The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco #Mystery #MFRWauthor @Goddessfish @askzodia

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The Madness of Mercury

by Connie di Marco


GENRE: Mystery





Astrologer Julia Bonatti never thought her chosen profession would bring danger into her life, but her outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of San Francisco’s recently-arrived cult leader, Reverend Roy of the Prophet’s Tabernacle.  The followers of the power hungry preacher will stop at nothing to quell the voices of those who would stand in his way and Julia’s at the top of his list.  She’s willing to bet the charismatic Reverend is a Mercury-ruled individual, and she knows all too well that Mercury wasn’t just the messenger of the gods, he was a trickster and a liar as well.







The second floor hallway was dim, lined with dark wood wainscoting and lit only by a few wall sconces leading to the top of a curving staircase.  A stained glass window filtered outside light onto the landing.  It was only mid-afternoon, but the sky had grown dark, muting the brilliant reds and blues of the window.  Heavy Pacific storms were closing in from the north and San Francisco would be buffeted by wind and rain through the holidays.


At the foot of the stairs, I called to Dorothy.  She didn’t answer but a sweet and toasty aroma filled the foyer.  I followed the short hallway toward the rear of the house and pushed through the swinging door to the kitchen.  At the other end of the room, a wall of windows overlooked the back garden and beyond that, a view of the city and the bay to the north.  Black clouds, roiling and heavy with rain, were visible beyond the Golden Gate and the Marin headlands.  The storm would hit within a few hours.


Dorothy worked at the center island, kneading dough, a full length white apron tied over her loose slacks and long-sleeved red sweater.  She looked up and smiled then spread her dough carefully over the board.  An apple and cinnamon mixture was warming on the stove top and my stomach was reminding me I hadn’t eaten since breakfast.  “What are you making?”


“Apple pastries, little turnovers.  I make them every Christmas.  My aunts love them.  I thought it might cheer Evandra up especially . . .”  The sound of a gasoline-powered mower drowned out the rest of Dorothy’s response.

Dorothy glanced toward the windows.  “Damn.  What’s he doing?”


“The gardener?”


“Yes.  Luis.”  Dorothy walked to the windows and peered out into the garden.  “He probably wants to finish the lawn before the rain starts.”


A low stone wall formed the perimeter of the back garden, delineating an edge where the ground dropped off to a steep cliff marked with rocky outcroppings.  I joined Dorothy at the window and followed her line of sight.  The power mower was running, unattended, butting against the stone wall.  A red bandanna hung from the vibrating handlebar of the machine.


Dorothy looked puzzled.  “He shouldn’t leave that thing like that.  Where did he get off to?”  She tossed her dishtowel on the table, heaved a sigh and opened the back door to the garden.


“Luis . . . Luis,” she called.


I followed her out the door and joined her on the lawn.  The wind was whipping fiercely across the hillside and the sky had grown even darker.  In the distance, the sea churned black in the bay.  Dorothy’s apron billowed like a sail in the wind.  She strode purposefully across the grass to the mower, and hit the control, silencing the monster.  She turned her head to speak to me and hesitated, then turned back and peered over the low wall.  Something had caught her eye.  She was still for a moment and then took two steps backward.


“What is it, Dorothy?”


Her face had drained of color.  “It’s Luis.  He’s down there.”  Her voice quivered.  “I think he’s dead.”




AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Connie di Marco is the author of the upcoming Zodiac Mystery series from Midnight Ink featuring San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti.  The Madness of Mercury, first in the series, will be released on June 8, 2016.  Writing as Connie Archer, she’s also the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in both The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.  You can visit her at her website:, or (Author) and Twitter: @askzodia.



Buy links for The Madness of Mercury:




Barnes & Noble:


Indie Bound:








Mercury by Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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37 Replies to “The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco #Mystery #MFRWauthor @Goddessfish @askzodia”

    1. Hi Mai – not as yet, I just love mysteries and thrillers, but occasionally a little romance and fun slips in. Thanks for visiting today and best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Laura – I thought about it off and on, but it took me a long time to finally get up the nerve to try to write a book. I’ve done lots of different things in my life and worked at many jobs, but started writing about ?12 years ago. It turned out to be a lot more fun than I ever anticipated. Now I wish I had started sooner! Best of luck to you, Laura!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you, Jacquie! San Francisco has such atmosphere, it’s really enjoyable to write about. Hard to go wrong with a place like that!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sally ~ Julia’s apartment looks almost psychedelic, doesn’t it? And I love the fireplace too! Especially the little pentacle on the fireplace screen. Thanks for following along, Sally!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Becky ~ In this case, I think Julia came first. She was the character that started the whole concept. I wanted to have a protagonist with a very unusual occupation that would put her in contact with people from all walks of life and all different problems. Glad you could visit today! And good luck!.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Mystery’s have always been my favorites to read, even as a kid I always had my nose in a mystery book! Thanks for sharing, I’m looking forward to reading this one 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Victoria! We are kindred souls then, I’m the same way when it comes to mysteries. I don’t think I read anything else — ever! Best of luck to you!

      Liked by 1 person

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