RogerBW's Blog

Ask the Cards a Question, Marcia Muller 15 October 2016

1982 mystery; second in Muller's series about Sharon McCone, private investigator in San Francisco. One of Sharon's neighbours in her apartment building is strangled, and it looks worryingly as if Sharon's house-guest, who's prone to alcoholic amnesia, might have done it.

There are plenty more suspects, of course, including "Madame Anya", the local psychic, who gives the book its title. To me the real theme of this book is sudden mutual distrust in an area that thought of itself as a local community in the big city, but which discovers that it doesn't really know its members terribly well.

This is a twisty story of the "everyone has a secret" school, though the non-murderous ones are still related to the general situation. The mystery may not challenge the expert, but it satisfied me, and the side stories are powerfully-told too. There's a particularly effective sequence as Sharon stalks/is stalked through a darkened disused church.

This is more of a character piece than the first book, but unfortunately most of the characters aren't terribly interesting. It has its moments nonetheless. Followed by Cheshire Cat's Eye.

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Previous in series: Edwin of the Iron Shoes | Series: Sharon McCone | Next in series: The Cheshire Cat's Eye

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