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The White Magic Five and Dime (Tarot Mysteries) Paperback – 8 Jul 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 326 pages
  • Publisher: Midnight Ink (8 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738740225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738740225
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,053,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

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

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rose Thorn on 9 Aug. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book really made me smile! As a tarot reader I loved the interpretations that opened every chapter. 22 , one for each Major Arcana card. They were priceless and really something that as a reader I wish I could use in my readings. But perhaps things like The Empress - Ignore the sex toy/Mr Microphone in the lady's hand or The Hermit - These days , hermits live in cabins in Idaho, where they write anti-government manifestos and tinker with letter bombs... might not go down well with my clients?

This is a fun book, easy reading, well written and a few twists too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Inner Whispers on 9 Nov. 2014
Format: Paperback
Very good debut! Interesting mystery element, exploration of family and commitment, and uses realistic tarot readings, rather than the stereotyped Death and the Fool. I certainly didn't guess all the plot twists, either :)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 59 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Well written and incredibly entertaining 11 July 2014
By Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Good:

~Though this book didn’t have what I typically consider a cozy feel it more than made up for that with it’s wonderful quirkiness.
~I loved Alanis and her sarcastic personality. We get to know her little by little throughout the story and by the middle of the book I was completely in love with her character.
~It’s no secret that paranormal cozies are one of my favorite genres and this one delivers without being too out there. Is there really something to the Tarot? Or is at all about the readers ability to read not the cards but rather the customer? I’ll let you decide, but either way…it makes for a great addition to the story.
~Well written and incredibly entertaining, this one captured me from the first page and I was hooked until the end.
~The interactions between Logan and Alanis were priceless.
~It’s also no secret that I love “woowoo,” the Tarot card elements of this story fascinated me and have renewed my interest to break out the deck I bought years ago and learn.
~Lots of clues were sprinkled throughout. You may or may not guess who done it…but regardless you’ll be entertained until the end.

The Not So Good:

~I wish that we had gotten to know a bit more about the town and it’s residents. Unlike most cozies, the town wasn’t really a “character” in this one…I suspect though that in future books in this series we’ll learn more about Berdache and the town folk.

Final Thoughts:

This book was very simply so much fun. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Note: Review copy rcvd from Publisher, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The White Magic Five & Dime 4 July 2014
By mychellem - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I've got a new favorite mystery series, the Tarot mysteries by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco. Our family spends a lot of time in Sedona, Arizona, and I've always been intrigued by the vortexes and the crystal and shops with signs that promise healing crystals and tarot readings, but we've never ventured into one. (It just doesn't feel like the place for discreet browsing with four kids in tow.) As soon as I saw The White Magic Five & Dime, I knew I wanted to read it.

Alanis McLachlan is surprised when a caller informs her that her mother is dead and that she left her The White Magic Five & Dime, a new-age shop in Arizona. Alanis hasn't spoken to her mother in twenty years and it's news to her that her mother's latest cons were as a tarot reader. In an attempt to find her mother's killer, Alanis re-opens the shop and starts doing bogus readings herself, hoping that one of her mother's victims will let something slip. She doesn't know a thing about the cards, but she does know people and how to read them. There's no shortage of clients with grudges against the deceased.

Alanis is darker than any cozy heroine I've read so far. Raised by a con-woman, she knows all of the tricks of the trade. But she seems like a decent person, even if she might not realize that yet herself. As soon as I started reading, I was hooked. The authors reveal a lot of back story in just a few well-chosen thoughts. It's not until halfway through the book that we begin to get lengthy glimpses of Alanis's childhood and her relationship with her mother.

Disclosure - the publisher provided me with an advance ARC
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Hilarious dialog 4 July 2014
By JenniHul - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved how the tarot was woven into this story. Smart, strong female characters. A nice mystery to solve. Perfect for a rainy afternoon.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Book 1 of the Tarot Mystery series 7 July 2014
By A. Harris - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This is Book 1 of the Tarot Mystery series. Alanis McLachlan has just received word that her con artist mother has been murdered. She goes to Berdache, Arizona where she finds that she has inherited some cash and the White Magic Five & Dime store her mother owned. She discovers a teenager named Clarice who lived with her mother. Almost immediately Alanis starts receiving threats and so she decides that she will find out who murdered her mother. Along the way she will meet a lot of people whom her mother scammed out of jewelry. She will also uncover some secrets that her mother kept from her.

I did enjoy this mystery story. I wouldn't classify it as a cozy mystery, but rather just as a mystery. I really had no clue who the killer was and was shocked when the killer was revealed. I did have a hard time relating to Alanis as she was just so cynical due to her childhood. I liked how the author would go back and tell stories from Alanis' past that would give the reader some insight into the situations that shaped the woman she grew up to be. I also enjoyed the tarot card descriptions. I got quite a few laughs throughout this story. There were a couple secrets/surprises that were revealed that I didn't see coming. Overall a quick read that I enjoyed. A page turner waiting to see who the killer was and how things would end for Alanis.

I received an ebook version of this book free from the publisher, Midnight Ink, via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Well plotted, well written and really original 27 July 2014
By Dormouse23 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is fantastic. Not only is it a great mystery, I'd say it works well just as a novel. The story takes its time, interpolating flashbacks of the heroine's childhood being raised by an amoral con woman. Flashbacks often drag down a storyline, but that is absolutely not the case here. The tension builds as Alanis gets older, and some of these chapters are pretty dark. The flashbacks also do a great job of character development: Alanis basically educated herself, sitting in libraries all day while her mother worked her cons with Biddle (the only father figure she ever had in her life). She has an encyclopedic knowledge of old TV shows and 1980s movies for the same reason. It adds some humor when Alanis introduces herself as Julie McCoy or refers to "the writings of the great Roarke Villechaize Ricardo."

Alanis is living in an Illinois suburb working as a telemarketer (she's quite good at it, thanks to her upbringing) when she gets the news that her mother has been murdered. Off to Arizona she goes, having decided to avenge her mother's death, and is surprised to find her mother was reading tarot. This apparently was not one of her mother's con tricks when she was growing up. She's also greeted by a teenage girl who was her mother's ward/assistant, a hunky cop who's in charge of the investigation into her mother's murder, and several angry former customers who her mother swindled. The plot is really well done and the killer came as a surprise to me.

I've read many of Steve Hockensmith's books and love them. He is a wonderful writer. "The White Magic Five and Dime" is a great intro to a new series. Hockensmith doesn't lay on the supernatural too heavily, and this is a wise decision in my opinion. Mysteries that are heavily doused with witchcraft, ghosts, etc. are not really up my alley. Alanis does have a gift for reading the cards, but it's clear that her training at reading "marks" or con victims has a lot to do with it. The readings are scattered throughout the story, and the more she handles the cards, the better she gets. Eventually even she, the hardened skeptic, has to admit that there is "something in it." If you are a mystery fan, I highly recommend this book.
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