Murder in the 11th House, by Mitchell Scott Lewis, is more than a mystery novel. It's a work of fiction skillfully woven in intricate patterns from the science of Astrology. It also provides a thought provoking link to political and social woes of the world of 2011.
The book, standing alone, is well plotted with just the right amount of 'is she innocent?' or 'is she guilty'? Did the mouthy, crusty, young barmaid, who calls herself 'Johnny' Colbert, hate Judge Farrah Winston enough to blow her and her car into infinite pieces? Johnny certainly had the skill and knowledge, as well as the motive. Her pro bono attorney, Melinda Lowell, just happens to be the daughter of David Lowell, famed astrologer and owner of the Starlight Detective Agency. Together they call on the 'stars', as in astrological signs, to solve the murder and in doing so put themselves and their employees in grave danger.
The characters in the book are well crafted. I especially liked David Lowell, some of his qualities reminiscent of the famous Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. His fastidiousness, manner of dress, eating habits, and razor sharp intuitiveness spoke of Christie's creation in a modern setting.
I was amazed at how much knowledge can be gleaned from a person's birth chart. The book, Murder in the 11th House, has interesting sidelines regarding the lottery, and the general well-being of our nation. It also has a humanitarian quality rare in works of fiction. Well worth the read-for the information on astrology, and for the storyline. I'm looking forward to the next book in this new series.