Title: A Sign for Murder (Astrology Private Detective #2)
Author: Linda Mather
Republished by Joffe Books on 27th May 2021; First published as Beware Taurus in 1994
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
A Sign for Murder is the second book in Linda Mather‘s Astrology Private Detective series.
When Jo Hughes took up Connor Fitzpatrick’s case at the Macy and Wilson private investigation agency, she thought it was just another open-and-shut missing person’s case. Connor’s younger brother Sean has been missing for two weeks now and the police are not helping. Since Sean is an adult, he must have gone away on his own accord. Macy, Jo and Alan start to investigate. The case takes Jo from Coventry to London. Sean was last seen at a pub in Coventry and there are reports of seeing a blonde woman in the vicinity the same night. How is Sean connected to the mysterious blonde?
Then, a body is found – it is Sean. Who might have killed him and why? Sean’s family are not grieving – his mother avoids him like the plague. Only Connor is interested in knowing what happened to Sean but with ‘conditions apply.’ Jo and Macy must delve into Sean’s past to know who wanted him dead.
I read the first book in this series – Forecast Murder – and I loved the concept of astrology and amateur sleuthing. Well, Jo works part-time at the Private Investigation agency and this is her first time as a detective so that makes her an amateur sleuth, right? The same cannot be said about Macy, though. Jo’s boss Macy is handsome, attractive and good detective. But it so happens that Jo is better than her boss when it comes to finding clues and closing the case. *eyebrow dance*
Jo is poking her nose around in Macy’s office (for the first time in forever, the door to his office was unlocked! Once in a lifetime opportunity!!) when Connor arrives. He mistakes her for Macy or Wilson – how is he to know she’s neither? He tells her about his missing brother and Jo decides to take the case. Well, well, this is a first! Macy always makes the final decision and here we have Jo, a part-time employee, agreeing to take a case on behalf of the agency. *tense music*
Jo is busy saying ‘yes, we will look into it’ when Macy arrives. He’s a little angry on Jo for taking on the case. But what’s done is done, right? Jo, Macy and Alan(fellow employee at the agency) start looking into Sean’s case. They learn Sean was seen with a blonde woman at a pub in Coventry. They also learn of Sean’s promiscuous nature. Did one of his jilted lovers kill him in a fit of rage? But there’s more to the story – Sean worked at a local bank; was it a deal gone sideways?
Things I like about this series include quirky characters, a dash of humor and romance and astrology. Jo dreams of becoming a renowned astrologer. She uses her skills in getting a ‘profile’ of her clients at the private investigation agency. Sean Fitzpatrick was born under the zodiac sign Taurus but based on eye witness accounts, friends and family, Jo realizes Sean did not have a lot of ‘Taurean characteristics.’
Halfway through the story, the spotlight moves from ‘finding Sean’ to ‘finding Sean’s killer’. Macy and Jo dig up Sean’s past – his past lovers, family and colleagues. They soon learn almost everybody associated with Sean have something to hide. Sean was the black sheep in his family… but what made him behave the way he did?
Linda Mather is a master storyteller. Quirky, tad saucy with a dash of humor and whole lot of sleuthing, A Sign for Murder is no doubt my new favorite in this series. Likable characters and excellent plotting. I was hooked on to the story and couldn’t put it down until the end. The ending is fantastic and I am looking forward to binge read the next two books in this series. (The fourth book is out in the first week of August and I was lucky to receive an ARC from Joffe Books.)
The only thing I missed reading in this story is the brewing romance between Macy and Jo. They had a little ‘adventure’ in Forecast Murder so I was hoping to see them as a couple… By the by, Macy and Sergeant Anwar are on first-name basis. Hmm! I am thinking Mercury Retrograde… Or, not!
A Sign for Murder by Linda Mather is an entertaining, engrossing , quirky and unique mystery. Astrology + Sleuthing? Count me in!