Forge, Sept 2003, 24.95, 400 pp.
Many years ago Annie married into the Szabo clan of gypsies and acquired a huge extended family. At her wedding her best friend Jerry met her new sister-in-law Capri and fell in love with her. They got married, had a child together and somewhere along the way, they lost their emotional connection and got a divorce. Jerry stayed connected to the Szabo clan and looked out for them while Annie tried to forget they existed after her husband died.
After a very long estrangement, Annie visits Jerry in San Francisco and lets herself into his home. When she wakes up, Capri tells her that Jerry is dead. Annie gets bullied back into the life of the Szabo family, protesting all the way while trying to find Jerry's murderer and conducting a romance with her former mother-in-law's younger son, Jozef, a man of great power. Just when they think they have discovered a suspect in Jerry's murder, that person is also killed and Annie must to do the unthinkable to protect her loved ones.
Meredith Blevins' debut novel is a whimsical, tantalizing and off beat amateur sleuth mystery that will remind readers of Alice Through the Looking Glass. Mina, the heroine's former mother-in-law, is a delightful secondary character, colorful and free-spirited character who is used as comic relief when the tension in the story line gets too high. Readers will fall in love with the Szabo family, a group of independent free spirits who march to their own drummers. THE HUMMINGBIRD WIZARD is one of the funniest and enjoyable first novels this reviewer has had the pleasure of reading.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner