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This was the first book I read in the series, so I have to go back and read the first one now, which I can't wait to do! But, it didn't matter. There was enough of past events woven through that I wasn't lost at all. This book was fabulous and took me totally by surprise. Riga Hayworth is a metaphysical detective that has lost her magic. Even without it, she's a force to be reckoned with. She takes a job offer hosting a reality show and investigating reports of Nessie being spotted in the area. At the same time, she uses this as a way to investigate the strange murders taking place. Oh, and did I mention her best friend is a gargoyle? Loved this! There is also a bit of romance with a handsome, powerful casino tycoon that becomes a mystery in itself.

The underlying themes of this book--magic, alchemy, the power of our imagination & the oneness of the universe--were done in such a way as to introduce the reader to these concepts without being heavy handed. And I'm looking forward to researching and learning more about the information the author gives us.
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on March 19, 2013
If you have read my review of "The Metaphysical Detective (A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery Novel) you will understand that I first found Kirsten Weiss through a offering of " The Shamanic Detective (A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery Novel). Ms. Weiss, by offering your book for free, you have gained yourself a loyal reader here. Thank you!

I gave "The Metaphysical Detective (A Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mystery Novel)" four stars. Reviews are, of course, subjective. The book was very good, but it didn't really "teach" me anything and it wasn't world moving, if that makes sense. With The Alchemical Detective: Book Two in the Riga Hayworth Series, I have moved that start rating up to five, for several reasons.

Most importantly, the research she put into the book, and proper usage of the materials, is exceptional. In my wide and varied background I have read widely about alchemy and its practitioners, and Kristin's usage of Jungian psychological processes, the science and psychology of alchemy and philosophy, Goetia and necromancy, as well as the works of Gregory of Nyssa and the writings of various alchemical philosophers totally drew in my attention and didn't allow me to put the book down until I came to the end. Her inclusion of the Emerald Tablet, or Tabula Smaragdina, is the first that I have seen of it's type in any other UF out there (if I am wrong, would someone please point me to the book(s)? Would love to read them!) Her use of the Tablet as a conduit for phase transition, and rebuilding of Riga's magics after the events of "Metaphysical" was handled delicately and in a way I didn't expect.

Don't think that because I am so jazzed up about the research put into the book that I found it boring, or that you will either, unless you are more interested in romance and not interested in having your knowledge boosted a bit as an outcome of reading an Urban Fantasy novel. This book is fairly fast, has lots of action, everything ties together very well story wise and Weiss does her usual excellent job of keeping the mystery a mystery to the end. And at the very end, I can hardly wait to finally read the next one.

For geeks like me, the Sir Issac Newton translation of the text of the Emerald Tablet is included at the back of the book. For a Modern English version of the Tablet, another translation can be found in Theatrum Chemicum, Volume IV (1613), in Georg Beatus' Aureliae Occultae Philosophorum. Either way, it is, in my mind, an excellent example of the thought processes of alchemists and magicians through the ages.

Great mystery, alchemy, magic, wiccan, Jungian concepts on manifestations of the unconscious, an ongoing romance for you romance lovers and a great cast of characters
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on September 24, 2016
Riga Hayworth has lost the use of her powers. Brigitte - a gargoyle is trying to helpher regain them when the sheriff and a deputy pound on her door. They ask her about Sara Glass aka Lady Moonstone, a palm reader. She was found killed and they know that Riga is a Private Investigator with a license in California. Riga corrects them and tells them she is a metaphysical detective. They show her a picture of a metal disk with a symbol on it. She has seen it before, it looks like one from someone is dead. Then Riga gets to star in a reality show about a monster in a lake near by. Her boyfriend, Donovan Mosse isn't too happy about the film, but he has his own agenda as he runs a casino at Lake Tahoe and Vegas. He also sees ghosts. Then another person is killed. This is the 2nd person form the Tea and Tarot group that has been killed. Can Riga figure out what is really going on and who is responsible for the deaths? What about Donovan? Will he find the person he is looking for then stop seeing ghosts? What about the so called monster in the lake? Is it real or something else? Read the book to find out. I received a copy for an honest and unbiased review.
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on August 1, 2012
I want my own gargoyle. How cool would that be? Riga, heroine in this book, has one. She is a metaphysical detective who has lost her magic and is a suspect in a murder investigation. Okay, so it would suck to have all those other issues, but having your own living, breathing, walking around gargoyle would still be cool.

This book combines some of my favorite paranormal concepts. It is definitely worth reading. I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.

This product or book may have been distributed for review; this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.
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on January 6, 2015
I discovered the Riga Hayworth books and read all 6 (that have been published to date) in a week. So yes, I'm a big fan of the series.

In this second book of the series, Riga is in a bit of a tough spot, what with having lost her magic and all. But never fear, Brigitte is here, and encourages Riga to pick up her study of Alchemy to remedy the situation. What could go wrong?

The story is more detective than bodice-ripper, which I appreciate, and the characters are interesting and well-drawn. The author drops tantalizing hints about Riga's history, while still maintaining a suitable air of mystery.

Apropos of some criticisms I've read in the reviews: This is not a grimoire. You will not learn dark arts within these pages. The author does know her paranormal stuff, though, and provides a convincing and compelling world for Riga and the others to inhabit.

I look forward to book 7!
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2013
Book Info: Genre: Paranormal mystery
Reading Level: Adult
Recommended for: fans of paranormal/supernatural mysteries.
Trigger Warnings: murder, assault
Animal Abuse: a cat is killed, a dog runs away to avoid the same fate

My Thoughts: So, this book is set near Lake Tahoe rather than in San Francisco, where Riga usually lives. I rather like this setting. It sounds like a lovely place.

I was very amused by several things in this book, but mostly Riga's sometimes silliness, like when she was looking around the office of a murder victim and didn't see anything, and thought this: "Well, what had she expected to find? A note from the killer jammed beneath the door? She checked, hopeful." I was also amused to learn that Martin Luther strongly approved of alchemy, so I guess Lutherans can rest assured that the practice of alchemy is a-okay in their dogma.

The editing wasn't too bad--I have definitely seen much worse--but there were a couple weird things, like a door swagged with crime scene tape. What? Swagged? I think she must have meant swathed. Most of the problems I saw were details, aesthetic choices, and confusion over when to capitalize and not capitalize titles, nothing too terribly distracting or unusual or egregious. Plus I was extremely impressed to find the correct use of not only the term "magnate" (which I have seen spelled "magnet") and mic (for microphone, not the commonly misused "mick").

All in all, a great continuation of the series, despite Riga's too stupid to live behavior when she felt she had discovered who the killer was. At least she had a backup plan, but why do these people always go to face the killer with no weapons or additional people? Still, if you like mysteries featuring metaphysical/paranormal/supernatural elements, you'll like this.

Series Information: Riga Hayworth Paranormal Mysteries
Book 1: The Metaphysical Detective, review linked here where formatting allowed
Book 2: The Alchemical Detective, picked up on Amazon during KDP promotion
Book 3: The Shamanic Detective, picked up on Amazon during KDP promotion
Book 4: The Infernal Detective, received from author for review

Disclosure: I picked up a copy on Amazon during a KDP promotion. All opinions are my own.

Synopsis: A psychic has been murdered in an occult ceremony and the police pay a visit to Riga Hayworth, metaphysical detective. But this time, she's not a consultant on the case, she's a suspect.

There's a storm on the horizon. Riga's lost her magic and has come to Lake Tahoe to recover and spend quality time with her new love. But life for Riga is never that simple. A psychic's been murdered, and the police believe Riga has a connection to the crime. They're right. And if that's not enough, Riga is drafted as the host of a reality TV show about the local lake monster, and her niece is rejecting her metaphysical abilities. Juggling demons, daimons, and angry tarot card readers, Riga must catch a killer before she becomes the next target.
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on March 8, 2014
Riga Hayworth used to have magical powers but lost them. She lives in a cabin with a living gargoyle named Brigitte and has a wealthy boyfriend who manages a casino. When local witches start getting murdered, Riga gets on the cops' radar. Then she & her niece are hired by a psychic network tv show to do a segment about the local lake monster & the story became stupid.

I started out loving the characters & the story so much, I couldn't wait to finish and buy the 1st installment in the series. I'm glad I waited. The story played out predictably and by the end I no longer cared about what had happened in Paris and how Riga got & lost her magical powers.
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on July 21, 2012
Riga Hayworth is a metaphysical detective, who used to have very strong magical powers herself. Due to events not fully explained in this book - this book makes repeated references to a previous death match with a psychotic necromancer who summoned a demon to kill her (although the demon killed the psycho), but now that I have read the first of this series that is not the cause of the disruption in her powers - she has mysteriously had her magical abilities damaged. Now at Lake Tahoe for some R&R and time with her love interest, a casino owner, Riga is trying to recouperate and recover her powers.

Unfortunately a murder of another local psychic labels her a "person of interest" to the local police, and she finds herself in a quandry of unable to ethically investigate without a client, and unable to investigate without implicating herself.

Along comes a Supernatural Channel Reality TV show that wants her to be the host, doing a special on Tahoe Tessie, a supposed Loch Ness Monster style Lake Tahoe monster.

Riga takes the job, and by theorizing that the supposed monster sightings and the murder may be connected, finds herself investigating the murder and <spoiler alert> harrassment activities against other local psychics, including yet another murder.

Riga's sidekick is a Brigitte, a Gargoyle made of concrete yet able to talk, fly, walk about etc. Kind of a different twist on the sidekick theme!

The nemesis in the story is a local pastor of a splinter-group church picketing in front of the businesses run by these local psychics and playing the part initially of prime suspect (to Riga and the readers, if not to the police). Unfortunately, he too falls victim to what can only be described as a serial killer leaving evidence of involving summoning of demons.

As this is a series, Riga no doubt is triumphant in the end, but the reader would be hard pressed to figure out just how. Who the killer is, maybe could be guessed; I didn't, but I didn't try tooo hard. For me in murder mysteries, the killer's identity is kind of like having a baby - you know it will be a boy or a girl but I just like to be surprised ;)

Basically, what an INTERESTING murder mystery-detective story! This is the second of a series, of which I have not yet read book #1, and yet the main characters were well introduced and characterized without a lot of "in previous episodes" explanation. That is a definite plus.

The paranormal and occult aspects were laid out with sufficient detail that the reader can grasp what the author's construct of the magical aspect is all about while not being copycat of the generic popular trends. Clearly the author has done quite a bit of research and has included enough academic material to satisfy my tastes without (hopefully) overdoing it or being boringly pedantic. I certainly did not find it to be boring at all. Another Great Plus.

I love a female sleuth who is not simpering, man crazed, mother obsessed, uber-suburbanite housewifey, and who also has both positive and negative aspects to her personality like a real person. The leading man played a definite back seat role but was along for the ride, and the tension and dynamics in their relationship felt believable, and felt like that aspect added some colors and nuances to the story.

Lastly as an indie Kindle offering, I want to mention that typos were not a problem and story editing appeared to have had a good deal of attention as well.

This was a marvelous read.

I hope there is more to come of the Riga Hayworth series!
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on April 22, 2015
I really enjoyed the first book, so decided to get the second. Big disappointment. Predictable, too full of "romance" and by the end of this book I knew I didn't want to read any others.

I enjoy the metaphysical aspect of the books, but could do without the heavy, predictable romance crap. Really takes down the tone of the whole book.
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on July 8, 2012
And this is one, but it was also a great read. Got this as a free download and enjoyed it tremendously. Great characters, interesting magical systems, fast pace and a definitely addicting read.

This is the second of the series and will be going back to read the first of the series, although I did not feel 'handicapped' that I had not read the first book prior to picking this one up. There is enough detail that I never felt lost with the ongoing plot.

The only issue for me, a cliffhanger ending, which I hate! I downgraded my rating by one star for that, will see how the ending is in the first book and will likely read the third book when it comes out. If all three books end with a cliffhanger I won't continue. For those readers who have no problem with cliffhanger endings, this will probably be a great read ... for those who detest them, be aware this is the case.
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