The Accidental Medium is the first book in a hilarious series from Tracy Whitwell featuring Tanz, the accidental medium who, with the help of the dead, is about to become an unwilling crime-solver.
Tanz is a wine-loving, straight-talking, once-successful TV actress from Gateshead, whose career has shrivelled like an antique walnut. She is still grieving for her friend Frank, who died in a car crash three years ago, and she has to find a normal job in London to fund her cocktail habit. When she starts work in a ‘new age’ shop, Tanz suddenly discovers that the voices she’s hearing in her head are real, not the first signs of madness, and that she can give people ‘messages’ from beyond the grave. Alarmed, she confronts her little mam and discovers she is from a long line of psychic mediums. Despite an exciting new avenue of life opening up to Tanz, darkness isn’t far away and all too soon there’s murder in the air
I brought this because it said “hilarious” and “unwitting crime-solver”. Besides, it was half price, I was on holiday, and it appealed.
The main character, the accidental medium herself, is Tanz, a late 30s actress struggling to get acting work. She also from Gateshead, likes a bucket or two of white wine, and has some interesting friends. But she’s brassic, so she gets a job working part-time in what I can only describe as a new age shop which also offers tarot readings. Then the voices in Tanz’s head start in proper, and she opens herself up to a new side of life.
There is a murder in the book, one Tanz solves, as most murders actually are solves, very quickly. But that only rears its head on page 190, there are a lot of other stories to get through first.
According to Amazon, this book is in “horror parodies and satires”. It’s not horrific. It’s actually a very gentle and amusing take on a life less ordinary.
As mentioned, I bought this while on holiday and I read it over two days of that holiday. It was fun, readable, enjoyable and exactly the kind of light entertainment I was looking for on holiday. Not what I would call hilarious, but definitely appealed to my sense of humour and raised a smile. And it does have a murder, however late it appears in the story, so can be considered on the periphery of crime fiction and included here. Though in all honesty, if I’d brought it expecting crime fiction, I would have been disappointed. Still I will give the next in the series a go.
I liked it.