Meet Kate Benedict—a promising young British architect who solves mysteries on the side. And she has an edge—an unusual, supernatural talent: she sees mysterious, swirling, death-predicting auras hovering over the people around her. She uses these paranormal powers to save her aura-ridden friends, neighbors, and coworkers who are oblivious to the danger they’re in—and they never believe her. Everywhere Kate turns she ends up with a deliciously traditional cozy on her hands: whether she’s working at her elegant office in rainy London or traipsing around a grand Scottish castle during a weekend getaway, Kate’s always knee deep in intrigue. Now available as a complete box set, this irresistible murder mystery series is like candy for international suspense armchair travelers. This series is a perfect pick for those who like their cozy female sleuths smart, savvy—and a tad psychic.
Life spins out of control for Kate Benedict when she begins seeing a dancing aura above certain people’s heads that seems to signal death. Suddenly she’s psychic. But psychic’s not acceptable in her circle, where the supernatural is strictly for the superstitious. Yet…people close to her are dying.
Kate’s attempts to discuss her newfound metaphysical gift are met with eye rolls; she can’t even tell the Scotland Yard detective who’s investigating the death of a close friend, Rebecca Williams. And now Rebecca’s neighbor has an aura.
Two politicians have the death-predicting auras Kate can see. The only way to get to the two pols is via her old friend, DCI Clarke; yet her warnings go unheeded, and even her best friend, Anita, refuses to believe in the auras’ existence—even when one appears over her boss. And then Anita develops her own aura.
THE FLORENTINE CYPHER
What began as a quiet dinner date with an old childhood friend turns into a manhunt when Kate arrives at the rendezvous just in time to find her friend Ethan disappearing into a taxi. Kate is alarmed to see the distinctive swirling pattern above his head. After receiving a series of cryptic text messages, Kate looks for Ethan at his sister’s house in Florence, but whatever danger threatened Ethan in London has followed her to Italy—his sister Claire has a matching aura! Kate and Claire go on the run, constantly watched and followed, repeatedly threatened and attacked, never knowing whom they can trust.
THE SCOTTISH CONNECTION
Kate is off to a glamorous weekend party in Scotland at the formerly grand castle belonging to the uncle of her boyfriend Josh. But the festive occasion turns solemn when Kate notices an aura above the head of Josh’s beloved Uncle Fergus. Kate can sometimes avert disaster –if she can discover the source of the danger. Otherwise, Josh’s favorite uncle will die in a matter of days.
Thus is the scene set for a deliciously traditional British cozy with a touch of the paranormal thriller—complete with ghostly characters from the past; medieval weapons collection; a ruined, closed-off wing of the castle; plus a vaguely menacing assortment of servants and locals and a cast full of dodgy house guests, all wrapped up in mysterious Scottish gloom… warmed by a cozy library fire and a nearly priceless collection of single malt scotches.
** Please NOTE**
I bought this series months back. I’ve spent the last month reading the four book collection. There is now a five book series with the link below. I will also share each book with you separately, so if you wish to purchase one at a time you have the links.
THE AURA: In book one, we meet Kate Benedict, whose mother appears to her after passing over 6 months prior. Kate suddenly starts seeing auras over some people’s heads, and the clearer the aura, the higher the risk of them dying sooner rather than later. When a friend dies, Kate’s guilt at not being able to stop their death consumes her. Yet, she’s convinced that someone murdered her friend. Kate works to solve two mysteries: how her aura ability works, and who killed her friend? The plot is sound and well written. This book drew me into the series and the characters. I like the protagonist and felt her frustration with her new aura seeing capabilities.
DOUBLE BLIND: Kate continues to see those dark swirling auras over the heads of people who will soon die. The hard part is trying to figure out what they could die from so she can save them. Imagine Kate’s shock, when she sees the aura around the head of the top candidate running for Prime Minister. Now, time is running out for Kate to figure out who the threat is and how to save the candidate from impending death! To make matters worse, Kate’s best friend, Anita, suddenly has an aura. The situation really gets interesting when Kate divulges all to Anita about her strange ability. Anita, a surgeon, thinks Kate needs psychiatric help! Can she save her friend and the candidate?
THE FLORENTINE CYPHER: The most exciting book out of the four begins with Kate leaving work at the architectural firm to meet up with an old friend for a dinner date. Before she can catch a taxi, Kate notices her friend and coworker, Ethan, leaving in a taxi. Even more disturbing is the fact that Ethan has a swirling aura over his head! After a series of strange text messages from Ethan, he vanishes. Kate searches for him in Florence, Italy, where she meets up with his sister, Claire, who also has an aura. Before long, the two are on the run. Look for rare art and antiquities, a rogue Catholic Priest, and lots of twists and turns in this story!
THE SCOTTISH CONNECTION: My favorite book… There’s just something about the Scottish moors. By now, I’m well vested in these characters. Kate and Josh are visiting his Uncle Fergus and the sprawling family mansion. Guess who has an aura? Uncle Fergus. To make matters worse, there is a series of murders. Add to the mystery a ghostly vision, and Kate is up to her eyeballs as she tries to save Josh’s uncle. There is a Russian connection to the late Tsarina that makes this story memorable. I guarantee you will not figure this one out!
I loved this four book series. British mysteries are my favorite. This author creates interesting characters and plots with a few historical twists added in. The paranormal aspects of the aura sightings predicting imminent death were brilliant. If you’re looking for a fun paranormal series to read filled with mystery and suspense, make it this one.
*I follow the Amazon Rating System*
Born and raised in England, Carrie won the Greater London Essay Competition as a teenager. Today, after a rewarding career as a marketing executive in Silicon Valley in California, she dedicates her time to writing, including the award-winning Kate Benedict mystery series and the Nobilissima historical novels. An enthusiastic traveller, Carrie has lived in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, France and Belgium. She and her husband split their time between Beaune, France and Brussels.
She loves to hear from her readers and responds to all comments and enquiries. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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