I am so happy to welcome you to my blog and to share my thoughts about the 2nd book in the Tarot Mystery series – Fool Me Once. I also had the pleasure of getting to know Steve Hockensmith a bit better so keep reading to check out the interview. And lastly don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of the post for your very own copy of this fun cozy mystery.
You can also check out my review of the 1st in the series: The White Magic Five & Dime
About Fool Me OnceTitle: Fool Me Once
Series: Tarot Mystery #2
Also in Series: The White Magic Five & Dime, Give the Devil His Due
Author: Steve Hockensmith, Lisa Falco
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication date: August 8th 2015
Target Audience: Adult
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Find It: Goodreads
Buy It: Amazon|B&N|Book Depository
After taking over the White Magic Five & Dime, Alanis McLachlan is trying to make up for her mother's con jobs by tracking down old customers and making amends. When Martha, one of the most loyal clients, comes looking for a way out of her abusive marriage, Alanis does everything she can to help.
But helping Martha leads to unforeseen consequences . . . including murder. When Martha's husband is found dead, the police show up at Alanis's door. And things only get more complicated as she tries to clear her name from the top of the suspect list. With her growing mastery of the tarot and the Fool card to guide her, can Alanis find her way to the truth before the killer gets to her first?
“What has he done?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
Or so I thought.
“Done!” said Detective Burby. “Had his brains bashed out with a baseball bat, that’s what. William Riggs has been murdered.”
Fool Me Once is a great follow up to The White Magic Five and Dime!
Alanis is settling in to life running her mother’s shop, trying to help right the wrongs caused by her mother’s cons and living with her new sister when she manages to stumble upon a very unpleasant murder. Could her client, the wife and primary suspect, really be to blame?
Alanis jumps right in to investigate and the tale just takes off from there.
Hockensmith’s writing style really sets this series apart..it’s beyond quirky and has a vibe that may not be completely consistent with the “cozy mystery” image but nonetheless works to keep the reader engaged and having fun.
Secondary characters make this one. From Detective Burby who’s all business, to G. W. Fletcher who can be counted on to do the wrong thing yet still manages to step up, to straight arrow Victor…we enjoy every moment of this investigation in their company.
The Tarot once again is featured heavily which makes the story that much more fascinating.
Not your typical cozy mystery…Fool Me Once combines mystery, great characters, the tarot and most surprisingly a healthy dose of humor. All of these elements add up to a terrifically fun read. I can’t wait for the next in this series.
Interview with Steve Hockensmith
1. If you could live a day in the life of a fictional character, who would it be?
James Bond. Except I wouldn’t want it to be one of the days when he’s on a mission. All those fights, all those car chases, all those explosions. Too stressful. I’d want one of the days when he’s chillaxing between assignments. Not that a suave dude like James Bond “chillaxes,” but you know what I mean….
2. What is your all time favorite book? And what books are currently on your nightstand?
The books that made me the man I am today are probably Catch-22, Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions. Whether being the man I am today is a good thing I’ll leave to others to decide. On my nightstand at the moment are A to Z Mysteries: The Canary Caper, Magic Tree House: Abe Lincoln at Last! and Blue-Eyed Devil by Robert B. Parker. Two of those books are being read to me by my 8-year-old son. (Yes — these days, he reads to me at bedtime.) The third is the one I’m reading when the kids are finally asleep. Again — I’ll let others guess which is which.
3. If you weren’t an author, what would your dream job be?
There’s nothing I really want to do other than write, but I do sometimes dream about having a job that’s 100% physical — mowing lawns or digging ditches or something. That way all of my mental energy would be reserved for my writing. The only problem being that I’m 46 years old: One hour of ditch digging would probably be enough to wipe me out physically and mentally for days. So I’d better stick to the cushy desk job.
4. Do you read and/or comment on reviews?
I used to read ’em but have never commented on ’em. Now I do neither. A few years back I stumbled upon a review of a book of mine that had been, in general, very well received. Starred reviews, award nominations, etc. And this particular reviewer hated it. She even cited a passage that, in her mind, demonstrated what a dumb piece of garbage my novel was. And I read it and thought, “Hey, that’s pretty funny stuff! Hockensmith, you witty bastard you!” Yet the review still hurt my feelings even though it was plain it was just a “different strokes for different folks” kind of situation. After that, I figured I didn’t have anything to learn from reviews beyond “Some people simply aren’t going to like you or what you do.” And I knew that already.
5. What is one question that you hear too many times during interviews? And a question that you wish someone would ask?
Question I’ve heard too often: What made you decide to write about cowboys who idolize Sherlock Holmes? (This was mostly back when I was talking a lot about my “Holmes on the Range” mystery series. It was a completely valid question, of course. I just got tired of answering it.) Question I wish I heard during an interview: Can I buy you a beer?
This or That?
1. Fiction or Non-Fiction? Argh! Tough choice! Urgh! Ahh! I guess I’ll say…non-fiction. Ouch.
2. Novella or Tome? Huzzah! Easy choice! Novella! (I’m a really, really slow reader, so I love short books.)
3. Cover or Synopsis? Cover all the way. I almost never read synopses. Too many spoilers.
4. Bookstore or Library? Oh, god — another tough one. I love them both. I guess I have a slight preference for used bookstores, though (because I’m cheap and I love the treasure hunt feeling you get when you’re checking out what they’ve got).
5. Pen or Pencil? Whew. Another easy one. Pen.
6. Hardcover or Paperback? Paperback! Preferably one from the ’70s that smells a little like a mildewed copy of Action Comics.
7. E-book or Audiobook? E-book. I’m not a big audiobook guy, I must admit. My mind wanders. Then again, it does that sometimes when I’m just…ooo, did you hear that bird? Very pretty song. Reminds me of…wait. Were we talking about something?
8. Science Fiction or Paranormal? SF all the way. Which is a little weird seeing as I’ve written almost no science fiction and several of my books have a paranormal spin. Go figure.
9. Stand Alone or Series? Stand alone. It goes back to that “I’m a slow reader” thing. For god’s sake, don’t ask me to commit to anything for more than 400 pages. That’s one of the reasons I still haven’t read anything by Stephen King other than On Writing and a few short stories. Dude, keep it brief and I’ll squeeze you in!
10. Bookmarks or Dog Ears? Bookmarks bookmarks bookmarks. Dog-eared pages are an abomination in the sight of the Lord. And don’t get me started on people who write notes in the margins. There’s not a spot in Hell hot enough….
One Paperback Copy of Fool Me Once (US ONLY)