cover image The Accidental Medium

The Accidental Medium

Tracy Whitwell. Macmillan UK, $27.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5290-8751-2

Romance novelist Whitwell (Love Button) falters with this disappointing paranormal cozy. Tanz, a 30-something actor whose television career has fizzled, is trying to make a go of it in London. Because of her special ability to “know things,” some of Tanz’s friends call her a “witch,” but she considers herself to be “a normal Geordie lass who’s perceptive.” She does, however, have occasional visions of her friend Frank, who perished in a car crash three years ago, and she hears the odd voice here and there. Desperate for some regular income, Tanz starts working in a new age store called the Mystery Pot. Her boss, Sheila, explains that the voices Tanz hears mean she’s clairaudient, and she begins to tune into them more closely. Soon, she makes contact with spirits that lead her to believe someone’s been murdered. Against her better judgment, she investigates. Some of Tanz’s off-color narration fails to land (she remarks that models “are transvestites with vaginas and don’t come from Earth”), and Whitwell offers very little concrete evidence of Tanz’s supposedly impressive powers of deduction. Readers seeking supernatural cozies have a bevy of better options. (Aug.)