This is the latest and probably last book in the Stoner McTavish series. I'm guessing it's the final one because it was written ten years ago and there haven't been signs of any others.In all the other books, Stoner travels to some other place, Wyoming, Maine, Arizona, etc. to solve someone else's problem. This one takes place at home or at least it's her new home. McTavish and crew have moved from Boston to Shelbourne Falls, MA and the story is set in an around that area. Well, most of it is. The rest is set in non-ordinary reality and just exactly where that is on a map is up for serious debate.Stoner's Aunt Hermione is sick. She's tired and forgetful and just not herself and the doctor's can't find anything wrong with her. But, Aunt Hermione's psychic friends say that Stoner is the only one that can solve the problem. Yes, this Stoner McTavish book heads straight for the supernatural and doesn't look back.In the process we learn a lot more about Aunt Hermione than we have in the other books and she's an interesting and engaging character. The other regular supporting characters are also there and just as quirky and interesting as normal.While I enjoyed the book, I did have one fairly big issue with it. I can't really reveal that problem without some spoilers so be warned. It seems like Aunt Hermione uses herself as bait to force Stoner to confront repressed childhood trauma and the supposed antagonist is set up. We never learn what motivated the antagonist and it seems odd that Aunt Hermione would allow someone to be used like that even to do good for someone else. It felt awkward and contrived and out of character. Maybe I missed a step along the way. That's always a danger when reading before going to sleep, but I don't think I did.Even so, Stoner is (mostly) lovably neurotic and the cast of characters is endearing. Everyone should have an extended family of people like that in their lives.If you've made it through all the other Stoner McTavish books, by all means, read this one. If you've been indifferent to them, you can miss this one. It's an interesting read but not my favorite of the series.Annie Shaw
the series all came together. love this series. They are keepers and I re-read them every couple of years.W. Tinkanesh
In this seventh instalment of Stoner's (and friends') adventures, Stoner and her business partner Marylou have moved their travel agency from Boston to Shelburne Falls. This small New Age town is perfect for Aunt Hermione's psychic activities and a new start for teacher Gwen, Stoner's life partner. But is seventy-five-year-old Hermione eventually getting old, or is her forgetfulness caused by hungry ghosts trying to steal her soul? It is up to reluctant believer Stoner to take a shamanic journey and save her aunt.While previously her adventures mostly involved down-to-earth detective work on the side, Stoner is no stranger to shamanic journeying ('Grey Magic') and has even experienced time travel ('Captive in Time'). However she'd rather have a normal day-to-day life even if she feels like something is missing, despite Gwen's devoted love.'Shaman's Moon' carries the trademark humour and feminist ideas of the Stoner McTavish series, even if no one is perfect. This volume, first published in 1998, is infused with light touches of philosophy and a dose of Native-American spirituality. It is captivating and colourful, and I guess would be pivotal in the series if Sarah Dreher had written more. I believe there is an 8th volume ('Love Murders'), but it is out of print or unavailable.Sadly the author died in spring 2012. I'll be forever grateful to Sarah Dreher for creating one of my favourite fictional characters: the neurotic –but lovable, and forever hypothesizing too much, Stoner McTavish, a womon weary of cats, devoted to her aunt Hermione, passionately in love with her partner Gwen, and generally understanding of her best friend Marylou.