How a Logical Man Became a Fan of a Psychic Mystery Series
At first I thought I was drawn into the series despite the psychic aspects. (I'm not a total skeptic, but forty years of teaching logic hardly prepared me for a protagonist who uses crystals to see into the past.) However, I soon realized there was no "despite"; I liked the character. Being psychic is part of who she is, so I liked that too. I came to this realization by channeling Mae (in my own semi-logical and metaphorical way). She is trying to get in touch with her true self. I got in touch with myself as a writer and remembered what I say when people ask for advice about writing genre fiction. "Forget the genre," I advise them. "If you think mysteries are about clues, you'll write a terrible book. If you think science fiction is about black holes and distant galaxies, you'll write a terrible book. All fiction is about characters dealing with the events of their lives. If the characters are people we can empathize with and care about and the events they are dealing with are significant, it doesn't matter what the genre is."
What Mae Martin is dealing with in this delightful series is a gift. Or a curse. It can be used for good or evil. It can make people in her community think she is a witch. It can drive a wedge between her and her husband, a good man she wants to hang on to. It can also help her battle another psychic who has abused his gifts and the women around him. And, most importantly, it can help her discover her past, a father she knows so little about, the mystery he conceals. And this leads her to a new life as the series progresses.
All of this takes place in the context of a classic mother/daughter drama that is so true to life that even an over-the-hill insensitive male logic teacher can understand it. And as with all mother/daughter drama, there is also a lot of humor.
Mae is a character you will connect with and care about as she tries to deal with the curve balls life throws her, an apt metaphor since Mae was a softball player. I found myself rooting for Mae as she tries to weave together the suppressed and hidden strands of self and her history and cheering silently when she succeeds. But mostly, I found myself looking forward to the next book in the series.
J.Michael Orenduff, author of the Pot Thief Mysteries