I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Karen Irving when she came into my store for a signing. Appropriately in awe of standing near an author, I managed to mumble something likely incoherent, and yet she signed my book for me anyway.
I went home, turned on the kettle, and started to read "Pluto Rising."
First off, the notion of an Astrologer as the main character in a mystery novel intruigues. Done as well as Irving did, the astrologer leaps out of the page with sarcastic aplomb, and leaves you laughing. The wit in this book is wonderful, and quite surprising for a first novel.
Second, the plot itself was a keeper. Katy, our intrepid ex-psychologiest and now struggling astrologer, has a brief meeting with a man who wants his chart done, a man who seems quite scared and fragile. The same man then shows up dead.
Unable to stop herself, Katy Klein begins to Nancy Drew her way around the case, and let me tell you, her motivations are quite clear and her emotional responses are very human. Irving has a real flair for this character.
I've since read "Jupiter's Daughter," the second novel in the Katy Klein series, and this is a series I will definately follow. Both books are a strong read with a good mysery and - most importantly - a strong character base. Pick them up today, you won't be let down.