Review: Leonie Albani-Tremaine introduces astrologer and Carlsbad (California) cafe owner Theodora Quinn, who looks to the stars when a famous actress is murdered in Adios, Aries.
Angelina Montez has just published a tell-all memoir, My Life and Loves, and is in full promotion mode. One of those "loves" happens to be Theodora's partner in her shop, Brent, who seems less than thrilled that he's featured in the book … a feeling shared by many others. When Angelina visits Earth and Stars — coffeehouse downstairs, astrology readings upstairs — Theodora offers to host a book signing. Anticipating a large crowd, she takes on some additional help, hiring a young woman named Jane, who turns out to be Angelina's long lost daughter. But soon after the event concludes, Angelina is found murdered in the cottage she had rented at a nearby luxury spa resort, her throat slashed, her new-found daughter at her side. Theodora had foreseen some trouble ahead for Angelina, and believing Jane to be innocent, now must work together with her ex-husband, a local police detective assigned to the case, to determine who might have wanted Angelina dead.
Adios, Aries is written in a manner that is both familiar and comforting in its structure but somewhat disappointing in that it doesn't stretch the bounds of the cozy genre very much, if at all. Theodora's profession as a astrologer could have been changed to something entirely different and there would have been little to no loss of continuity in the story. As to the murder mystery itself, and to the author's credit, the number of suspects, which could have been numerous, are kept to a manageable quantity, and the astrological aspect thoughtfully reined in (after the first few introductory, rather overwhelming chapters). The plot moves along briskly, if somewhat predictably, with all loose ends neatly wrapped up in the end. Adios, Aries is a good start to the series that clearly has potential, but more may be needed to differentiate it from its many peers.
Acknowledgment: Leonie Albani-Tremaine provided a copy of Adios, Aries for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Adios, Aries: Carlsbad, California
— ♦ —
Adios, Aries by Leonie Albani-Tremaine — A Theodora Quinn Mystery
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: October 2009
List Price: $14.49