It is my pleasure to welcome Connie di Marco to blog today. Connie is the author of The Madness of Mercury, book one in the Zodiac Mystery Series. Welcome Connie!
A Liberated Woman
The Zodiac Mysteries are set in San Francisco, where my protagonist, astrologer Julia Bonatti, lives and works. Julia’s an independent, liberated woman, with an unusual occupation, but she’s pre-dated by another liberated woman — an eccentric real-life San Francisco character named Lillie Hitchcock Coit, who died almost ninety years ago.
Lillie, born in 1843, was a wealthy socialite who loved to smoke cigars, wear trousers (shocking!) and often dressed like a man so she could gamble in the male-only establishments of North Beach. She loved to gamble!
Lillie also loved to chase fires. At the age of fifteen she witnessed a fire engine attempting to respond to a fire on Telegraph Hill. The men were shorthanded, and Lillie decided to pitch in and help. To her parents’ chagrin, she soon became the engine company’s darling, jumping into action every time she heard a fire bell. One of her favorite things was to ride along with the engine company in street parades and celebrations. Throughout her life, she was recognized as an honorary firefighter and today is considered the “matron saint” of San Francisco firefighters.
When Lillie died in 1929 in her beloved city, she left a third of her sizable estate to the city for beautification projects. These were the funds that built Coit Tower at the top of Telegraph Hill in 1933.
Knowing Lillie’s history, you can see why it’s no coincidence that the tower was built in the shape of a fire hose. Today, city historians dismiss that idea, claiming the shape of Coit Tower has nothing to do with Lillie’s love of chasing fires.
I, for one, do not agree. Take a look at the top of that tower again. It’s a fire hose! Lillie would have loved it!
Connie – thanks for joining us. I loved hearing about Lillie. She reminds me of another independent woman – Dr. Mary Walker. Aren’t we lucky to have had such women pave the way for us?
The Madness of Mercury
by Connie di Marco
The story is very well-written, and the characters are realistic and likable.
Full of suspense and surprises…
It’s a truly engrossing mystery, captured me from the first page and I couldn’t put it down.
This was a fun read with an entertaining and unique main character.
~I Wish I Lived In a Library
You know from reading the blurb that there’s more than one mystery going on. The threads don’t tie together until the conclusion and it definitely keeps you guessing.
Such a charming start to a new series!!!
Ms. di Marco serves us up one of the most chilling stories of a cult spin out of control in recent memory.
The Madness of Mercury provides an interesting debut to what promises to be an entertaining series.
~The Bookwyrm’s Hoard
I like when cozy mysteries have unusual settings or unusual careers for the lead character and “The Madness of Mercury” certainly fit that bill.
~Bea’s Book Nook
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.
~Read Your Writes Book Reviews
This mystery is well-written, the characters likable and realistic, and I ended up reading it in a single sitting!
~The Book’s the Thing
A Fresh new cast of characters and a strong story line keep your interest peaked and keep you so involved in the story you won’t want to stop reading.
I really enjoyed this book and when the killer was revealed I could not have been more surprised!
The Madness of Mercury
(A Zodiac Mystery)
Midnight Ink (June 8, 2016)
Paperback: 312 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01A5OGTRS
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.
About The Author –
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries from Midnight Ink. She was fascinated by astrology at an early age and this was the inspiration that gave birth to Julia Bonatti, San Francisco astrologer and her newspaper column Ask Zodia. Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime. Connie lives in Los Angeles with her family and a constantly talking cat.
FTC Disclosure: I received a free e-copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My thoughts: I found the idea of an astrology themed mystery rather intriguing and having read Connie’s Soup Lover’s Mysteries, I was excited to be a part of the tour for this new book. At first, I found it hard to wrap my brain around all the astrological information. The charts, houses, moons and planets all swam together in my brain – but a lot of that could be due to my suffering from end of school year-itis. I think I might need Julia to give me a reading to get me all straightened out. I really like Julia and the way she interacts with other characters. Anyone, whether they believe in astrology or not, would feel comforted by her care and advice. Julie had me engaged in the story from the beginning. I found myself wanting to know more about her – it’s a good thing this is a series. Connie has written an engaging and thrilling mystery. Readers are drawn into the story from the beginning and are kept on the edge of their seat until the end. If you are looking for a new series to add to your regular reading schedule, I recommend that you add the Zodiac Mysteries. Be sure to check out the Tour Page for a chance to win a free copy of the book and be sure to visit the other stops on the tour.
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