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Murder in the 11th House by Mitchell Scott Lewis

To be honest, I did not know whether I would like “Murder in the 11th House,” the first in “A Starlight Detective Agency Mystery” series.  The protagonist, David Lowell,  is a detective who uses very controversial methods to learn as much as possible about the victim and potential perpetrators using astrology as a tool.  Lowell uses a variety of charts and astrological computer programs to chart the astrology behind the personality and motivations around the birth and death dates and times, and he does as much as possible to discover the same information from the other people close to the murder.

I started out extremely skeptical about the way Lowell always seemed to be able to peg the people he charts right every time, but something about the way he went about confirming everything through the good old-fashioned gumshoe methods finally convinced me that this astrological stuff could work.  I might even want sometime to have my own charts read.

It is easier now to see astrology as just another tool that can be used to break through the masks that people put up to hide their true intentions and interests.

The case revolves around a rough-and-tumble woman bartender who is using Lowell’s daughter as her court appointed attorney to fight a charge of having blown up a judge with whom she had a run-in at court.  The accused, Johnny Colbert, has the knowledge, the motive and opportunity to be the murderer and it was a difficult situation to prove in court that there was reasonable doubt about her guilt given her astrological chart.

The author does a great job of building the intensity so that the reader finds it difficult to put the book down.  It is easy to become involved with the Lowells and their team of sleuths in solving the case and to care what happens to each character.

The author, Mitchell Scott Lewis is a practicing astrologer and teacher in New York City.  He worked for several years on the Mercantile Exchange as an “astrological trader and market analyst.”  His clientele represent a good cross section of the New York City entertainment and financial world.

This book may not appeal to everyone, but it should win over most mystery lovers.

Liz Nichols

 

 

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