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Tempest in the Tea Leaves (A Fortune Teller Mystery) Mass Market Paperback – August 2, 2011

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Product Details

  • Series: A Fortune Teller Mystery (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1st Printing edition (August 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425242757
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425242759
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #232,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

National Bestselling Author, Agatha, RT Reviewers Choice & Golden Duck Award Nominee. Kari Lee Townsend lives in central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter. A former teacher with a masters in English education and a background in freelance editing, she is a long-time lover of reading and writing. She is best known as the author of the Fortune Teller Mystery series, but also writes romantic comedies (under the name Kari Lee Harmon), as well as children's fiction about tween superheroes. These days, you'll find her at home happily writing her next novel and still trying to find out whodunit.

Customer Reviews

Looking forward to the next book in this fun series.
Debra B
Although I found the Sunny character to be unacceptably naive and childish for a 29 yo woman.
Ellen Rappaport
It felt that these were characters that were evolving.
M. Bourdon Oriental Carpets

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By TribalCat on August 9, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
The title is wonderful, and I was really looking forward to reading this book. I'm a great cozy mystery fan and always enjoy a bit of the paranormal creeping in. However, the protagonist is a 29-year-old who acts and reacts as a pre-teen would. She jumps up and down and claps her hands when she's excited, sticks her tongue out at people, and her reactions to the detective are extremely sophomoric. The woman's almost 30? There's no real depth to the book or to the characters, and the action is all superficial. We don't get to find out what anyone is thinking or feeling or who they really are or what their motivations could be. There's no background, we don't even know who Sunny really is or what makes her tick. It feels like we don't get to share experiences with the main character as she is going through them, but rather that she's just telling us what she did after the fact (she stole bugging equipment from the detective's apartment? Really? Where were we when this was happening? How did she know he even had any, or where he would keep it, and where was he while she was stealing it?) She waltzes into town and is immediately partnered up with a "god-like" detective to solve a murder in which she is supposed to be the main suspect, then her clingy, disapproving and two-dimensional parents show up to assist her. Within a couple of days of moving to the town, she knows all the history and gossip of the town, and all of the townspeople love her? I had higher hopes for this series. I gave it two stars for effort, and because the premise is cute...a tea leaf reader assists the police in solving murders, but otherwise I would have rated it a one-star read. I was ready to quit about halfway through the book, but I kept reading and hoping it would get better. It did not.
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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Turtles on August 2, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was pretty excited for this book. The premise sounded really fun, a fortune teller mystery! The book starts off with a bang, the heroine leaves her parents penthouse, and under their thumb, at 29. She promptly buys up an old Victorian house (and cat) with her trust fund and sets up shop in Divinity, NY. Her first customer is a librarian and upon reading her tea leaves, sees her death.

The story went exceedingly down hill from there, Sunny (heroine) tells the police (square jawed love interest) about the murder an hour after the librarian leaves, she is arrested and let go... no one could see her killing anyone??! She drops in the town bar, gets drunk and has the big cop carry her home. A day later she's "partnered" up with him by the chief and can't seem to break a nasty habit of diarrhea-of-the-mouth through a flurry of clue-rich interviews.

I stopped reading half way though with Sunny stuck in a closet listening to some potential murderers get it on to blasting porn, she was talking to the cop fellow on her cell phone. Ugh.

The book just flew all over the place without consistent tense or tangent. The characters were flat and/or blown out of proportion. And while I don't mind subject matter in a "cozy mystery" being more PG-13+ it was unexpected in this and felt thrown in. I won't be finishing the book. It was poorly written.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Bookworm936 on October 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I like cozies, cats, victorian houses and paranormal topics....yet I found this book to be extremely annoying. The main character is 29 and just moving out on her own. She buys a rusted bug with a working heater but will be ok because she took an automotive class? I ask because not alot of mechanics work on old bugs. Colleges today focus on more current vehicles. I take my bug to a mechanic that works only on air cooled vehicles. Soooo...then her parents beg her not to go. However, she is now ready to be out on her own, yet she plans to live off her trust fund?? How is living off a trust fund being on one's own? Sunny (who at some time before the story began had her name changed to Sunny from Sylvia - just because she didn't feel like a Sylvia) then buys an old victorian house (she names the house Vicky) and plans to do the repairs herself as well as redecorate?? It seems odd considering she hasn't done much of anything on her own...yet everything "feels" right. Then she hooks up with a detective (she nicknames the detective as well and gives him his own ring tone) to find a murderer...I didn't care for Sunny's character. Sunny just didn't "feel" genuine to me. She seemed false and her character seemed forced. The relationship with her parents, Rosemary (her realator) and her interactions with other people (including law enforcement) did not reflect an adult but more of a teenager/young adult.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was originally posted at my blog, Bea's Book Nook. It's a dual review. [...]


This was a fun book, not too long, and a great way to start a series. Light, with a quick pace, it sets up characters that you want to learn more about. There are lots of little twists, and while I had a good idea of who the villain might be, I still had more than one suspect by the time of the big reveal.

I like Sunny. I like Sunny and Detective Stone together, both as crime solving partners and a potential romantic pairing. And Morty the cat! Creepy in the best of ways, I look forward to seeing more of Sunny's odd little protector.

This is my favorite kind of summer read, one that I can peek up from to see what the kids are up to, and delve back into without losing that feeling of being into the story. It's welcoming, even for a murder mystery.


This was a light story but unlike Jax, I didn't find it to be quick. I had trouble staying interested, and kept putting it down. It did keep me guessing, there were twists and turns in the mystery; unlike Jax I didn't catch on to who killer was until almost the end. I also found it refreshing that Sunny didn't have an easy time getting people to talk to her, the answers didn't fall in to her lap; she had to work for them. That is one of the more common weaknesses of cozy mysteries and Townsend avoided it.

Sunny could be naive, was rebellious with her parents in a manner that reminded me of a teenager, and was headstrong at times but her heart was in the right place and she came across as genuine and like someone you might meet around town.
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