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Ask the Cards a Question (Sharon McCone #2)

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  1,237 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
There's trouble in Sharon McCone's quiet San Francisco apartment building. Madame Anya, with her cards, her tame crow, and her candles, had predicted evil for Molly Antonio. Linnea Carraway, drinking heavily and careening crazily in the wake of a divorce, had argued with her. Now the sweet, elderly lady lies in her apartment. Linnea, last to see Molly alive, is the prime s ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Mysterious Press (first published 1982)
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Mar 06, 2012 Spuddie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Second in the series featuring San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone. Sharon ends up investigating a killing that happens in her own building when her upstairs neighbor, elderly Mollie Antonio, is brutally strangled. Detective Greg Marcus asks her to identify the body since it seems everyone else in the building he's tried to question is either "drunk or crazy" and Sharon is horrified to note that a piece of drapery cord that possibly came from her own apartment is likely the murder w ...more
May 29, 2012 Marsha rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm slowly reading through Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone mysteries and reliving the seventies, or so it seems. Sharon is a tough, hip San Francisco private eye seemingly alone in a man's world. She isn't afraid to pull her gun and protect herself or someone else as she did in the climax of this book. Even though her friend was a mixed-up, drunken divorcee, she was still Sharon's friend so bam! The blind bad guy was killed right there on the altar of a defunct church. She has a peekaboo relations ...more
Apr 11, 2010 Vanessa rated it liked it
This was a good mystery that kept me guessing until the end. And while I enjoy seeing the development of the private investigator, Sharon McCone, I prefer the later ones. There is a larger cast of regular, interesting characters. Due to my passion for audio books, I have read these out of order, and in this case, I am glad I did. I don't know if the earlier ones would have hooked me as much as her later novels.

Still, I enjoyed the story and look forward to reading more.
Mar 22, 2017 William rated it it was ok
I could not find much to like here, I'm afraid. A pretty short book with lame dialogue and flat characters. Sharon McCone did not come to life for me, and her friend, Linnea, was equally uncompelling. Even San Francisco does not come through as the vibrant city it was then.

All I found interesting was window on life in the early 1980's: waterbeds, typewriters (manual and electric), "secretaries," etc. I had not remembered that we had airport security that long ago, though it apparently let non-pa
May 09, 2015 Dyana rated it liked it
San Francisco private detective, Sharon McCone, is back and using old-fashioned investigating techniques (no modern conveniences yet) to solve the murder of her elderly upstairs neighbor in her apartment building. A piece of drapery cord stolen from Sharon's apartment is the murder weapon and Molly Antonio was strangled with it. Plenty of quirky suspects from the building and surrounding neighborhood for Sharon to interrogate. She has the permission of Lieutenant Greg Marcus of the SFPD to inves ...more
#2 Sharon McCone, PI, San Francisco; almost cosy PI. Muller (and Sharon) get better and better! Book 2 is even better than the extremely entertaining #1, as Sharon gets to kick ass very nicely, while saving a friend in dire peril.

Sharon comes home one night to find her best friend from her schooldays drunk and disorderly in her (Sharon's) little apartment, and one of the nicest neighbors has been strangled, plus the friend can't remember what she's been doing recently or where she's been...

Carolyn F.
Audiobook. Narrated by Bernadette Dunne.

First time reading/listening to this author and I don't know if it's the narrator's fault, but the dialogue seemed so stilted. It felt like there were no contractions at all. "Yes, I would like to see if they are happy with the time it has taken for me to drive across town." No contractions. "Yes, I'd like to see if they're happy with time it's taken for me to drive across town." With contractions and normal speech. Since I didn't have the book in front of
Mar 20, 2015 Cynthia rated it liked it
Again I can't say much more that 'it was all right' for this series but I am going to persevere because I want to like it. Partly because so many other people rave about it, partly because I want to give Ms Muller the benefit of the doubt that things will improve and partly because there are so many of them that if I love them how many hours of reading pleasure await me. Besides, it was okay. Interesting extra characters, less focus on the predictable romance. Convoluted crime pattern that the h ...more
Kenneth Flusche
Sep 12, 2016 Kenneth Flusche rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A good quick mystery
Kathleen Hagen
Ask the Cards a Question, Book 2 in the Sharon McCone series, by Marcia Muller, b-plus, narrated by Laura Hicks, produced by audiogo, downloaded from

There's trouble in Sharon McCone's quiet San Francisco apartment building. Madame Anya, with her cards, her tamed crow, and her candles, had predicted
evil for Molly Antonio. Linnea Carraway, drinking heavily and careening in the wake of a divorce, had argued with her. Now the sweet, elderly lady lies
dead in her apartment. Linnea, last t
Oct 31, 2014 Ed rated it really liked it
#2 in the Sharon McCone series. Sharon McCone blazing a trail for other female private investigators is working as an investigator for the All Souls Legal Co-op in a rundown neighborhood in San Francisco.
Sharon's #2 entry in 1982, coincides with the debut entries of Kinsey Milhone and V.I. Warshawsky.

Sharon McCone looks into the murder of her neighbor. The woman was apparently garroted with a piece of cord Sharon had in her apartment. The woman's semi-estranged husband is a suspect; he has a low
Kathy  Petersen
I'm not so sure that I am becoming a fan of McCone and company. As I also noted in the first book, Ask the Cards a Question is a formula-written mystery with little to push it out from the crowd. This one has Sharon's best friend in trouble, smuggling of various items to sell, and some neighbors, blind and sighted, who might - or not - be involved. Although it's set in San Francisco, my favorite city (besides my home of St. Louis), I don't get much of the cityscape in the first two novels, nor i ...more
Apr 17, 2008 Kristen rated it really liked it
Shelves: serial-mystery
In the 2nd book of the Sharon McCone series by Marcia Muller, Ask the Cards a Question, she told us a classic mystery of placing fate in the hands of a psychic medium. Madame Anya had predicted evil for Molly Antonio with her cards in Sharon McCone's quiet PI apartment. Linnea Carraway who had argued with her and drunken heavily in the wake of a divorce. Now that lady lies in her apartment, Linnea was the last one to see her alive and the prime suspect as well. If Sharon wanted to clear her best ...more
Dec 13, 2009 Joy rated it liked it
The dice have come up snake eyes for Sharon McCone's apartment building. Sharon has taken in a divorced friend, only to have her turn into a destructive drunk. The first of the murders points to that friend as Sharon's most obvious suspect. The victim's husband is connected to an institute for the blind, which houses several interesting characters. Those residents are all too clearly connected to the next victim, another murder in Sharon's building. The only way for Sharon to stay out of the clu ...more
Nov 09, 2012 Jim rated it liked it
I found this book interesting partly because it was an early work by an author of whom I have read more recent works. The change in style, the maturity of the newer stuff was obvious. One thing I liked about this work more than the author's later novels was that it was closer to a true mystery. I think too often an author forgets where he or she started and tries to become more literary. That does not generally seem to work.

The mystery itself was pretty good, although the motive for the murders
Jan 24, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it
Still working on reading through this series. Again, good story, fast-paced, thoroughly entertaining.

There's trouble in Sharon McCone's quiet San Francisco apartment building. Madame Anya, with her cards, her tame crow, and her candles, had predicted evil for Molly Antonio. Linnea Carraway, drinking heavily and careening crazily in the wake of a divorce, had argued with her. Now the sweet, elderly lady lies in her apartment. Linnea, last to see Molly alive, is the prime suspect and if Sharon mea
Jun 05, 2008 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: mystery fans
Shelves: mystery, 2008, other-usa
Quick read - decent brain candy. This is the second book in the Sharon McCone Mystery series by Marcia Muller, but it's the first one I've read. It's interesting enough that I would be willing to read more of the books in the series. I really like Sharon.

13 Oct 2002 update: Realized as I was reading this that I had read it before, but couldn't remember when until I looked up my old book log
Sep 04, 2015 Serena rated it really liked it
This was a fun, quick read. It is paced fairly well, the dialog is well written, the characters seem real, and the descriptions show the reader the necessary clues without being overtly obvious and ruining the final reveal. Sometimes having all of the clues is not enough; the clues need to be put together correctly to catch the criminal. The ending while satisfying, was a little to neatly tied up for my taste. I was happy to find a list of several other books in this series at the back of my cop ...more
Oct 01, 2012 Smoochys rated it liked it
This was your typical Sharon McCone murder mystery. A woman is murdered in Sharon's building, and she sets out to find out who the murderer is. The book allows the readers a look into Sharon's neighborhood - introducing a lot of interesting characters. I picked out the murderer early in the book because he just seemed a little shady, but it wasn't confirmed until late into the book, so it was still interesting trying to figure out why the murderer had done the deed.

Overall it was a quick and en
aPriL does feral sometimes
Muller gets better in the later books in the series. For now, her dialogue is of epic proportions of tin ear silliness, her characters tend to reveal all when asked what they are doing, and the brevity of her writing, while making this a good choice for a beach read, is not actually much better than a DIY cable channel show.

Still, drama, trauma and murder. A good choice for mild entertainment on a rainy Sunday.
Alton Motobu
May 05, 2016 Alton Motobu rated it liked it
Sharon McCone investigates murders of two women in her apartment building. She traces it to a smuggling ring run by members of a rehab center for the blind. Subplot of Sharon's friend Linnea who is drunk and depressed and causes problems for Sharon - not interesting. Real mystery is that the first page of the book gives April as the month of the story, but in the middle of the book there is a reference to June as the month, but only a few days had passed.
Scott Rhee
Aug 15, 2012 Scott Rhee rated it liked it
Second in the Sharon McCone mystery series by Marcia Muller. In this one, McCone faces a murder mystery in her own San Francisco apartment building. When sweet, elderly Molly Antonio is found strangled in her apartment, the suspects include the reclusive and weird Madame Anya, who claims to be a psychic, and McCone's best friend, Linnea, who is crashing at McCone's apartment after a messy divorce. Another entertaining and quick read from Muller.
Oct 14, 2013 Ellen rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Was a bit disappointed with number 2 of this series maybe because I read the book rather than listening to it as an audiobook with authentic accents as I did with book 1. The plot was rather "lite" and the potential love interest didn't figure as strongly as in book 1. The protagonist, Sharon McCone, does seem to have startlingly good luck when mixing with the baddies and she was a bit of a cipher in this book. Hoping things will improve in book 3 - if I buy it!
Marcia Muller is one of my favorite mystery writers. She is credited with saving my life one terrible winter when I was living in the mountain of CA and the only books in the house were the bible and hers. I fell in love with Sharon McCone and her badass crimesolving ways. I think this is the first time I ever came across my much beloved term "Shop and Fuck" to describe a certain kind of novel. It was back in the early nineties.
Nov 13, 2010 Beverly rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-series
Better than the first book. Sharon's life is falling apart as she tends to a distraught friend who is staying with her, and residents of her apartment building keep getting murdered. As in the previous novel, the plot involves a shady scheme and a neighboring business,this time a neighboring grocer and a half-way house for the blind.
Nov 28, 2011 Julie rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
I'm always looking for new authors, especially mysteries since that is one of the few genres Bob will read. This one was free on the Kindle one day and since there are 28 (!) books in the series I figured it was worth a try. Actually was ok, I liked the main character and the mystery was not too transparent. A good travel read and I enjoyed it enough to go ahead and order the next in the series.
May 16, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it
Another well done McCone mystery. This time there is a murder in her apartment building. She begins to investigate and gets involved with a series of unusual characters, situations that lead to more questions than answers and one more murder. The ending has a twist most readers will appreciate. Good reading.
Julie Carter
Jun 21, 2013 Julie Carter rated it liked it
I am backtracking to read the Sharon McCone books that I missed. I found this book was not quite as good as some of the others. There were a lot of characters for such a short book, and they weren't very likable. The solving of the mystery was not very believable, and everything was tied up in a nice bow by the end.
Mar 15, 2014 Janice rated it really liked it
I am working my way through the Sharon McCone mysteries ( not in any particular order) and enjoying the stories. It is always interesting to see both the character and author evolve. So far, I like the newer ones better.
Although I read Edwin of the Iron Shoes several years ago, I had not read other books in Muller's Sharon McCone series. I decided to change that - and I found this book very enjoyable. Despite its setting in the early 1980s, it wasn't that dated either.
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A native of the Detroit area, Marcia Muller grew up in a house full of books and self-published three copies of her first novel at age twelve, a tale about her dog complete with primitive illustrations. The "reviews" were generally positive.

In the early 1970s, having moved to California, Muller found herself unemployable and began experimenting with mystery novels.

In the ensuing thirty-some years,
More about Marcia Muller...

Other Books in the Series

Sharon McCone (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes
  • The Cheshire Cat's Eye
  • Games to Keep the Dark Away
  • Leave a Message for Willie
  • There's Nothing to Be Afraid Of
  • Eye of the Storm
  • There's Something in a Sunday
  • The Shape of Dread
  • Trophies and Dead Things
  • Where Echoes Live

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