The books you'll want to read.
A fun and humorous cozy that has it all—super readable with charming characters and a sharp plot—can feel like a unicorn in the wild sometimes. But if it’s what you’ve also been searching for, look no further. (For a great book, I mean. I can’t help you find unicorns.)
Alanis McLachlan was raised by a consummate con artist—her mother. Her entire childhood was spent learning the grift, and now that her mother has passed away, Alanis is running the Tarot shop she inherited. But Alanis is running it straight, and trying to make up for her mother’s past sins as she does so. So, no one is more surprised than Alanis to find that she actually (sort of) believes in the Tarot cards she has been reading for clients, and for herself. More than once she turns to them during the story to get some insight and guidance which gives a lovely structure—and tarot education—to the readers.
When her mother’s former grift partner turns up in town, Alanis is shocked. Understandable, since the last time Alanis saw Biddle he was about to be executed in a field. It’s been years, but Alanis is sure Biddle is still up to something—she’s just not sure what his angle is. And when a suspicious new client turns up dead, Alanis is certain that there is definitely something afoot, and that Biddle is somehow involved. With the help of the handsome con man GW, Alanis needs all of her smarts to stay ahead of the game—and the killer.
Alanis is a great protagonist—smart and funny with a gift for pointed observations. The interactions between her and GW were especially enjoyable—Hockensmith has a knack for witty banter. The relationships between the various characters felt real and nuanced, with plenty of conflicting emotions. And the storyline was clever and fun and quickly paced. This is the third in the series, but it was easy enough to jump in if you haven’t read the first few books. Although this was such a resounding winner, you may want to hunt down the others as well.