October 27, 2012 · 11:21 am
Death in the 12th House: Where Neptune Rules – A Starlight Detective Agency Mystery by Mitchell Scott Lewis (Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95, 225 pages)
The townhouse had been gutted and its contents piled into an ugly trash container on the street that took up two precious parking spots.
There’s good news for fans of New York City astrologer/detective David Lowell, whose first caper was the subject of Mitchell Scott Lewis’ debut novel, Murder in the Eleventh House: A Starlight Detective Agency Mystery. (Murder in the Eleventh House was earlier reviewed on this site.) Happily, Lewis has maintained the civilized and charming tone in this, his second mystery novel. The story line revolves around a group of aging musicians who are dying off at an alarming rate. The latest to die is Freddy Finger, lead singer of the group Rocket Fire. His daughter, Vivian Younger, is an actress whose fame and beauty insure that her father’s death will be investigated thoroughly by the New York Police Department and their special consultant, David Lowell.
His chart does show that he has a temper, and he’s overly emotional, but then he’s a musician.
While the names of the various musicians are fictitious, their exploits are clearly taken from real life. This site features the biographies of many famous musicians, both living and dead. Any one of them will provide proof of this point.
Lewis is master of building plenty of fascinating information into his plots. Although astrology in its purest form is a complicated discipline, detective David Lowell makes it almost easy to understand as he tutors the various members of his staff, family and Vivian Younger.
The names Lewis gives to his characters are clues in themselves. The reader will most likely delight in the wealth of double entendres and the pun-like quality of his writing. This seemingly innocent little book packs plenty of punch and entertainment!
A review copy was provided by the publisher.
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January 11, 2012 · 4:49 pm
Murder in the Eleventh House: A Starlight Detective Agency Mystery by Mitchell Scott Lewis (Poisoned Pen Press, $24.95, 239 pages)
This debut mystery novel with, dare I say it, a quirky twist, captivated me from the first page. The main character’s name is David Lowell, which is not that unusual except that my late father’s first and middle names were David Lowell. Author Mitchell Scott Lewis has a distinct advantage when it comes to attention-grabbing in other ways as well. The Starlight Detective Agency relies upon astrology for sleuthing insights. Moreover, prospective clients are vetted when they first encounter Mr. Lowell. He provides an unvarnished astrological reading that doesn’t always sit well. Since the agency does not rely on fees, the clients tend to be more interesting than well-heeled.
The author has made good use of his own life for the premise of the tale. Like David Lowell, Lewis has made money by investing according to astrological information. He, too, is an astrological consultant with a credible client list. The thoughtfulness and dedication he uses to portray the other main characters, Melinda (Lowell’s daughter) and Johnny Colbert (the desperate client), make this a gentle engaging read. The reader need not be a believer in astrology or even have an inkling of how it works. Lewis fits in just enough background information to lend credibility to an often-misunderstood discipline.
Johnny Colbert is a tough and street-wise female bartender who is caught in a situation that many folks experience only as a nightmare. A judge is murdered, Johnny recently made a threat on the judge’s life in open court and there’s little doubt as to who committed the murder. Melinda, who is an attorney with a white glove firm, has taken on Johnny’s defense as pro bono work for the firm. She feels that Johnny has been wrongfully accused. Of course Melinda knows that her dad has plenty of wisdom and technical experience to shift the case from hopeless to a better outcome.
The plot has just enough twists and red herrings to keep the reader involved and engaged. This book is a mini vacation and very much worth the price of the ticket.
A review copy was provided by the publisher. “This series has tremendous potential.” Library Journal
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Tagged as A Starlight Detective Agency Mystery, Age of Aquarius, astrological consultant, astrology, book review, captivating book, crime novel, David Lowell, debut novel, Joseph's Reviews, Library Journal, Mitchell Scott Lewis, murder mystery, new authors, Poisoned Pen Press, quirky plot twist, recommended books, Ruta Arellano, series debut, unique premise
January 11, 2012 · 2:25 pm
A review of Murder in the Eleventh House: A Starlight Detective Agency Mystery by Mitchell Scott Lewis.