Who Do, Voodoo? (A Mind for Murder Mystery)
by Rochelle Staab
Review by Mel Jacob
Berkley Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780425244593
Date: 01 November 2011 List Price $7.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This debut novel for Rochelle's new paranormal mystery series features psychologist Liz Cooper and occult researcher Nick Garfield. Robin Bloom, Liz's best friend, finds voodoo tarot cards tacked to her front door. They appear to be threats and escalate to a picture of Robin surrounded by voodoo symbols implying death. Determined to find and stop the perpetrator, Liz enlists Nick's help; he's an old college friend and a buddy of her brother Dave, a police detective. Then, a murder leads police to Robin.
The voodoo symbols on the tarot cards puzzle Nick because the two belief systems are unrelated. Further, he believes the sect of voodoo that threatens Robin is the most powerful one, vodou as practiced in New Orleans and Haiti.
Robin works for a high-powered talent agency and has to contend with quirky stars and her boss Sam's girlfriend. He just gave the girl a car, a sure sign he's about to dump her. However, she is determined to marry him and has been practicing voodoo to bring him to the altar. She sees Robin as an obstacle and potential rival.
Various events force Liz to wonder about her own beliefs in facts and science, but she strives to keep an open mind. Friends since childhood with Robin, she refuses to believe Robin committed murder.
A woman who claims to be able to evoke the spirits and lives on the fees she charges the gullible muddies the waters. She insist Liz take a gris gris from her claiming it will inflame any man who crosses her threshold. Liz dismisses it, but then has to contend with her ex-husband and Nick sparring over her affections.
A fun novel that many cozy fans will like is sure to lead to more adventures for Liz and Nick (shades of Nick and Nora Charles). Nick's explanations of occult phenomena are interesting. Who Do Voodoo? joins the humoresque line from Berkley Prime Crime.