Telegraph Hill to meet with her. Evandra suspects that Dorothy's interested in getting her inheritance a bit early, and she wants to know if the stars confirm her fears. Julia is shocked to hear of Evandra's suspicions, but she can't rule them out, since Evandra's chart warns of the madness of Mercury. The madness is apparently not confined to Evandra's life, for Julia has to deal with unsuspected troubles of her own. She's forced out of her home by protesters who accuse her of witchcraft and suggest burning her. These protesters appear to be followers of the charismatic, enigmatic Rev. Roy, the leader of the cultlike Prophet's Tabernacle church. Julia is forced further into the lives of Dorothy, Evandra, and Evandra's sister, Eunice, when she takes shelter in their house, with decidedly mixed results. Added to the chaos is the appearance of a young man who claims kinship with Evandra and Eunice. His arrival marks the beginning of the end of the drama to which Julia is a most unwilling participant. This smartly written debut from di Marco (who wrote the Soup Lover's Mystery series as Connie Archer) sets the stage for a promising series, though future installments would benefit from developing the heroine's personal details more appealingly.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738749129
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
06/08/2016
Series:
A Zodiac Mystery Series , #1
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
474,824
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Connie di Marco (Los Angeles, CA) is the bestselling author of the Soup Lovers Mysteries (Penguin), which she published under the name Connie Archer. She has always been fascinated by astrology and is excited to combine her love of the stars with her love of writing mysteries. Visit her at ConniediMarco.com, on Facebook at Connie di Marco (Author), or on Twitter: @askzodia.

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The Madness of Mercury 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Angela_PT More than 1 year ago
Welcome to Julia Bonatti's world! This is the first book in a new series by Connie di Marco. The story is the perfect mix of intrigue, interspersed with astrology, mixed with a dash of supernatural. The set-up of mystery takes a while to get to, but it is worth it! I loved learning about Julia's world. Learning about astrology within the context of the story was fun and informative. I appreciate cozy mysteries that are not of the same formula of 'happen upon a dead body by page 15 and just happen to know how to solve the mystery'. di Marco made Julia's sleuthing believable. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series and delve a bit more into Julia's world! I was given an advanced reader copy for my hones opinion and review.
Judi_Dorsey More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a new cozy mystery series to start, look no further than Connie di Marco's The Madness of Mercury! After her fiance dies tragically, Julia Bonatti becomes an astrologer and newspaper columnist. She is also the target of dangerous leader of a religious cult whose influence reaches all across San Francisco, where Julia lives, and beyond. Julia faces constant trouble in her own home and in the lives of her clients and friends. She and her kitty, Wizard, must flee their home and move into her client's mansion. But, even there they are not safe! Julia makes it her personal mission to get to the bottom of the trouble with Reverend Roy and gets herself into many scrapes along the way. The mystery ultimately builds up to a daring break-in at the cult's compound and Julia's rescue of one of her elderly clients being kept there against her will. She has help along the way from her friends from The Mystic Eye, where Julia sometimes meets with her clients, and also the Sheriff and a geriatric motel owner in the small town near the compound. The characters in this book are well developed and interesting to follow. I really enjoyed getting to know some of the astrology terms that I'd previously had no experience with. I also loved the many descriptions of places in and around San Francisco (where I hope to visit someday!). All in all, this is a great read and a wonderful first novel in a new series by Connie di Marco. I would highly recommend it! I'm very much looking forward to the 2nd book in the series and hopefully I won't have to wait too long! **I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
ethel55 More than 1 year ago
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.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
This was a fun new cozy mystery series for me to start. This has all the makings of a great series that hopefully will be around for awhile. I love nothing more than to sit down after a long day of work and read a great mystery. This was a little different for me but in a good way as I learned a little about astrology as I went along. I felt bad for Julia having to deal with her aunt's and what they were going through. I have had two family members with dementia and it is not easy. Then she has this strange young man who claims to be family but things do not seem to be that way with him. This was different from a lot of cozies that I read in that it is not set in a quaint small town but a rather large well known city. But for me that did not take away from the story but added the fuel to give a few more twists and turns to the story. I was kept guessing right up until the end of this book. A good read for me.
Muttcafe More than 1 year ago
Julia Bonatti is a skilled astrologer living and working in San Francisco. Her “Ask Zodia” newspaper column is extremely popular. But when Julia's advice pits her against the city's newest religious zealot, Reverend Roy, he and his followers systematically target her as well as occult practitioners in the city. As the attacks grow in ferocity and destructiveness, Julia's options are limited. Politicians receiving vast donations from Reverend Roy are putting pressure on the police to leave Reverend Roy's followers alone despite the damage they are causing. On top of everything, Julia's landlord is threatening her with eviction if the disturbances continue. At the same time, Julia is helping a client who is struggling to care for two elderly aunts – one who appears to be suffering from symptoms of dementia and the other who is falling prey to Reverend Roy's promises. When you add in a young man claiming to be a long lost relative of the two wealthy elderly women, Julia has her hands full. Although I am not all that familiar with astrology, it was clear to me that Connie di Marco knows the subject well. Julia approaches her clients' issues with professionalism and applies astrology in a clear and realistic way. It adds an intriguing flavor to the novel, and makes Julia a fascinating and memorable character, particularly when combined with her courage and compassion. The power exerted by Reverend Roy and his followers, the group's accumulation of wealth, the attacks on naysayers and the hidden abuse of members was chillingly reminiscent of what has been reported of the scientologists. It is extremely frightening when wealth allows a group to menace detractors unhindered by police. As the novel progressed, I grew more and more afraid for Julia facing such a powerful foe. It was very clear from early on, that Reverend Roy was acquiring vast amounts of property by convincing rich elderly individuals to join his retirement commune in exchange for signing over their estates. Money is also the motivator in the less obvious mystery of who is threatening Evandra and why she is suddenly showing strange symptoms. The Madness of Mercury is an engrossing novel that is difficult to put down. Julia Bonatti is an admirable lead, both courageous and practical. Julia attempts to prevent a murder. This is a nice departure from the standard amateur detective novel which begins with a murder and where the lead is the main suspect. I enjoyed The Madness of Mercury immensely. 5/5 The Madness of Mercury is available for preorder and will be released June 8, 2016. I received a copy of The Madness of Mercury from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. --Crittermom
weluvdopey More than 1 year ago
This is a great book; this is the first book in The Zodiac Mystery series written by Connie Di Marco. Julia Bonatti is a San Francisco astrologer, her 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. This is a great book with a wonderful story and well developed characters. This book will keep you reading long into the night. If you are looking for a great book, then you need to read this book. I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series. A Review copy was provided to me in exchange for a fair and honest review. The free book held no determination on my personal review.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: The Madness of Mercury - Zodiac Mystery 1 Author: Connie di Marco Published: 6-8-2016 Publisher: Midnight Ink Pages: 312 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers, & Su spense Sub Genre: Women Sleuths; Cozy Mystery; Women's Fiction ISBN: 9780738749129 ASIN: B01A5OGTRS Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . Julia Bonatti, San Francisco astrologer, has garnered the attention of the fanatical Reverend Roy of The Prophet's Tabernacle who has labeled Julia a witch because of her work in astrology. Forced to take refuge with a client's Aunt to hide from the man at the worst time possible, Mercury is in retrograde. Then there is the man claiming to be her long lost nephew, but is he really? Could he like her clients aunt be a plant for the nefarious Reverend. The danger mounts as Julie must rescue one of her elderly from the Reverend's Compound. Even with the help of friends and clients is anywhere safe? A new series of by Connie di Marco with strong vibrant characters. A couple of nut cases and one sleazebag. Written with a touch of humor the plot is well thought out and moves at a fast comfortable pace to keep the interest of the reader on point. You will fall in love with Julia and her friends. My rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
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.
ReadYourWrites More than 1 year ago
The Madness of Mercury is the first book in Connie di Marco’s Zodiac series. Told in first person from the point of view of Julia Bonatti, a San Francisco based astrologer. The events of the book take place during the Christmas season. This is supposed to be a time of celebration with family and friends, but with Mercury in retrograde it becomes a time of upheaval. No one knows this better than Julia, but she isn't prepared for the events to come. I went into reading The Madness of Mercury with an open mind. I quickly realized I was in over my head. Astrology is a true science and for a novice like me, very confusing. During her meetings with clients, Julia gives them details of their charts, discussing planets, houses, and whatnot. Try as I might, I couldn't understand any of it. In fact, in order for me to truly get into the book, I had to dismiss any discussions of Astrology. As a main character, I liked Julia. She's kind, caring, and very determined. She goes out of her way to help her friends and even her clients. At times, she doesn't even think of her own safety. We don't see an in-depth relationship with her friends, but you do get a sense of how they all care for one another. The secondary characters to this storyline are intriguing, if a little eccentric at times. I must admit they truly made the book. Evandra Gamble may be an octogenarian, but she does have her spitfire moments. Julia has recently started a column in the San Francisco Chronicle called Ask Zodia. People write into the newspaper and ask her advice regarding things currently going on in their lives. They include their date of birth as a means for her to see what the planets and stars think they should do. It never occurred to Julia or anyone at the newspaper that her small little column could put her life and livelihood in jeopardy. But that is exactly what happens when Julia unconsciously goes against Reverend Roy and his Prophet’s Tabernacle. Connie has this ability to draw you in and become invested in the characters and story. The mystery was one I didn't see coming. Perhaps I got distracted by the science found in the book or maybe it was simply that I found myself enjoying the story and not thinking about the who and why. In the end, I did get a general understanding of what was going on with Mercury and why certain events occurred. **Received a copy from Midnight Ink in exchange for an honest unbiased opinion.**
CozyMysteryLover1 More than 1 year ago
When I saw the cover of this book I was very intrigue. The colors are vibrant and the cat is adorable. This author is new to me and I was excited to lose myself in the story. I was not disappointed. Julia Bonatti is an astrologer who also writes for the local newspaper. One of her clients is in need of Julia's assistance. As the caregiver of two elderly aunts, Darlene has her hands full and when one aunt begins to exhibit signs of dementia, Julia is asked to read the charts and see if astrology can help find the answers. In the midst of trying to help her client, Julia herself is being attacked by Reverend Roy of the Prophet's Tabernacle. They are trying to rid San Francisco of all the "demons" and Julia and her friends are fighting to save their businesses. When Julia is run out of her apartment, she takes up residence with Darlene and her aunts and things spin wildly out of control. I was riveted by the story and enjoyed this book from cover to cover. The only problem I had was the detailed astrology information. It did leave me a bit confused, however, I was able to read through those parts and finally get a better understanding about astrology. This was a great book and the author's fast paced writing style made the story very believable. I look forward to reading more by this author. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my fair and honest review.