Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Arousing Suspicions by Marianne Stillings

Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥
From The Oatmeal
Q: What do you call a psychic midget who has escaped from prison?
A: A small medium at large
Cover of: Arousing Suspicions by Marianne Stillings
This is not only a HILARIOUS  joke, it is also marvelously apropos. Because our protagonist is a psychic. I know. Stay with me, it's not that bad. Mostly because Marianne Stillings is one funny writer. The dialogue is sharp and avoids being sitcom-y, and her characters are sweet and kinda goofy. And don't even get me STARTED on this cover. I was iffy about it at first, but I came around once I stared at the lovely wideness of the gentleman's shoulders for about an hour. I was mesmerized. He could carry the weight of the world on that bronzed back. 

He: Detective who is investigating a murder where the cops have very few clues. 

She: Psychic dream interpreter.  She "witnesses" the murder he is investigating" by channeling the thoughts" of one of her clients and goes to the cops with the information. 

Conflict: He (naturally) doesn't believe she has paranormal powers and thinks she's a crackpot. But there's chemistry between them and when there is a chance she might be the killer's next target, he goes into Alpha Dog Cop Mode and swoops in for the rescue. Since this is not 1820, the h gets to do some ass kicking of her own, and everyone lives happily ever after.

This was a funny and nicely paced story. I don't normally like paranormal stuff in romances because it ends up being really lame in a drippy our-souls-are-entwined kind of way. Makes me want to rip my eyes out and stuff them in my mouth. But here, the whole psychic dream interpreter stuff was presented in a quirky, cute way - like it was a part of the h's personality that the disbelieving H just learns to accept and believe. The mystery was at least 50% believable (no creepy stalker plot - thank Poseidon's scepter). 

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