Berkley, March 2003, 5.99, 208 pp.
A father and his children stop at a pumpkin stand to buy an artistically carved jack-o-lantern when one of the kids discovers that a scarecrow in the grove is a dead man. His throat has been cut open and the case attracts a lot of media publicity because the victim is Toby Ashcroft, who founded his own dot.com company, which made him millions before it went bust. His sister Ivy, who inherits his whole estate, is holding a new age symposium at Star House and one of the speakers is Salome Waterhouse.
From the time, she arrives on the Ashcroft estate, feng shui practitioner Salome finds very little to recommend the place. After a guest is murdered, the conference is canceled with everyone getting sent home. When the police arrest a suspect, Salome thinks they made a mistake and applying the same senses she uses in feng shui, she investigates the murder to insure the vindication of the innocent party.
Denise Osborne does an incredible job showing what feng shui is (and is not) and how readers can apply the techniques, with very little effort, into their everyday lives. The protagonist combines mysticism with pragmatism, but her willingness to go one step or more beyond the norm is what readers will admire about her. This amateur sleuth tale is one book that is so entertaining it must be finished in one sitting.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner