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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Yes or No: Was Lula murdered?

I paused to do a reading about halfway through another mystery – this one by J.K. Rowling writing under the name Robert Galbraith. It’s called The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike Book 1).

SPOILER ALERT: If you are planning to read the book, 
don’t read this post. I will be revealing the correct answer 
to the question at the end of the post.

In the book, a famous model named Lula falls to her death from a window at her home. Suicide seems the obvious reason to many, but Lula’s brother isn’t buying it. He believes she was murdered and hires a private detective (Cormoran Strike) to investigate.

I asked the Playing Card Oracles Divination Deck by Ana Cortez and C.J. Freeman (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.): Was Lula murdered?

In the system I am using for this reading, red cards (hearts, diamonds) suggest a “yes” answer and black cards (clubs, spades) suggest a “no” answer.

Here are the cards that came forward to answer the question:

Playing Card Oracles Divination Deck

Fata Morgana (Red / 5 of Hearts): “Behold the reflection of a hag in the water and understand that this temptress is not what she seems. Many illusions (fata) will be cast upon the waters of our emotions.” (Cortez)

Field of Stone (Black / 8 of Spades): “The unluckiest card in the deck, the dense field of Spades represents numerous obstacles and the fruition of bad seeds.” (Cortez)

East Wind (Black / 4 of Clubs): “The old man wind symbolizes slow and weak forces, which generally take a long time to develop. The direction of East.” (Cortez)

First of all, that’s two black and one red, which suggests that it is unlikely (but not impossible) that Lula was murdered. Let’s see what else these cards might reveal.

It seems likely that deceit or illusions about something – probably believed at an emotional level -- contributed to Lula’s demise. The Five of Hearts also can represent a restless heart or “change of heart.” Fives in general suggest an influx of new energy, new possibilities and change. A Five may also represent a trap.

Obstacles or challenges and/or a “bad seed” coming to fruition also played a role. Eights in general can point to success, achievement, and rewards but can also indicate reaping a “bitter feast” due to poor choices or misfortune. The Eight of Spades suggests the possibility of bad timing or time “running out.” There may be a need to rethink things in the face of a threat from a group.

Forces that might have saved her were not strong enough or fast enough to make a difference. The Four is usually about structure and organization – or a lack thereof. With the Four of Clubs (The East Wind) we may be looking at things that occur over a long period of time, slow, deliberate, weak.


And now, here is Helen’s reading, using the Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck by Mary Hanson-Roberts (U.S. Games, Inc.)

Hanson-Roberts Tarot

“Well I got Justice, The Magician and Ace of Pentacles, so my cards are saying probably not. The message they seem to be giving me is that something happened maybe someone turned out not to be what they first appeared, was Lula involved in something that she couldn’t get out of?  I get the feeling that she had nowhere else to go; the Justice card makes me think that she weighed up all her options and chose the only way out of her situation. The Magician makes me think that someone tricked her into this situation; the Ace just confirmed that she took an idea and made it a reality.

So according to my cards she probably wasn’t murdered.”


THE ANSWER for the question “Was Lula murdered?”

Once again, both sets of cards seem to be “playing coy” with us, not offering a 100% “yes” or “no” answer. Both sets offer a probable “no” answer.

In fact, as I discovered when I reached the end of the story, Lula WAS murdered – by the very brother who hired the detective to prove she was murdered even though the police were convinced it was suicide. The brother – actually it was her adopted brother -- wanted the detective to unwittingly help him frame Lula’s real brother for murder to prevent the real brother (whose existence she had just discovered) from inheriting Lula’s money.

Regarding Helen’s cards: In the end, Justice was served, the trickster Magician was exposed, and Lula’s real brother (a soldier) got a new start in life with the fortune he inherited (Ace of Pentacles).

Concerning my cards: There was plenty of illusion involved (5 of Hearts). The “bad seed” coming to fruition (8 of Spades) can be said to refer to Lula’s adoptive brother, who not only murdered her but had murdered his natural brother many years earlier. The whole thing played out over a long, extended period of time and was caused by one man’s extreme weakness of character (4 of Clubs).

I am thinking there may be a need to modify or alter the method I use for providing a “yes-or-no” answer. I am certainly going to give it some thought!


  1. Yes I think in future instead of doing the three Aces method I'm just going to lay three cards and read them ^_^

  2. I love mysteries, and when I was early at reading I'd often use a mystery as a test. Before I cracked open a page I'd write down who was murdered and who dunit :) Mostly I was way wrong but it was a fun exercise and taught me something about how we look at cards

    1. Indeed, it is fun to try one's hand at this sort of thing with the cards. Thanks for stopping by, Sharyn!


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~ Zanna