Blood dripping from the ceiling presents both trauma and opportunity for the psychic downstairs.
Transplanted to Boston by divorce, Reggie Cutter (Now You See Her, 2005) supplements her skimpy settlement by renting out the upstairs of a South End townhouse she inherited from Aunt Jo. When she marches upstairs to see what that nice young Steve Damelin is up to, she discovers his dead body nail-gunned to the floorboards. Whodunit? Being of the psychic persuasion, Reggie has visions of a drowning and a log. Later, when she handles an old green bottle Steve gave Aunt Jo, she smells bread, roses, cabbage and whiskey. Of course homicide cops Devaney and Maglia pooh-pooh her sensory input, but Reggie is undeterred. Her resolve leads her to some very iffy company, including Steve’s coworkers, his gay pals, the wild child he mentored and the Vogler family, who embraced him like a son and brother. Mishaps just a twinge away from fatal befall Reggie, but not to worry. Though her ESP lets her down, she’ll be rescued by Stark, the Harley-riding, Camel-smoking part-owner of Biscuit, the beagle Jo left them.
Plotting is not Tishy’s forte, but her extrasensory glimpse of the 1912 Lawrence, Mass. mill strike and her fluid prose are almost compensation enough.