The Accidental Medium by Tracy Whitwell

Tanz is an out of work actress who takes a job in a New Age store when she finds she needs to make ends meet between jobs. While at her new workplace, she meets a psychic medium, who helps her uncover her own ability, and soon she’s discovering a gift she never knew she had. It’s very exciting at first, but soon she’s mixed up in a bad haunting and might just have to use her skills to solve a murder case!

This book is written by an ex-actress and I think, playfully, the author has based aspects of her main character and her experiences on herself, to great effect. The descriptions in this book of actors and the film industry was very spot on and funny. And I liked that the main character was a Geordie, like the author too.

In style, this book is fun, playful and very British, in tone a bit like Bridget Jones, which I think works very well. It’s not taking itself too seriously and I always love to read something like this between heavier books. I especially loved that the main character is a cat person, loves a glass of wine, and is into true crime. I felt a bit like I was hanging out with a friend while reading this book, though perhaps a slightly dysfunctional one.

I noticed a few people on Goodreads really hated a few things about this book, so I wanted to mention or address that a little bit. Some people felt that the character talking about her weight or how other actresses around her watched theirs, was fat phobic. To me, this seemed in line with the pressures on actresses and the way they are conditioned to think. The characters in the book are not judging or discriminating against anyone based on their weight, for example, but rather are watching their weight. This is something that a lot of people still do. A few people brought up a one line joke that the author makes about models being too thin, that all their feminine curves are gone, in which the author uses the word “transvestite”. I feel like this is a joke that may be offensive, I don’t feel completely qualified to comment too much on that, but in context, I think this is something that a North American audience would find offensive, but a British audience would not. I felt like this was worth mentioning so that you can make up your own mind about whether this style of writing and humour is for you. My understanding is that it’s all tongue in cheek and the book overall is not malicious or unkind in tone at all.

This book is the first in a proposed series, and I’m looking forward to reading the next installment. I like the style and the characters. While the book is a bit of a murder story, the murder come towards the end, so it’s more of a story about Tanz and her finding her ability, rather than a cozy mystery, per se. I am interested to see what the author does next with this, plot wise, and I hope that in future stories we get something similar, with a bit of the film/acting industry storylines as well as a mystery plot.

I really liked this one. It was happy, funny, had friendship and a bit of sexy romance, wine, cats and psychic abilities. I also thought it was often quite astute and down to earth. I can see some people not really getting it, and that’s OK. For me, I’m only sad that I have to wait for the next book to come out.

Read It If: you love true crime, wine, own a cat and have often thought you maybe were a bit psychic. Maybe. If you believe in that stuff.

Thank you to PGC Books for the copy of this book for review.


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