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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco

The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco Tour Banner

The Madness of Mercury

by Connie di Marco

on Tour May 7 - June 3


Madness of MercuryAstrologer Julia Bonatti never thought her chosen profession would bring danger into her life, but her outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of San Francisco’s recently-arrived cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle. The followers of the power hungry preacher will stop at nothing to quell the voices of those who would stand in his way and Julia’s at the top of his list. She’s willing to bet the charismatic Reverend is a Mercury-ruled individual, and she knows all too well that Mercury wasn’t just the messenger of the gods, he was a trickster and a liar as well.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery
Published by: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: June 8, 2016
Number of Pages: 312
ISBN: 978-0738749129
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Goodreads
What I Thought:

This was an interesting read. Julia is an astrologer, and when the followers of Rev. Roy, a cult leader, start hasseling her, she gladly agrees to do a reading in a client's home.  There is a lot going on in this home, a murder, one of the client's relatives joins the religious cult, and one relative is wondering if the other wants her money.  This story was well written, I wondered if I would like the mystic element of it, but the author did a good job with that. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

Read an excerpt:

As I stood in line at the checkout counter of the bookstore an uncomfortable feeling stole over me. Was I being watched? I turned slowly and surveyed the customers in line behind me. No one looked suspicious. No one turned away suddenly. Just holiday shoppers focused on their own business. When I turned back my eye caught someone standing at a table close by, separated by a metal bar from the line of shoppers. A man, dark hair, black jacket, seemingly immersed in a book he was holding in his hands. No shopping bags in sight. Something about him . . . I mentally shook myself, pushing the thought out of my mind. I was being paranoid. Nerves were getting the better of me.

I paid for my purchase and left. Bundling up against the cold, I retraced my steps and approached the garage entrance. I took the elevator down to the lowest level where I had parked, stepped out and glanced around. In contrast to the crowds of people above on the streets, not a soul was in sight. I felt a frisson of fear. Why was it so deserted? My nerves were just on edge, I decided. I was imagining threats where there were none. I took a deep breath and hurried to my car. I unlocked the door and threw my bags onto the passenger seat. Before I could turn the key in the ignition I glanced in the rearview mirror. A face in a ski mask stared back at me, the eyes bright in the ambient lighting. A gasp caught in my throat. My heart raced as a gloved hand pulled my head back and covered my mouth. I felt the sharp prick of a knife point at my neck. I froze. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak.

“Forget about the Prophet. Make sure you keep your big mouth shut or my next visit won’t be so nice,” he growled. He pulled the knife away, let go of my jaw and jumped out of the car.

Author Bio:

Connie di MarcoConnie di Marco is the author of the new Zodiac Mystery series from Midnight Ink, featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. Some of her excerpts and recipes can be found in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime. She grew up in New England and now lives on the other coast.

Connie di Marco's website Connie di Marco's twitter Connie di Marco's facebook

Join In:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Connie di Marco. There will be 3 US winners. One winner will receive one $20 gift card from (US Only) the other 5 winners will each receive eBook copy of Deceived by Ashlee Mallory. This giveaway is for **US residents only**. The giveaway begins on May 1st and runs through May 31st, 2016.
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Guest Post:

1.        Where did you come up for the idea of “Madness of Mercury”? 

I was living in San Francisco during the years that Jim Jones was a local celebrity and held such influence through his church, the People’s Temple.  This was, of course, before the time he decamped from the city when allegations of abuse began to surface and the later dreadful events in Guyana.  But I thought it might be interesting to set a mystery against the backdrop of this time.  It’s hard to imagine now, knowing what we know, that the man was very popular and admired by politicians, society people, the police force and his followers.  Personally, I tend to be very suspicious of anyone who claims to speak for God and baffled by people who give up their personal autonomy to follow someone like that. 
Julia, my protagonist astrologer, writes an advice column, AskZodia, for the city’s newspaper.  She responds to a letter from a woman about her mother who has joined a church, and her mother is required to sign over her property and savings.  Julia’s response to the writer is vehement and outspoken and consequently Julia discovers she is now a target of the Reverend’s followers -- the Army of the Prophet. 

2.       What do you like to do in your spare time?

One of my hobbies has always been refinishing old furniture.  I love antiques and discovered how really easy it is to strip away old paint and varnish and uncover something beautiful.  Unfortunately, with a writing schedule, it’s a little difficult to find time for a drawn out project like that.  For entertainment, I love to relax in the evening and watch international crime drama – Swedish, Danish, British, Icelandic – it’s so much more interesting than the usual American fare.  I study the plots and enjoy watching how they are unveiled. 

3.       If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Istanbul.  I’ve always been fascinated by the city.  It’s perched on the border of east and west and has survived through so many incarnations.  I read Jason Goodwin’s first book several years ago, The Janissary Tree, featuring his detective, Yashim, a eunuch living at the end of the Ottoman empire and became even more entranced by the history that exists there.  Perhaps someday I’ll actually get to visit Istanbul. 

4.       Which season is your favorite and why?

I live in California, so my favorite season is winter.  We’ve suffered through many years of drought and winter is the time we stand some chance of rain.  Everything comes to life then and turns a brilliant green.

5.       What is your favorite food?
Just about anything – except anchovies, sardines and sushi.  I love cheese.  I’m not supposed to eat it, but I love anything with cheese -- souffl├ęs, pizza, ravioli stuffed with cheese.  Mostly I’m very good and manage to stay away from it and only sample small amounts.

6.       What genre of books do you enjoy reading?
Mysteries and thrillers!  And I like to read widely, particularly foreign authors – Swedish, Icelandic, Danish – perhaps because it feel like travel. 

7.       Who are your favorite authors?

Oh, I have so many!  I love Michael Connelly’s Bosch series, very police procedural.  I recently discovered Jussi Adler-Olsen and his Department Q books.  I’ve been enjoying the Beck (Swedish) series on television (with subtitles) and I’m tempted to go back to the authors’ original books from years ago.  I love Donna Leon’s Commissario Brunetti series set in Venice.  Love the Sue Grafton series.  So many more. 

8.       How many more books do you have planned for this series?

Right now, two more are planned for the Zodiac Mysteries.  The second book, Dark Sun, has been submitted to my publisher, Midnight Ink.  I’m currently working on the third book, which tentatively will be titled Widow’s Moon, assuming my publisher approves my idea of using a planet in each title.  Don’t forget, Midnight Ink is the fiction imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Publications, the people who publish wonderful astrology books.  Without them, this series wouldn’t be possible. 

Thanks so much for hosting me today! 



  1. I truly find it interesting how authors come up with the idea for a book. Very nice post!

  2. Dear Melina - Thanks so much for hosting my stop today!

  3. This sure was a fun read and I enjoyed the astrological and cult themes. Both are new to me and it's fun to find different cozy themes:)