Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Fortune Teller's Daughter- Lila Shaara

The Fortune Teller's Daughter
Lila Shaara
Ballantine, Dec 2008, $25.00
ISBN 9780345485670

University teacher and writer Harry Sterling fears he might have writer’s block as he cannot even fathom a topic. Harry uses alcohol to hide from what he assumes will be his next failure. However he becomes animated when he hears a student comment that local psychic Josie Dupree implied that renowned physicist Charles Ziegart did not discover what he is famous for.

A former investigative reporter Harry visits Madame Dupree where he meets her niece, Maggie Roth. He is attracted to her, but she rejects his advances. As he digs deeper into the Ziegart mystery, he continues to try to persuade Maggie to give him a chance. She distrusts him because he is investigating ostensibly Ziegart, but doing so through inquiries into her family.

This is an engaging romantic suspense that is built on the premise of Harry investigating the fortune teller while falling in love with her relative. The characters seem full blooded with flaws such as Harry’s sleuthing incompetence affirms why he is a former investigative reporter. Although a vengeance subplot adds tension, that track fails to connect with the prime story line. Still overall this is a solid romantic mystery.
Harriet Klausner