I love <b>Annette Blair’s</b> poem-quoting widower, adored by his children. The ex-mortuary that became <i>Madeira’s</i> headquarters conjures a wealth of possibilities. So does the ghost of its founder, <i>Madeira’s</i> late Wicca Mother, and best friend <i>Fiona</i> whom the children regard as an Aunt. My feedback retracted to 4 stars because this adventure occurs in New York and doesn’t incorporate the paranormal, nor people that account for my investment in the series.
I applaud a novel that travels beyond its usual setting. I was curious to know why <i>Madeira’s</i> dear friend anticipated her death. Strictly as a sideline, I liked the possibility of dumping the romantic interest, <i>Nick</i>, that has dragged along and hoped she would explore a relationship with <i>Lytton</i>, the police officer. It seemed too extravagant to believe <i>Madeira’s</i> close friend was a famous actress, unmentioned previously. Additionally, I don’t relate to the filthy rich but the suspects were sketched into distinct personalities, who intermittently evaded and raised suspicion. The psychometric vision sequences were as interesting as always. However hand-in-hand with the absence of the series’ best characters: it was emptier for me because there was no ghost and we seemed to be postponing the exploration of his evocative storage rooms.
This time: it felt like the insertion of a mystery got in the way of the paranormal journey I savour. Learning about <i>Madeira’s</i> Mother lends the most emotion. Its omission was conspicuous. It does turn out the actress was Wicca. Her funeral service prompts <i>Madeira</i> to step forward and participate in it. The mystery itself wasn’t stagnant at all. They snooped around the mansion of a suspect and what theatre after dark doesn’t create suspense? The family secrets that become unearthed are played out very well and the clues are plentiful. Thus I give four stars at least.