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Unique, Engaging, Fun

NICK SWEENEY

Mystery, Literary Fiction

Nick Sweeney’s books include a hapless lover’s jaunt around Poland in Laikonik Express (Unthank Books, 2011), an opportunist’s wander into the wrong part of Silesia in The Exploding Elephant (Bards and Sages, 2018), and a look at the genocide-surviving gamblers of 1960s Nice in A Blue Coast Mystery, Almost Solved (Histria Books, 2020). The Émigré Engineer (Ploughshares, 2021) is about a man who escaped the bullets of the Russian Revolution only to find plenty more in Prohibition America. His story The High Life (Wordrunner, 2021) has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize. He lives and works on the North Kent coast of the UK. More than anybody ever needs to know about him can be found at http://www.nicksweeneywriting.com

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THE FORTUNE TELLER'S FACTOTUM

NIck Sweeney

Twenty-year-old Ashley Hyde suspects that her showbiz family is full of ugly secrets, but she is happy not to know them. She needs to escape her small-town existence. She has had enough of the gleeful gossip that attends her misfortunes. While she can almost see the funny side of getting very publicly dumped by a man not worth her trouble, and writing off two cars in as many months, it’s time for a major change. She is focused on getting to a new life studying medicine at New York’s Columbia University. She narrowly avoids a mysterious explosion at the mall and while it alerts her to disturbing forces at work, she is too preoccupied to see them.
Across town, her forgotten schoolfriend Mary Dorn has unearthed her own family’s secrets. She has crossed them with Ashley’s to reveal their shared parenthood. In the meantime, she has to get on with the family business, a fortune-telling scam, albeit one with kindness at its heart.
Ashley has a bad day, losing her stepmom’s celebrity daytime TV cat, and her dad’s precious car, while inconveniently dressed as an eighteenth-century farm worker. The theft of a replacement from the local fortune teller clashes the girls together. Their ensuing friendship brings to light a terrible shared history, of serial murder in the service of crime and its own ends, and of a family of arms dealers bought whole by the CIA, in an American tale that spans a century.