Saturday, April 8, 2017

REVIEW: Give the Devil His Due

Give the Devil His Due
Author: Steven Hockensmith & Lisa Falco

Alanis McLachlan, reformed con-artist turned tarot reader, knows something is up when a ghost from her past appears at her occult shop in Berdache, Arizona. Biddle, her deceased mother's former lover, just shows up out of the blue. Alanis last saw him 25 years before being walked into the desert by thugs. She presumed he was dead. he is....decades later obviously not dead. Is he there to come back into Alanis and her sister's lives? Or is he running a con of some kind? Her con-radar is jangling like crazy. You can't con a con,right? It can't be coincidence that the minute Biddle shows up, a private detective starts skulking around The White Magic Five and Dime Shop, and promptly turns up dead, murdered in his car. Alexis wonders what Biddle has pulled her into when the bullets start flying.

Everything from a velvet Elvis painting and a strange woman with an uzi is included in this book. Bad guys pop out of everywhere. And Alexis (with lots of help from her friend GW and her sister Clarice) wants to know why. It's amazing how much trouble a long-lost father figure can cause in just a few days!

This book is a fun read. Lots of humor and quirkiness. Alanis is a spunky, indepedent main character. GW, her small time crook friend, is hilarious and very protective of her. He brings his street smarts to the table, and helps with the investigation. Clarice, and her girlfriend CeeCee, are research and computer experts, helping find information on suspects in legal and illegal ways. Throughout the story, Alexis uses tarot readings to help her decide how to proceed in the investigation. The illustrations and explanations of the cards are so interesting! The tarot subplot really brought some sparkle to the story! It didn't overwhelm the mystery portion of the plot, but added to it.

This book is classified as a cozy mystery, but for those readers who don't like profanity of any kind in a cozy, this book might not be for you.  There is a bit of profanity and a few instances of sexual and criminal themes in this book. I didn't find it offensive. It was nice to have a story line that was a bit different with characters that aren't completely good guys. Alexis and her friends are con-artists.....they have just turned their skills to solving crimes rather than ripping people off. The result is an edgier cozy mystery....I enjoyed it!

Give the Devil His Due is the third book in the Tarot Mystery series. The books don't necessarily have to be read in order. This is the first book in the series that I've read and I was able to easily jump right in and enjoy the story. Fun story! I will definitely be back-tracking to read the first two books in this series! I look forward to reading the continuing story as well!

Steven Hockensmith is the author of several books including the Holmes on the Range series and the the Pride and Prejudice and Zombies series. To find out more information on the author and his books, check out his website:   Lisa Falco is the tarot expert of this writing duo. In addition to the Tarot Mystery series she also wrote another novel, A Mother's Promise.

**I voluntarily read an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Midnight Ink. Opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.**

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