I love a good occult detective story (obviously) and In the Cards by Marjorie G. Jones delivers. This being her first novel, Jones is to be be forgiven for some overtly purple prose.
She paints an elegant and sophisticated picture, and she is well-versed in the protagonist of this thriller — Frances Yates.
Yates was a note worthy historian whose studies centered around Giordano Bruno and the influence of the Hermetic Tradition on the Renaissance.
Jones’ impeccable scholarship helps construct a vibrant and alluring murder mystery that, in its very best moments, reminds one of Umberto Eco’s works.
While the writing does not quite achieve those lofty resemblances on a consistent basis, it is an entertaining yarn that shows the author has tremendous promise in the realm of occult detective fiction.
I can only hope there is more to come.
The book is described as follows —
In collaboration with a Scotland Yard detective, who is also a Freemason, Frances Yates, eminent historian of Renaissance spirituality and proponent of martyred priest Giordano Bruno, employs her unique scholarship to solve a murder and the theft of a rare volume in the renowned musty library of ancient philosophical traditions, where she has long been a resident scholar.
While immersed in an article regarding the significance of mysterious tarot cards, Yates comes to realize that the recurring images of the cards illustrate universal life stages and character traits that may provide clues to the identity of the murderer. Along the way, she encounters more recent scholarship regarding feminist theology that, together with the tarot, prompts her to reconsider her own patriarchal spiritual worldview.
In the Cards by Marjorie G. Jones is published by Ibis Press and distributed by Red Wheel/Weiser. I recommend it to all lovers of a good mystery.
In the Cards is available on Amazon for only slightly more than $10 for the trade paperback. A tremendous bargain that one should not pass up.