I’ve often heard tarot readers say they wish there were more novels with tarot readers in them. Well, here’s one to add to your summer reading list, especially if you like cozy mysteries with a big helping of humor.


The White Magic Five and Dime, by Steve Hockensmith and Lisa Falco, is the first in the new A Tarot Mystery series.

The main character, Alanis, learns that her estranged mother died and left her an inheritance: The White Magic Five and Dime, in Berdache, Arizona who slogan is: Divination, Revelation, Bargains. When she arrives, she begins to smell something fishy about her mother’s death and sets out to investigate. While snooping around, she decides to keep her mother’s store open. Alanis was raised by cons and is convinced that tarot is just another way to separate suckers from their money.

In order to do readings for clients, she reads a book she found in the shop, Infinite Roads to Knowing by Miss Chance (Note to my readers: this is not a real book). As Alanis works with the cards, they start to work their magic on her. Does she end up a believer? Does she end up with the hunky cop? You should read for yourself and find out.

But I assume most of you reading this blog are curious to know if the tarot in the book is “correct” or “real.” Not only is it correct but the excerpts from Infinite Roads to Knowing are hilarious and insightful. There is an excerpt for each Major Arcana, one at the beginning of each chapter. The book itself is illustrated with cards for the chapters and for the readings throughout the book.

Here are a couple of examples:

For The Emperor, Miss Chance says:

“Grim, stiff, stern, humorless—the Emperor is the Law, and is not amused. Do as he says and you will be tolerated. Defy him, and you will regret it…or so he’d like you to think. See that barren wasteland behind the throne? That’s the old fart’s kingdom. Follow all his rules, and you get to live there. Yippee! Or not.”

For Temperance, she gets really excited:

“Talk about an angel—this one’s fixing us a drink! A martini, perhaps? A cosmopolitan? Cool, refreshing pond scum with a dash of yummy mud? It doesn’t matter. The important thing is the angel’s a mixologist—in more ways than one. Just check out the feet. One’s on land, one’s in water. True balance is found by having a toehold in more than one place, more than one world, more than one outlook. Who cares if they’re supposedly incompatible? What do gin and vermouth have in common? But throw them together with an olive and you’ve got something that’ll rock your world.”

Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...