By: Diane A. S. Stuckart
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication Date: November 2018
Reviewed by: Skyler Boudreau
Review Date: February 18, 2019
Fool’s Moon is a mystery novel that follows Ruby Sparks, self-proclaimed “Tarot Card Reader, Barely Competent” and her numerous pets. After rescuing a stray cat named Ophelia off the streets and later adopting her from a local Florida animal shelter, Ruby is drawn into a dangerous mystery when a new customer asks for a tarot card reading regarding a potential murder.
Readers get to follow the story through several different narrators beyond Ruby, specifically her cat Ophelia and pit bull Zuki. Through the different lenses of the respective narrators, readers are able to see all sides of the mystery, from Ophelia’s relationship with her deceased former owner to Ruby’s sleuth work as she tries to narrow down a list of suspects and piece together what actually happened. Each narrator adds something extra to the novel, as they should in a story with a well-balanced set of different point-of-view characters.
Ophelia herself is a perfect picture of what I imagine a personified cat would be like in real life; proud, affectionate on her own terms, and just a little arrogant. It’s entertaining to watch her grow as you might see a human character grow, such as watching her develop unexpected friendships throughout the course of the novel. Her interactions with Ruby’s other pets and the animals she meets while wandering the streets of Florida are some of my favorite parts of the story.
Another stand-out part of Fool’s Moon is its portrayal of pit bulls. Rather than the aggressive, dangerous animals one might see in other novels or on television, Zuki is much closer to a more realistic example of the breed. Sweet, loving, and loyal to her friends and Ruby, it’s refreshing to see such a positive role written for an often misunderstood dog.
Author Diane Stuckart also did a fantastic job of adding the interesting element of tarot card reading into her novel. The creative, quirky, and sometimes spooky ways it plays into the main mystery are fun to read about and add an extra piece of intrigue to an already enjoyable plot. Tarot is definitely a practice I want to learn more about now! Ruby’s readings for different clients and the multiple meanings behind different cards and their various spreads is fascinating.
Quill says: Fool’s Moon is a charming read that would be perfect for middle grade or new young adult readers. It’s very much the kind of light, entertaining novel someone could curl up reading on a cold day with a mug of tea.