Publisher: DMS Media Group
Publication Date: July 1, 2015
Origins: From Author for Review
Synopsis: Amanda Posner an unmarried 30-something is going on a vacation to the Caribbean. For months prior to her trip, she has been communicating online with a handsome eligible bachelor who lives on the island she plans on visiting. She can’t wait to meet him. However, she has a gnawing feeling that something just doesn’t seem right. Fortunately, just before she leaves for her tropical getaway, she runs into Sagacity Junesse, who works in a paranormal research lab at the local university run by the eccentric Professor Wilkinson. After hearing about Sagacity’s idea for a psychic detective agency, Amanda hires her services just to be on the safe side. Soon Sagacity and her lab and business partner, Chance Mankowski find themselves on the island looking for Amanda.
The two budding detectives arrive with numerous clues that they obtain from a group of psychics known as the “Gang of Four.” They discover from them that a series of karmic events that began in the early 1800's are currently on a collision course, putting Amanda in great danger. They also find out that Amanda herself may have some secret that she has hidden from them. Their trip to the island doesn’t go so well for Sagacity and Chance, but their misfortune has surprising and major benefits so that they will never be seen again as just two graduate research assistants.
Sagacity and Chance soon learn from the American Consulate that they and the local police are worried that there is a serial killer on the loose because there have been annual disappearances of woman tourists for the last several years. The obvious suspect though is an island grandee who is considered a citizen above suspicion by both the police and the officials at the consulate. While their contact at the consulate, Herman Pluggins, appears honest and above board, Sagacity and Chance don’t trust the sleazy police Inspector, Lagniappe Mustacho, who they are certain is as corrupt as he looks.
A break comes in the case when Sagacity has a sudden insight that lets her identify the perpetrator after a little research. Knowing who it is they are looking for isn’t enough however. They still need to find out where the suspect is and what has been done with Amanda. The two detectives get help with this from the leader of the island’s tech industry, Diyana Pajima, who also happens to be a practicing witch. They follow the clues and wind up falling into the hands of the criminal themselves. He reveals that he has planned a diabolical ending for Amanda. As this is happening, the police are closing in on him and it’s a race against time whether or not they can reach him and the two captive detectives before Amanda becomes his latest victim. Nothing quite goes as planned though as all the players involved wind up getting a surprise.
Review: KARMA DEAD AHEAD features Sagacity Junesse and Chance Mankowski, two paranormal researchers who start a psychic detective agency. Their first case has them travelling to the Caribbean to find Amanda Posner who has hired the pair in case she doesn’t return on time from her trip. Using clues they gathered from four powerful psychics, they stumble upon a killer who may be more dangerous than anyone knew. KARMA DEAD AHEAD had some good characters (and some over the top) and an interesting story, but it would have worked better if there was more action shown and not told. If the story would have been a little tighter, with less extraneous detail, it would have flowed a lot better. I also had some eye-rolling moments with the ridiculous rumor-rag articles about Sagacity and Chase. Overall, KARMA DEAD AHEAD has potential to be the start of a light and cozy mystery series.