Thursday, July 16, 2009
MURDER UNDER A MYSTIC MOON by Yasmine Galenorn (Berkley)
Galenorn is authentically motivated to write about Woo-Woo Land as she has been in the craft for 25 years and knows whereof she speaks. This is obvious as the reader is taken into the energetic reality that is invisible to most people. The main protagonist (there are several) is Emerald O'Brien, owner of the Chintz and China Tea Room, who offers tea and petit fours as standard fare, but on the side offers not-so-standard fare—namely tarot readings and other helpful things like seeing auras and sensing energies that could have disastrous effects on people. She's a single mom of two precocious kids (14 and 9), business woman, good friend, lover, seer, and all-round honorable, spunky, and courageous woman.
The plot is a good one and the many subplots reveal the interesting complexities of life. The stories are woven together well and there are many interesting characters that dot the landscape of the story line. For example, there's a biker enclave nearby and as we meet individuals from this group, we are reminded again that the cover doesn't always reflect the content of the book accurately. There are romantic interests that keep us rooting for true love. There are wonderful neighbors who express our need for community. There are bad guys who cause trouble in big and small ways. There are shallow, rude, annoying characters whom we want to throttle. There are ideals and values and principles. There are myths and magic and moments of mystery that remind us that there is more to life than the obvious. We get glimpses of Dreamtime, the aboriginal concept that many think is not real, but is. Emerald balances her psychic abilities and "normal" life with grace and grit, and we are given peaks at the ways in which witches use their abilities for the good of the earth and its inhabitants. Life is a composite of the primal and the routine, of the high joys and low traumas, the incredible and the boring and everything else in between. This world is driven by greed and fear and although this isn't a primary or obvious thrust in this book, the lessons for this are there to be learned. The price we pay for our fears and greed can be seen in the way the lives of the characters unfold. It goes without saying that we can and should learn something from every experience, and we need to honor the possibilities inherent in the invisible reality which we, literally and metaphorically, can't see. Keep an open mind and allow the possibility for the invisible to touch your life. This book has much to offer, and it's a good read.