Title: The Fool Card (The Tarot Mysteries #1)
Author: Bevan Atkinson
Published on: 7th September 2008
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers/ Cozy Mystery
Meet Rosalind Alexandra Bard aka Xana, the heroine of our story. She’s chosen to spend the rest of the life drinking tea, taking care of her pets (2 dogs and 2 cats) and everything else except falling in love – well, not falling in love until the next charming, broken man comes into her life.
Xana hears a rumble – she lives on the fault line so whenever the house rumbles, she thinks ‘a car crashed into her house’. Well this time, a car really crashes into her house. Oh boy! The man stumbles out and knocks at her door. He requests her to hide his car or ‘he might kill him’. Meet Thorne Ardall, the guy who crashed his black Porche into Xana’s house.
Xana ‘consults’ her inner voice and gets a ‘go’ signal to help the poor fella. She hides his car and rushes to tend to his wounds. He appears to have a gunshot wound – a through and through. He tells her his boss – Victor Avery – was killed in an explosion and he was chasing the killer when the killer shot him. As Thorne falls asleep in Xana’s guest bedroom, she brings out her tarot cards and pulls five from the deck. The card in the middle is The Fool Card. Xana is drawn into helping Thorne catch the murderer. Together, the two drive around the streets of San Francisco, interviewing suspects and gathering clues – as if, this was a piece of cake!
I saw The Fool Card and rest of the books in this series available for request in NetGalley last December. I was in two minds about reading them – with cozy mysteries it is either a hit or a miss. Anjana told me she read The Fool Card and she loved the story and the writing. And that is how I decided to give this series a try.
The writing is quirky and so is our main character/protagonist Xana. As a pet lover myself, I was really happy to read that Xana has two dogs and two cats. (She secretly wants to keep few more pets but that’s a story for another day.) I really liked Xana’s sarcastic yet witty remarks. And as to how water mixes with milk (which happens to be our doodhwalas’ favourite ‘experiment’!), Thorne gives perfect responses to Xana’s silly sayings.
There is no romance between Thorne and Xana – not yet. But they get along well. I would definitely love to see their relationship grow in the next book(s) in this series. Coming back to the story, Thorne speaks of his boss’s murder and then passes out – the blood loss and all that, you see. Xana picks up the tarot cards and sees two women and a man who might be involved in the case (intuition). Thorne agrees for Xana to tag along with him. In fact, her presence helps him in gathering clues – she’s pretty good at consoling and questioning – she does both at once, quite a talent this!
Xana meets her mother’s friends and asks them a couple of things about the Averys. This helps the duo a lot in solving the case quicker. There isn’t a lot of mystery per se, but Atkinson weaves such a wonderful tale, it keeps her readers hooked on to the story till the end. The identity of the perp seemed a tad weird and unexpected. The ending was different too. This is what I liked about the series. One-of-a-kind ending and quirky characters.
I enjoyed reading The Fool Card. I am certainly looking forward to reading the rest of the books in this series. If Tarot and cozy mysteries are something you like, you might want to give The Fool Card by Bevan Atkinson a try.