Fool Me Once

Tarot Mystery series, Book #2

By Steve Hockensmith

ISBN13: 9780738742236

Author’s Website:

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra


After taking over the White Magic Five & Dime, Alanis McLachlan is trying to make up for her mother’s con jobs by tracking down old customers and making amends. When Martha, one of the most loyal clients, comes looking for a way out of her abusive marriage, Alanis does everything she can to help.

But helping Martha leads to unforeseen consequences . . . including murder. When Martha’s husband is found dead, the police show up at Alanis’s door. And things only get more complicated as she tries to clear her name from the top of the suspect list. With her growing mastery of the tarot and the Fool card to guide her, can Alanis find her way to the truth before the killer gets to her first?


The easy flow of the series continues while reading this second book, Fool Me Once, in the Tarot Mystery series by Steve Hockensmith☺. Alanis has a good heart and is trying to right the wrongs as a result of her deceased mother’s (Athena) con’s of times past, one wrong at a time.

The opening paragraph certainly grabbed my interest and got me excited for another enjoyable read in this series:

Anyone who says “I’m going to kill you,” Biddle used to tell me, isn’t going to kill you. Why would they be talking to somebody who’s practically dead already? The ones who really mean it just say it with their eyes-and then they do it. Learn to recognize that look, Biddle would say, and you’ll have the edge you need to save yourself. Or at least you won’t die surprised.

There was no further expansion of a romantic angle for this story. In the first book of this series, Alanis and Berdache Police Department detective Josh Logan were dancing around each other, but in this second book – no mention of Josh.

This book revolves around the murder of Bill Riggs (his wife Marsha is a friend of Alanis). I must say that I was seething at Bill (Marsha’s horrid husband)! When he went running after his wife, I was left cold in the actions of this despicable husband. I do not condone his actions or words but I was heartened by Alanis’ actions and words…standing up for her friend in grand style!:

“Get back here this instant!” Bill called after her.

“Don’t you run away from me!”

He took a step to the left.

I blocked him.

He took a step to the right.

 I blocked him again.

“I can do this dance all day, Bill,: I said.

“You’re not getting past me.”

And that’s when he turned The Look on me.

“You scheming [female sexual organ],” he said, “I oughta break your neck.”

“[Female sexual organs] don’t have necks, Bill,” I said.

“You know what I mean.”

I did.

There was consistency between books in the series with respect to each chapter beginning with a picture of one of the tarot cards and a brief description of the card…according to Miss Chance, the author of Infinite Roads to Knowing. I must admit, this time I found it a bit redundant. I was looking for another tarot card gimmick to catch my interest. But at least the verbiage was interesting 🙂


We are introduced to another fine law enforcement official of the Berdache Police Department, Detective Burby. Right from the get go there was friction between Burby and Alanis. And truth be told, since the love interest between the detective in the first book was not strong, I enjoyed the friction between them even more. The reader was also introduced to another “character” – G.W. Fletcher. Fletcher knew Alanis’ mother (seems like everyone did actually). On their first meeting he let his irresistible smile shine through. That relationship is certainly one to watch as the series continues.

I also chuckled quite a bit when a previous customer of Athena came in essentially wanting a re-do for removing a curse on her money. Athena’s solution was to have the customer “give her all or some of the money to the medium…who would (supposedly) return some or all (ha!) When the curse had lost its power.” I was glad that Alanis came up with a viable solution that satisfied the customer as well as her higher moral compass…. (I.e. not ripping the customer off).

I do hope that future books of this series add a bit of a spark as the story was GOOD but I am hoping for a bit more zest in the lives of Alanis and her sister.   A solid read which provided a requisite mystery, which I was not able to fully conclude until the end. A success in my opinion. Thank you Steve Hockensmith!

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*