Publisher: Donna Barker (2016)
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A surprising tale about the practical and magical powers of love and jinxes, disguised as a chick-lit mystery. How many genres can you pack into one novel? This one melds at least three, starting out as classic chick lit: bold, edgy, funny, modern, urban, all about working women’s lives and loves.

The narrative has a bright and sassy voice that pulls the reader right in, and before you know it, the story has morphed into a supernatural/spiritual murder mystery overlying a sweet romance.

The combo arises from the pairing of Tara Holland and her best friend for two decades, Betsy, two self-employed thirty-somethings in Vancouver. Tara is a technical and business writer with a perpetually broken heart, and Betsy is a marketing/web guru who skips like a stone across bisexual relationships. She has given up on romance, while Tara is always seeking Mr. Right. But every time she thinks she’s found him, he ends up dead through an assortment of coincidental innocent accidents. Is Tara jinxing her lovers?

Betsy also sees a potential moneymaker in helping women stuck in bad situations escape them through Tara’s seemingly psychic abilities. Tara cooperates by adopting many of Betsy’s new-age-type practices to learn how to channel her power. But she insists that it only be used for good, rather than simply removing troublesome men from desperate women’s lives.

After many false starts, they put together the web-based enterprise “Mother Teresa’s Advice for Jilted Lovers.” Then all sorts of strange things begin to happen, while the money rolls in as does death threats and dubious untimely demises.

Meanwhile, Tara finally finds the man of her dreams in Glen—until he departs with no warning, leaving behind a cryptic clue. Tara recovers from a broken heart once again with Betsy’s nursing. Suddenly, Tara must question everything through a lens of darkness. Tara finds herself on the run to save her own life and soul.

The story’s twists and turns make it impossible to guess the ending. For readers who want more, the ending leads clearly into the beginning of the next volume in this sharp new series.