Play the Fool

Bantam. Mar. 2023. 320p. ISBN 9780593500668. pap. $17. M
DEBUT Katie True hails from a solidly middle-class family. She was expected to graduate college, secure a respectable career, then marry and start procreating. Instead, she dropped out of university, became a professional psychic, and began working a series of dead-end jobs. Her latest gig is selling Eastern European tchotchkes at a failing mall outside of Chicago. The only positive is Marley, her new best friend who works at the “alternative lifestyle boutique” and possesses all the self-confidence and bravado that Katie lacks. When Katie discovers that Marley has been brutally murdered, she sets off to find Marley’s killer. With no body and no evidence, she begins a frenetic investigation with the assistance of the laconic yet fetching Officer Jamie and her quirky genius brother Owen. When they learn that they aren’t the only ones on the case, it doesn’t take a psychic to realize that the situation could turn deadly.
VERDICT The charming and eccentric Katie will captivate readers with her wry sense of humor and self-deprecating asides. With a delicious blend of suspense and madcap humor, Chern’s standout debut is guaranteed to delight fans of Lisa Lutz, Alan Bradley, and readers who enjoy witty, fast-paced mysteries.
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