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Not your usual cozy mystery...

--By Kirsten Weiss

Paperback copy of The Mysteries of Tarot on a yellow table with orchid blossoms and quartz crystals.

Every now and then, I get obsessed with an "art" project. (And I put "art" in quotation marks, because I consider myself more craftswoman than artist). If you subscribe to my newsletter, you may have seen some of these projects. They're usually short, because I can't bring myself to devote months on something oddball.

The Mysteries of Tarot was an exception. Here's how it happened:

I was taking a class in flash non-fiction (basically short personal essays). We were required to produce something every week. The problem was, I couldn't think of a damn thing to write about. So I pretended I was Hyperion Night, from my Tea and Tarot series, and started writing fictional-non-fiction structured around Tarot cards.

No one figured out I was making it all up (ha). But one of the students was a Tarot reader, and she suggested they were worth pulling together into a book. It seemed like a good idea, but I figured I'd blog the first drafts.

The final product--a Tarot guidebook by "Hyperion"--was significantly edited. And since I can't seem to write anything without killing a character, I wove a murder mystery through the guidebook as well.

It's a legit guidebook for reading Tarot. The philosophy behind it is both Hyperion's and my own--with a focus on how to use the cards for personal growth. To that end, it looks at the cards through the lens of Greek and Roman practical philosophy as filtered through the eyes of the Renaissance artists who originally created the Tarot decks. And if that sounds like a bit much, never fear: Hyperion's down-to-earth writing style makes it extremely understandable.

Formatting the book was surprisingly tricky. The mystery occurs in the footnotes to each Tarot card--edits Hyperion received from his friend. The footnotes look great in the paperback. They're not super small, like footnotes normally are, and are quite easy to read. But reading footnotes in an ebook can be a pain in the @$$. So for the ebook version, instead of putting the editor's notes in footnotes, I made them separate chapters. It's much easier to read, even if it isn't quite as elegant. (I prefer the paper versions--they're much easier to use when Tarot reading).

So. It's a "legit" Tarot guidebook AND a mystery, which I... guess qualifies it as experimental fiction?

Whatever you want to call it, the book's fun, even if it's not my usual cozy mystery. I hope it will be genuinely useful for anyone learning Tarot and intriguing for anyone interested in Tarot or experimental mystery fiction.

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