The Reluctant Fortune-Teller


“An unassuming older man finds an unexpected new direction for his life in this debut novel… charming, warm, and wittily told.” -—Kirkus Reviews


Available for purchase March 6, 2018, see links below

Publisher: Park Row Books: a Division of Harlequin/ HarperCollins

Translated into French by publisher Michel Lafon, under the title, Le vieux qui tirait les cartes.

To be published in more languages soon:  Korea (Sam & Parkers); Czech Republic (Albatros); Slovakia (Ikar); China (Pioneer); Bulgaria (Ex Libris); and The Netherlands (Karakter).

A delightfully charming debut novel about self-discovery and second chances. 

Norbert Zelenka has always lived life on the sidelines. At seventy-three years old he finds himself broke and alone except for the company of a Chihuahua. But when Carlotta’s Club—three strong-willed seniors with a flair for drama and plenty of time on their hands—decide to make Norbert their latest project, he reluctantly agrees to their scheme. With their help, he establishes himself as the town’s fortune-teller, and he soon finds his life changing in unexpected ways.

It turns out that years of observing other people’s dramas make Norbert an excellent fortune-teller, and people from all walks of life begin seeking out his advice. As Norbert’s lonesome world expands with new friendships and a newfound self-confidence, he finally finds himself in a place where he belongs. But disaster looms on the horizon. When a troubled young woman goes missing after a bad reading, Norbert must find a strength beyond the cards to bring her home safely.

A heartfelt story of friendship, loneliness and coming-of-age late in life, The Reluctant Fortune-Teller is a feel-good read and a poignant reminder that we’re never too old to learn new tricks.

“It’s easy to foresee a great future for this delightful debut. Insightful, charming and intriguing, Norbert Z show us that it’s never too late to change the cards that life deals us.”

—Phaedra Patrick, author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper


“Through learning to listen to others, Norbert discovers his own intuition—and in doing so, launches himself out of his ordinariness. An extraordinary book by an extraordinary new author.”

—Benjamin Ludwig, author of Ginny Moon


“A warm, charming story you read with a smile.”

Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg, #1 internationally bestselling author of The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules

“Delightful. Norbert Z is warm and real and we rejoice in his growth throughout the story. This is a real comfort read in an uncertain world.”

—Rhys Bowen, New York Times and #1 Amazon bestselling author of In Farleigh Field