Evil in the First House


Library Journal Review

New York City astrologer David Lowell doesn't normally waste his time working with clients he finds unlikable. But when renowned surgeon-and insufferable egotist-Dr. Ethan Williamson explains his problem, Lowell is drawn in because of the man's compelling story about his twin sons. The boys were separated at birth owing to a marital rift, and now the son in Williamson's custody needs a kidney in order to live. When Lowell and his team easily find the "missing" mother and son, his doubts about the doctor's motives escalate. Using sophisticated astrology charts to dissect the case, Lowell realizes he must work fast to save the boys from their father. A secondary case involving a marshmallow company provides comic relief.

VERDICT This quick-to-read series will delight Nero Wolfe fans (Rex Stout). The third entry in a clever run (after Death in the 12th House: Where Neptune Rules) is an obvious pick for astrology fans, but works well for those who fancy a good puzzler. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly

David Lowell tackles two cases in Lewis’s engrossing third mystery featuring the New York City astrologer and PI (after 2012’s Death in the 12th House). Surgeon Ethan Williamson is willing to pay $1 million in cash up-front if Lowell will agree to locate his wife, from whom he’s separated, and Kevin, his 15-year-old son, who has lived with the mother since soon after birth. Kevin’s twin brother, Edward, who lives with Ethan, desperately needs a kidney transplant, and Kevin is the best donor option—if he can be found.

In addition, Buddy Ferguson, the owner of the Happy Snappy Marshmallow Company, wants Lowell to identify the embezzler whose theft threatens his employees’ entire retirement fund. Hacker Mort Simpson,Lowell’s attorney daughter Melinda, and others provide non-psychic support, as Lowell refines his readings to close in on clever and deadly scams. Astrology fans and skeptics alike will be pleased.

California Bookwatch, Diane C. Donovan, Editor

Evil in the First House provides a fine new Starlight Detective Agency mystery, and presents astrologer detective David Lowell's most difficult case involving a briefcase of a million dollars - IF he can locate the twin brother of the doctor's teen son in time for a kidney transplant. It's unusual to see a mystery revolving around an astrologer detective, a psychic hacker, and a bodyguard - but these elements spice and add interest to the search for a missing twin and his mother, making for an exceptional read recommended for mystery fans looking for something new in the way of characters and approaches to solving crimes.

© Copyright Mitchell Scott Lewis