Tail of the Dragon (A Zodiac Mystery)
by Connie di Marco
Midnight Ink

"I woke up in the middle of the night, my heart pounding. I’m a big believer that dreams are the key to the unconscious. They are sending us messages we need to heed, if only we can interpret them."

It doesn’t take long for murder to bloody the pages of this engaging mystery. But rather than having the crime investigated by just another world-weary gumshoe or some self-deprecating police inspector, this killing is put under the microscope by a practicing astrologer.

Julia writes an astrological advice column for the newspaper and accepts private clients. She agrees to fill in at a legal firm while a former employer’s personal assistant is away on vacation. Her first day finds her in the middle of a murder as one of the attorneys is found with a letter opener protruding from his neck. In short order, it’s discovered that multiple people at the office have been receiving death threats. Soon, another lawyer meets his end in an even more gruesome way. As Julia begins applying her particular skills to unmask the killer, she quickly finds herself in danger of becoming the next victim.

Author di Marco is both a skilled writer and an able storyteller. Her prose is understated, never showy; it always seems in service to the tale being told. Suspense, dread, and action are handled well, as are the intricacies of the plot. The author’s characters are quite believable and appear to be made of flesh and blood, not simply pen and ink. She also does an exceptional job of making the city of San Francisco a character itself by incorporating vivid depictions of the fabled city by the bay. Whether you share a belief that individuals’ lives are affected by the stars and planets or just enjoy a top-notch mystery, you’ll definitely have a good time trying to figure out who did it in this involving whodunit.

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