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Review: Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend (paranormal cozy mystery)

Review: Tempest in the Tea Leaves by Kari Lee Townsend (paranormal cozy mystery)Author: Kari Lee Townsend
Title: Tempest in the Tea Leaves
Series: Fortune Teller Mystery #1
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 304
Release Date: August 2nd 2011
Genres: Mystery & Thriller
Using various fortune telling tools to interpret her visions, Sunny seeks to aid the residents of Divinity, New York. But when she uses tea leaves to read the frazzled town librarian, what lies at the bottom of the cup is anything but helpful.
Format: Paperback
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Tempest in the Tea Leaves is the first book in the Fortune Teller Mysteries series by Kari Lee Townsend. At first, I thought the main character was immature and annoying, especially because she gave her house a human name, which is one of my pet peeves. Plus, she had a weird instant bond to a cat she finds. But, that makes more sense as the book progresses, because the cat proves himself to be supernatural.

Sunny is a late bloomer, kind of old to be starting out on her own apart from her parents. She’s also super bubbly, which will probably get on some readers’ nerves. Despite these things, Sunny grew on me.

Although Sunny is a fortune teller, there isn’t much of that in this book. The back copy says she, “has to use her visions to clear her name.” Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen until near the end of the book. All of her detective work up to that point is non-paranormal.

Sunny is actually pretty smart. She is able to figure out a lot without using her psychic abilities. I think her intelligence is her saving grace as a character. Otherwise, she would be too much of a stereotypical blonde.

I did enjoy reading this story. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series, but I hope the next one will include more of her abilities. She says in the book that she gets a sense of the person she is reading which fortune telling method would work best. She didn’t use anything besides tea leaves in this book, but I assume she is skilled at other methods. So, I am anticipating seeing what else she can do.

If you like stories with peppy female leads and grumpy (but sexy) police detectives, you should give this book a try. Just don’t expect a lot of paranormal in this book. It’s got enough to make it appealing to readers of paranormal, but the majority is standard investigative work. I give Tempest in the Tea Leaves 4.5 stars.


Jen Schaper
I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

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