Series: A Mind For Murder Mystery #1
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Published by Berkley on 1 November 2011
Reading Challenges: 2013 Bachelorette Challenge
Who Do, Voodoo? is an enjoyable cozy mystery with paranormal elements. Our protagonist Dr Liz Cooper, is a clinical psychologist who doesn’t believe in anything paranormal. When her friend Robin is suspected of murdering Sophie, a woman who was harassing her with Tarot cards and other para-paraphernalia, Liz decides to investigate. She ropes in her brother’s friend Nick Garfield, a professor specialising in the occult.
Liz and Nick were an interesting couple. Liz is set up to be this rational character but she fairly quickly becomes an avid believer in the occult – even if she won’t admit it openly. Nick was a good foil for Liz and his subject knowledge was extensive. Their romance is a convenient way to keep someone knowledgeable around but it works. Unfortunately I did not like the secondary characters very much. Her brother Dave in particular was pretty self-absorbed. As a cop he could have put more effort into steering Liz away from danger, explaining how the law works etc so she was well-informed rather than stumbling around. Instead, he prefers to watch a footy game. The mother was also irritating. She took Jarret the cheating ex-husband’s side over her daughter’s just because he is a famous baseball player. It’s no wonder that Liz is so keen to clear her ditsy friend – she is about the only person who is actually on Team Liz.
Staab has clearly done her research on the occult and I learned a lot about regional differences. The attention to detail in this area was very welcome. I wasn’t overly impressed with the police detective work as they were fixated on Robin from the start. I realise this is a plot device to rationalise Liz’s involvement but it irked me. There are lots of red herrings along the way even if some were fairly obvious.
This is a light read that will keep you entertained. The paranormal aspect was the biggest plus for me as was watching Liz trying (and often failing) to rationalise things.