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The White Magic Five and Dime (Tarot Mystery #1)

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  874 Ratings  ·  202 Reviews
Much to Alanis McLachlan's surprise, her estranged con-woman mother has left her an inheritance: The White Magic Five & Dime, a shop in tiny Berdache, Arizona. Reluctantly traveling to Berdache to claim her new property, Alanis decides to stay and pick up her mother's tarot business in an attempt to find out how she died.

With help from a hunky cop and her mother's live
Paperback, 326 pages
Published July 8th 2014 by Midnight Ink (first published July 1st 2014)
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Rating details
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J L's Bibliomania
Oct 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads, adult, cozy
The White Magic Five and Dime (A Tarot Mystery) is not a good book, but it is fun. Written by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After author Steve Hockensmith assisted by SME (subject matter expert) Lisa Falco, The White Magic Five and Dime (A Tarot Mystery) is a nicely done puff piece of a cozy, complete with Tarot spreads. While much of the plot was predictable, the one-liners and amusing Tarot card descriptions frequently had me smiling. I particularly enjoyed the lighthearted ...more
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it

I picked this book up in a charity shop for 50c on Friday. Bargain says I! It sounded like something I'd enjoy and for that price how could I not? Yesterday I remembered to add it to GR and discovered that this was the first of three books. The other two books are not on kindle and they are €11 each on Book Depository. It's like Age Action Ireland and Steve Hockensmith have partnered up for some elaborate book selling con!!

Obviously I bought Fool Me Once (oh how ironic) and Give the Devil His Du
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
Alanis McLachlan has not seen her mother in 20 years so when she is summoned to Berdache, Arizona to collect her inheritance she is very surprised. Her con-woman mother has left her The White Magic Five & Dime, a small shop where her mother has her tarot card reading business. Unsure what to do with the place she decides to temporarily open the store to try to figure out how and why her mother died. She assumes one of her mother’s cons was run on the wrong person and she ended up paying for ...more
Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf
The Good:

~Though this book didn’t have what I typically consider a cozy feel it more than made up for that with it’s wonderful quirkiness.
~I loved Alanis and her sarcastic personality. We get to know her little by little throughout the story and by the middle of the book I was completely in love with her character.
~It’s no secret that paranormal cozies are one of my favorite genres and this one delivers without being too out there. Is there really something to the Tarot? Or is at all about the r
Lisa Shafer
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly and completely loved Steve Hockensmith's Holmes on the Range series, so I was very pleased to see he'd been writing another mystery. I scarfed up White Magic Five & Dime the second it hit the public library shelves.
I was not disappointed. It's freakin' hilarious. (My favorite part is the tarot card reading given by the protagonist, who has no clue what she's doing. Now, I think a lot of tarot cards are very pretty, and I know a little about them, but Hockensmith's description of
Feb 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, novels
I received an ARC of The White Magic Five & Dime through NetGalley.

(3.5 Stars)

I expected The White Magic Five & Dime to be a good guilty pleasure read for yet another snowed in winter night and was happily surprised when it turned out to be less "guilty pleasure" and more "genuinely enjoyable." While the book's premise (young woman inherits new age shop from her estranged con artist mother, finds herself at the center of a revenge plot engineered by her mother's marks) errs a bit on the
Leslie aka StoreyBook Reviews
Do you believe in White Magic? After reading this book you might...or might not. Alanis is notified that her mother has died and she has been left everything. Yet when she arrives in Berdache AZ, she finds things maybe aren't as cut and dried as it seems.

For some reason, I thought this book was going to be a cozy mystery. I don't think I would put it in that genre. Mystery? yes! Cozy? hmmm, borderline. However, that doesn't matter because this is still a GREAT book! I have always been fascinated
Mar 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
Really enjoyed this one, though it isn't really a cozy. Our heroine was brought up by her con-woman mother & her boyfriend. She ran away as soon as she was old enough to fend for herself and never looked back. After years of no contact at all, she's more surprised when she gets a call that her mother has died and left all that she had to her. Once she arrives in Arizona she finds that Mom's death wasn't "natural". She was murdered. Even though she had no relationship with her mother, she fee ...more
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was a quick read and had some very funny one-liners. The reason I am giving it only 2 stars is that the entire book was only one-liners. Since it is written in first person, it was impossible to connect with the protagonist and she had zero depth. How can you route for someone who was so consistently one-note? I felt like i was in the company of a smart-ass stand up comic who had nothing to say except one wise crack after another. The mystery solving part was pretty pedestrian and sinc ...more
Tim Hicks
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
Hockensmith? I'm in.
Tarot mystery? Don't care.
And indeed the tarot was very well handled and integrated.
Alanis is a smartass, and smart, and bold, and funny, and I want to see what she does next.
She starts in an interesting situation that gets more interesting as we learn more (with her).

The plot is surprisingly good for what looked like a generic small-towner.
Thoroughly enjoyable. Recommended.
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
The White Magic Five and Dime by Steve Hockensmith with Lisa Falco

When Alanis McLachlan gets a call that her 20-year estranged mother has been killed in a botched burglary and she has inherited her mother’s business in Arizona, she flies out of Chicago to assess the situation. Signing into the varied accumulations, she is also given the duty of the afters that follow death. Knowing her mother’s wish for cremation, she nearly seriously asks the executor “Where would you go around here to pick up
Maggie Gordon
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-crime
I went searching for books involving tarot and stumbling across this fun mystery. Alanis McLachlin (even she admits her teenage name choice was terrible) is the daughter of a con artist. When her estranged mother is murdered, she finds out she's inherited a metaphysical shop and decides she needs to solve her mother's murder. The book incorporates some basic tarot lessons as Alanis learns the cards (and is ever the skeptic). Hockensmith plays with a lot of tropes of the genre, giving them some n ...more
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)

*Book source ~ Library

Alanis McLachlan has not had a conventional childhood and it ended when she walked out on her mother. So she is understandably surprised when her mom croaks and leaves her everything. However, Alanis discovers, much like her childhood, nothing is ever as simple as it seems. Can she solve her mother’s murder and get to the bottom of what she was up to all while keeping herself alive?

This is told differently. Almost like Alanis is talking to the reader. I love it, but a lo
Matthew Bright
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ladies and gentlemen, my favourite book of 2014 so far…

Alanis McLachlan grew up as a hustler and con artist under the not-so-protective wing of her mother – but she hasn’t seen the woman in twenty years. Until her mother is murdered, and she inherits her mother’s new age tarot shop in a remote American town and, unable to resist, she heads to investigate. There, she finds herself taking over the shop – and her mother’s life – and making a few enemies along the way…

The star of this book is Alanis
Jul 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: andra

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

The premise is enticing and fun. Alanis is the estranged daughter of the owner of The White Magic Five & Dime. When Alanis’ mother gets murdered, Alanis inherits the business and feels it is only right to find justice for her mother. It is a light cozy, written as a story told by Alanis. I enjoyed the author`s style of writing. It made for a VERY easy read.

Each chapter begins with a picture of one of the tarot cards
Alice Liu
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am far wiser for having read this book, having learned about the shortcomings of female gaydar and human goldfish funerals. Alanis McLachlan grew up in a loveless, makeshift family of grifters. When she inherits her estranged mother's last con, a tarot shop, she decides to make amends to her mother's victims while hopefully catching her mother's murderer. There is so much great information that comes through Alanis -- words of con artist wisdom that reveal great insight into human nature. Hock ...more
Amusing. Sort of hard bitten noir voice.

Alanis, a name she chose when she walked away from her narcissistic (generous- maybe psychopathic)mother. Who is now using (well used)the name Athena Passalis. As Alanis said to the attorney who called her; "Does she want money or is she dead?" When hearing that dear old mom has passed to her reward, Alanis asks, "How was she murdered?"
Cynical, right?

Alanis (under many different names,she actually wonders what her name really is grew up on the road with
2017 Notes: A re-read as I prepare to read the second book in this series. I was blown away by the main character and her sarcastic life outlook on my first read and this time through did not disappoint. I really really like this main character and while this is still more a cozy than not – there is no one quite like Alanis McLachlan (STILL not her real name). Loved it even more this time around!

2015 Notes: I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh out loud so much. Alanis McLachlan (N
Jul 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever started a book and after a couple of chapters thought to yourself that this drivel just wasn’t for you? That is what I first thought about The White Magic Five and Dime, but something kept me reading and I quickly became engrossed in this book.

At first the sarcasm and hidden self pity from Alanis was just a bit too over the top …until you read further and really get a feel for our protagonist. Initially I was annoyed with see all of the 80’s TV and movie references but it soon bec
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
2015 Reading Challenge- a book with a number in the title. SO MUCH FUN! This isn't my typical genre, but a friend recommended this to me for a lighter read. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. The main character is sarcastic and compassionate at the same time. Her inner monologue regarding tarot, the other characters and the situation made me laugh aloud more than once. And perhaps an even bigger surprise, I didn't guess the end half way through the book. I recommend this to anyone w ...more
Sally Ember
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Clever, unexpected twists and character turns, not a lot of predictable or stock scenes, plot devices or characters, and fascinating take on Tarot cards and readings. Well done! Fun to read, especially since I have used/read Tarot cards for decades.
Recommended if you like mysteries with strong female characters and interesting settings/details.
Will look for more by this author, but skipping all those about zombies. Not my thing.
Dichotomy Girl
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014, mystery
Wow, this book really surprised me. It was an impulse check out from the e-library, by an unknown author, involving tarot cards? I figured it would serve as an mildly enjoyable palette cleanser. So I was really shocked that I enjoyed it so much. It's been awhile since I've read a truly enjoyable cozy-type mystery.

The only thing that makes me sad is that this is the only (or first?) book in a potential series, so who knows when and if, there will be another one.

Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-reads, cozies
was a pretty fun read. It wasn't until the middle that I started really got into the series. Will be reading the second book
Sue Em
Aug 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Nothing like an enjoyable heroine with sass in an unusual situation. Thumbs up on this really fun read
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
tremendously great. hope there is a sequel.
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice easy read.

This was an easy read, perfect for summer. A good twist, that leaves you thinking hummmmmm. I can't wait to read the next
Dec 30, 2016 rated it liked it
The White Magic Five and Dime.
What I loved:
Alanis. I've been reading a lot of books lately with a 'strong female lead' most leave me wondering what is 'strong' about the female lead. Most have been TSL (too stupid to live) but, Alanis, who does take risks most of them not exactly well thought, she also has a backbone. Something I admire in a character male or female.
The character building. We learn a great deal about Alanis and (view spoiler)
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a cute book. Not rocket science but a pleasurable read. Alanis MacLauglin (But who knows what her real name is?) travels to the small town of Berdache, Arizona when she is contacted that her mother has died. When she arrives, she finds her mother was murdered and everything she owns is left to her. Mother owned and operated a shop which featured tarot readings for one thing along with other mystical items. Alanis finds a young woman living there who was apparently her mother's apprentic ...more
Jun 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
TITLE: The White Magic Five and Dime
WHY I CHOSE THIS BOOK: It was recommended to me; and it met my reading challenge criteria, being connected to the book before it, The Book of Speculation, both have tarot cards as a major plot point
REVIEW: This book is full of snark. The main character is very snarky. Not in a mean way. She is just a straight shooter, for a con woman. Well reformed con woman. I loved getting the inside track on how people schemed other people. She has a complicated past with h
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This series was a surprising hit for me. I'm not interested in Tarot cards but I picked up this book anyway, as it sounded intriguing as I can't resist a story about a con or con people. Wow! What a charmer of a book, both in its easy, fun writing and in the complicated back story of the protagonist. The setting is a quirky Arizona small town, perfectly described, in which arrives Alanis, a jaded, damaged refugee from the con world in which she was raised, who unexpectedly inherits her deceased ...more
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Steve Hockensmith is the author of the New York Times bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls and several other novels, including the Edgar Award finalist Holmes on the Range. He lives in Alameda, California.
More about Steve Hockensmith

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