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The White Magic Five and Dime (Tarot Mystery Series #1)
     

The White Magic Five and Dime (Tarot Mystery Series #1)

4.5 6
by Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco
 

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Much to Alanis McLachlan's surprise, her estranged con-woman mother has left her an inheritance: The White Magic Five & Dime, a shop in tiny Berdache, Arizona. Reluctantly traveling to Berdache to claim her new property, Alanis decides to stay and pick up her mother's tarot business in an attempt to find out how she died.

With help from a hunky cop and her

Overview

Much to Alanis McLachlan's surprise, her estranged con-woman mother has left her an inheritance: The White Magic Five & Dime, a shop in tiny Berdache, Arizona. Reluctantly traveling to Berdache to claim her new property, Alanis decides to stay and pick up her mother's tarot business in an attempt to find out how she died.

With help from a hunky cop and her mother's live-in teenage apprentice, Alanis begins faking her way through tarot readings in order to win the confidence of her mother's clients. But the more she uses the tarot deck, the more Alanis begins to find real meaning in the cards ... and the secrets surrounding her mother's demise.

Praise:

2015 IPPY Award Bronze Medal Winner in Mystery/Cozy/Noir

2014 ForeWord IndieFab Gold Winner for Mystery

"Cozy readers with a taste for humor will welcome this hilarious series debut . . . [and] will eagerly await the next installment."—Publishers Weekly(starred review)

"Hockensmith...and coauthor Falco deliver a charming comic mystery, which one hopes is the beginning of a series."—Booklist

"[A] clever and compelling tale filled with colorful and engaging characters and a whodunit plot." —Foreword Reviews

"From the unique title to the cool cover, this book has it all . . . A+ across the board!"—Suspense Magazine

"Fun and light."—Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/26/2014
Cozy readers with a taste for humor will welcome this hilarious series debut from Edgar finalist Hockensmith (Holmes on the Range) and Falco (A Mother’s Promise). Alanis McLachlan has literally no fond memories of her con-woman mother, Barbra, and has not spoken with her for decades. So it’s a double shock when Alanis learns that Barbra was murdered in Berdache, Ariz.—and that her will leaves everything to Alanis, including a shop called the White Magic Five & Dime. Curious, she travels from Chicago to the small town, where she’s intrigued by her mother’s latest scheme to separate fools from their money—a tarot card-reading operation. The search for the identity of the person who strangled Barbra elicits threats to Alanis herself, who also finds time to get sweet on a local lawman. Readers will eagerly await the next installment. Josh Getzler, Hannigan Salky Getzler Agency. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-05
A telemarketer hikes out to the Arizona hinterlands to claim an unlikely inheritance from an even more unlikely mother.Alanis McLachlan was never exactly close to her mother. Maybe, as a series of interspersed flashbacks suggests, it’s because Athena Passalis, or whatever her name really was, was a con artist who lived on the edge. Maybe it’s because she involved her daughter in her scams from the cradle. Maybe it’s because when Alanis reached a certain tender age, Athena showed some interest in pimping her out. Whatever the reason, the two haven’t spoken for 20 years, and Alanis is amazed to learn that her mother retired to little Berdache, set up shop as a tarot reader and held forth at the White Magic Five & Dime for years before an interrupted burglar killed her and passed the establishment to Athena’s daughter. Despite the assurances of dishy detective Josh Logan, however, Alanis is far from certain that her mother really was killed by a burglar. She prods Logan to give her a list of three people who’d filed complaints against Athena. Not only do all three complaints seem to represent legitimate grievances—an endangered marriage, some haunted jewelry Athena appropriated, a doddering fiance she beguiled—but Alanis wonders if they’re just the tip of the iceberg. With everyone in town apparently running a scam of their own, it’s hard for Alanis to spot the killer. Readers with half an eye open shouldn’t be fooled.Hockensmith (World’s Greatest Sleuth, 2011, etc.) and Falco provide their tough-cookie heroine with such an appealing line of patter that it’s no surprise when Logan asks her, “Are you nuts or do you just not give a crap?”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738740225
Publisher:
Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date:
07/08/2014
Series:
Tarot Mystery Series , #1
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
358,335
Product dimensions:
5.19(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.82(d)

Read an Excerpt

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Meet the Author

Steve Hockensmith (California) is the author of the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies novels Dawn of the Dreadfuls (Quirk Classics, 2010) and Dreadfully Ever After (Quirk Classics, 2011). His book Holmes on the Range (Minotaur Books, 2007) was a finalist for the Edgar, Shamus, and Anthony Awards for Best First Novel.

Lisa Falco (Los Angeles) received her first tarot deck at the age of eight years old. She holds degrees from both Northwestern University and Cal State University Northridge, and is the author of A Mother’s Promise (Illumination Arts, 2004).

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The White Magic Five and Dime 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
Title: White Magic Five and Dime - A Tarot Mystery 1 Author: Steve Hockensmith & Lisa Falco Published: 7-8-2014 Publisher: Midnight Ink Pages: 338 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Women's Fiction; Psychics; Supernatural ISBN: 9780738742236 ASIN: B00KWEY794 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4 1/2 Stars . . Alanis McLachlan, who has not spoken to or seen her con artist mother for twenty years, when she receives notice that her mother has died and left her a tarot shop in Berdache, Arizona. Even though she doesn't understand why she did it she goes there and takes over the shop out of curiosity and a desire to find out who murdered her mother. As she uses all she learned from her mother to "read" her mother's clients to find a killer when suddenly the cards are truly talking to her and a killer is thinking Berdache can do without another psychic and makes plans for Alanis and her mother to have a family reunion. Can Alanis find the killer sends her to the world of spirits. White Magic Five and Dime is a great starter novel for this series. Steven Hockensmith & Lisa Falco have worked together to provide characters that are well developed to enhance a story that was well written with a plot the flows smoothly and at a quick pace without the reader can enjoy the story without feeling rushed. If you enjoy paranormal cozy type Mysteries you will love the Tarot Mysteries. My rating is 4 1/2 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laughed the whole way through. The character Alanis is hilarious, with her witty and sarcastic lines. Loved it and highly recommend this book!
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
Alanis McLachlan has not seen her mother in 20 years so when she is summoned to Berdache, Arizona to collect her inheritance she is very surprised. Her con-woman mother has left her The White Magic Five & Dime, a small shop where her mother has her tarot card reading business. Unsure what to do with the place she decides to temporarily open the store to try to figure out how and why her mother died. She assumes one of her mother’s cons was run on the wrong person and she ended up paying for it with her life. Dollycas’s Thoughts Alanis McLachlan (the name she is currently using) has quite a life which makes her a very interesting protagonist. Her mother has been a con-woman Alantis’ whole life and as soon as she was old enough she ran away and left that world and her mother behind. Arriving in Arizona with a long list of unanswered questions she finds her mother had a teenage roommate. Did her mother replace her with this girl to help her with her con games? She hopes by reopening the shop and meeting with her mother’s customers she may get some answers to her questions and find out who killed her mother. Alanis is very cynical but with her upbringing it is easy to understand why. She truly is a good person and wants to do right for a mom who really did a lot of things wrong. I was engaged by her story immediately. The authors also gave us some great supporting characters. Clarice, who seems to be Alanis’ mother’s apprentice, and Josh Logan, the officer in charge of her mother’s investigation. The dialogue between Josh and Alanis is absolutely fantastic. The mystery was well written and well plotted. All the information about Tarot Cards was very interesting. While this area of Arizona is know for psychics and its energy vortex the paranormal part of the story is very mild. Alanis starts out feeling it is just another of her mother’s con’s but the story has a nice twist that makes her question her theory. I can’t believe how quickly I read this story. I was captivated from beginning to end!! I can’t wait for Book 2.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
Enter the White Magic Five & Dime with an open mind and no preconceived notions and you'll find an intriguing mystery you can enjoy. The White Magic Five & Dime by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco The First Tarot Mystery Alanis McLachland receives a phone call regarding her mother, the mother she hasn't had contact with in twenty years, the mother who has just been murdered. Alanis travels to Berdache, Arizona to deal with the resolution of her mother's remains and receive her inheritance (the White Magic Five and Dime- a new age store offering tarot readings) and perhaps search out justice. In so doing she encounters a threatening bailbondsman, a sullen teenager, a good looking cop, and the realization that all is not what it seems. The White Magic Five & Dime is called a cozy and although it meets the general requirements (an amateur sleuth, small town environment-or neighborhood in big city, no graphic violence or sex) I would not classify it as a cozy. There is a tone to it; a grittiness, a harshness. This book is not a feel good story, the setting, not a place you'd like to hang out. You may be curious to visit, but I'm not sure you'd like to stay. However, while I find I can't call it a cozy, I certainly can call it a good mystery. Alanis McLachland is not your typical heroine. She's brash, cynical, and jaded; not surprising given her upbringing. Periodically, throughout the book the authors take us back in time to see pivotal moments in her youth. We begin to understand her actions and her personality. These flashbacks give reason and show that behind the tough, non-caring exterior is a woman who does feel and ultimately does care. Also interspersed throughout are images of tarot cards with the meanings as given by Miss Chance from the book, Infinite Roads to Knowing, the book Alanis has chosen to learn the tarot and her mother's latest con. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the book as I also enjoyed the realization that while some tarot readers may be con artists the cards themselves can hold many truths. Enter the White Magic Five & Dime with an open mind and no preconceived notions and you'll find an intriguing mystery you can enjoy.
rhonda1111RL More than 1 year ago
4 STARS It was good mystery, I had no clue to a bunch of stuff but other things I figured out early. The Tarot cards I am not familiar with at least Alanis McLachlan has a book to learn from. I liked the characters. Did not think to much about Alanis mom. Alanis McLachlan's mother died and left her everything. She had not seen her mom in twenty years and they were both using different names at the time. It was not a happy parting of ways. Alanis goes to the small Arizona town where her mom was murdered. She is surprised at what she finds. She decides she is going to help find her mom's killer and make right what she can. The setting Berdache, Arizona it is a small town. It has one vortexes. Lots of people who believe in them. Alanis is a telemarketer. She uses her training as a con artist to sell things. She does not like what her mom does. She is not even sure what her real name is. Clarice Stewart is a seventeen year old who live with Alanis's mother. Clarice never heard that Athena had a daughter. Clarice worked for Athena. She won't talk about where she came from. Athena or Barbra What ever her name was. She was a con artist Not much of a parent. I would like to read another book in the series and see where it goes from here. I was given this ebook to read in exchange for honest review of it by Netgalley and Midnight Ink.