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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review - Who Do Voodoo

I have had this on my TBR shelf for a few months now.  I had thought I would save it for next Halloween.  Then I discovered it is nominated for an Agatha, so I had to read and review it as part of the Agatha Awards coverage!  In April we will compare the reviews of Agatha nominees and have a vote or elimination.  If you have read this book already, share your thoughts by leaving a comment.

Author: Rochelle Staab

Copyright:  November 2011; Berkley; 304 pages

Series:  # 1 in A Mind for Murder Mystery  

Sensuality:  some kissing and adult references

Mystery sub-genre:  Cozy mystery, paranormal

Main Character:  Liz Cooper, Clinical psychologist

Setting:  Modern day Los Angeles, CA

Obtained book through:
  Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Liz has been best friends since childhood with Robin.  Robin is just emerging from grieving about her husband's death in an accident when somebody begins leaving Tarot cards on her front door.  The specific tarot cards left match the ones that predicted her husband's death a year prior, but they have a voodoo theme.  Liz decides to try and help when a more sinister message is left on Robin's door.  Liz turns to her brother's old college buddy Nick, who has become an expert on the occult and teaches. Nick and Liz try to trace the unique Tarot cards for a lead.  They begin to make progress when Robin is accused of murder and the police are quite confident Robin is the killer. Now they must investigate quickly to clear Robin.

Liz is practical and has a hard time with the metaphysical aspects, even though her mother is the scattered and wacky "woowoo" stereotype.  Besides her mother, Liz has a manipulative, egocentric, sports star ex-husband that still plagues her.  I grew tired of the mother trying to get Liz and her ex back together repeatedly. I appreciated that Liz was rational and tended not to indulge the ex or her mother.  Liz even managed to stay open minded to the paranormal without going whole hog.  Nick provides some spice for Liz and challenges her paradigms.  He will make an interesting love interest, even though dear brother doesn't like mixing his best friend and sister.   

The plot of who really killed Sylvia is mixed up with voodoo, a spell book, and a curse.  Events unfold in a manner that are not overtly paranormal yet make you wonder. The pacing was steady.  The killer confrontation occurs because Liz stumbles upon the killer not because she deduced it.  This debut entry was a bit simplistic in style but managed an enjoyable tale with a sprinkling of romance. 

Here is a little magic:  3, 2, 1 CAKE
These individual little cakes are amazing and ready to eat in one minute! They are perfect for whenever you feel like a treat without all the fat and calories that cake can have. Genius idea!  Also perfect for when you have unexpected company and want to serve a little something.


1 box Angel Food Cake Mix

1 box Cake Mix - Any Flavor

2 Tbsp Water

Makes 1 serving.

In a ziploc bag, combine the two cake mixes together and mix well. For each individual cake serving, take out 3 Tablespoons of the cake mix combination and mix it with 2 Tablespoons of water in a small microwave-safe container. Microwave on high for 1 minute, and you have your own instant individual little cake!

KEEP remaining cake mixture stored in the ziploc bag and use whenever you feel like a treat! You can top each cake with a dollop of fat free whipped topping and/or some fresh fruit.

This recipe is called 3, 2, 1 Cake because all you need
to remember is

"3 tablespoons mix,
2 tablespoons water,
1 minute in the microwave!"

TRY various flavors of cake mix like chocolate, spice, carrot, red velvet, pineapple, lemon, orange, etc. Just remember that one of the mixes has to be the angel food mix; the other is your choice.  The flavor possibilities are endless!

The best thing is, you open both cake mixes into a gallon storage bag, one that 'zip locks' or 'self-seals', or a container that seals tightly, shake the two cake mixes to blend and then make the recipe. Storage of mix is simple, put it on a shelf. No need to refrigerate, since the mix is dry.

Always remember, that one of the cake mixes MUST be Angel Food. The other can be any flavor.  The Angel Food is the cake mix that has the eggs whites in it. So, if, anyone is allergic to egg whites, you can NOT serve this recipe. 

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Harvee said...

I have this book.Why haven't I read it as yet? Sounds so good...

adlin said...

This book is on my to read list. Enjoyed reading your review... will keep it on the list.

PaulMiller149 said...

Milwaukee Murder Mystery
"Speak Easy of Murder"
Murder Mystery Dinner Play in Milwaukee ... Our 4 week run starts this Friday!
Enjoy sandwiches, meatballs, pizza, beer & wine in an intimate Victorian theater!

Get your tickets now!

David Harry said...

Sounds Good! Thanks for the review!

A.F. Heart said...

Thank you guys for commenting!!!
I appreciate it. Love the comments :-)

NancyMyers101 said...

The "DEATH SPEAKS OUT" Mystery Dinner Play is in Milwaukee for 7 fun performances!
Enjoy sandwiches, meatballs, pizza, beer & wine in an intimate victorian theater!

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