Title: Forecast Murder (Astrology Private Detective #1)
Author: Linda Mather
Published on: 17 May 2021
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Forecast Murder is the first book in Linda Mather‘s Astrology Private Detective series.
Josephine Hughes aka Jo has always dreamed of making it as a professional astrologer. But she has unpaid bills piling up and has to find a part-time job before going bankrupt. She browses through ads in the newspaper and comes across an interesting one.
Help required. Basic research ability, current clean driving license, initiative and good people skills needed. Hours to suit.
Now, doesn’t this sound like a good part-time job? Jo too thinks so and calls the number. She learns it’s a private detective agency named Macy and Wilson. When Jo arrives at the appointed interview time, she meets the receptionist Celia, a tall and chatty old woman. Jo then meets her boss, Macy and is immediately given a task. Jo has to find out details about a man named Graham Holte. Jo researches a bit and following the trail of clues has brought her to the local university. Her fellow PI, Alan, has joined her on this trip. While at the uni, Jo meets a young girl named Esme and the duo start chatting. There’s a commotion soon after and Esme’s father, Edward Pinder (a professor at the uni), is found murdered in his room. Pinder was the man Alan and Jo had come over to meet. Jo wonders if the two deaths are connected.
I am on a Joffe Books reading spree at the moment. They have a huge and interesting collection of mystery and thrillers and I am on a quest to find my next favorite series – which, as it turns out, happens to be every new series I try. 😀
Forecast Murder by Linda Mather was first published in 1994 and is now republished by Joffe Books. The series theme is based on astrology and good (amateur) sleuthing. A dash of quirky humor ups the entertainment factor by a notch. Also, if you are a cat lover, you will be happy to know our protagonist Jo has a cat named Claudius (not interested in solving mysteries..).
We have one murder to begin with – that of Graham Holte. Initially, the spotlight is on finding what happened to Graham; Jo is unaware of the fact Graham is dead. She’s starts calling up numbers found in his notebook and trying to trace his whereabouts. This takes her to the uni where she learns of a professor’s murder – the same prof she and her colleague Alan were supposed to meet. When Jo calls back her boss to inform of the latest developments, she learns Graham has been dead for almost a week now.
Though a part-time job, Jo soon becomes engulfed in solving the mystery behind the murder(s). Esme, the victim’s daughter and Jo get along well. Esme hires Jo (Macy and Wilson co. to be precise) when police come over with a warrant and search the Pinder residence. Soon after finding Pinder’s body, the spotlight of the story is on the mystery behind Pinder’s murder. Jo believes the two deaths are connected while her boss thinks otherwise. Jo is given the details of the victims and asked to come up with an astrological profile – just to see what might have possibly gone wrong.
The list of suspects might not be long but we do have a couple of red herrings. Jo is an amateur sleuth but she’s good at gathering clues. Macy and Jo make quite an impressive sleuthing pair; also, there might be some romance between the two in the future. Only their sun signs can predict what happens next. 😉
I absolutely loved the writing and the character portrayal. The suspense is well-maintained until the end. The reason for murder(s) was unexpected and shocking. The same goes for the identity of the perp. The small twist at the end shows Jo and Macy might be good sleuths but they are kind-hearted too. (Something to do with the perp.)
Forecast Murder by Linda Mather is an engrossing, entertaining and enjoyable mystery. If you are looking for a unique, funny and interesting read, give this book a try. You won’t be disappointed.