*Guest review post contributed by Ruth Castleberry*
Title: Fool’s Moon
Author: Diane Stuckart
Delightfully different describes Diane Stuckart’s new mystery, Fool’s Moon, in which four unusual characters join forces with Ruby Sparks to investigate murder.
Ruby is minding her half-sister’s New Age shop, Botanica Santa Rosa, and taking care of Zuki, a sweet-tempered pit bull who understands the ways of the world and the neighborhood, and Philomena, a 50-year-old psychic koi living in the courtyard pond out back. In a complicated sequence of events, Ruby adds Ophelia and Brandon, sibling black cats, to her family which completes the four very special characters.
As this story progresses, Ophelia and Brandon try to help Lucinda, the housekeeper from their first home who suspects her mistress was murdered for her money. Lucinda’s nephew, Luis, who runs a pawn shop close to Botanica gets involved when his aunt is killed under suspicious circumstances.
So now, Ophelia, Brandon and Zuki, having found a way to escape Botanica at night, are investigating based on clues offered by Philomena the psychic. And, yes, these are well developed characters with engaging personalities and a great sense of adventure. In parallel efforts, Ruby and Luis begin looking into how his aunt died.
Ms. Stuckart’s creativity is amazing. Imagine a koi who offers psychic readings in verse. A black cat learning to read Tarot cards to help Ruby. A friendly female pit bull helping two black cats learn the ropes in their new home.
This is a complex mystery weaving together the efforts of animals and humans to uncover what happened. The story is told with humor, insight and great skill. Suspend disbelief and enjoy a captivating tale in which animals are convincing primary characters. Let’s hope Ms. Stuckart is finishing the next Tarot Cats Mystery soon.
Guest post contributed by Ruth Castleberry. Ruth has a background as a freelance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner, and digital marketing consultant. She loves discovering new authors and settling in with a thriller or cozy mystery.