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Mystery in Mind: A Collection of Stories of the Paranormal    by Rhine Research Center order for
Mystery in Mind
by Rhine Research Center
Order:  USA  Can
Rhine Research Center, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Writing the short story is a difficult task. Subtleties and nuances must be foresworn in the interest of brevity, and space constraints make it challenging to give characters depth. The writers featured in Mystery in Mind have conquered the difficulties and produced intriguing tales. Add the paranormal to the short story theme and the mind can go anywhere in a short span of time. Though paranormal is not usually my genre, this book fell into my hands - I read it from cover to cover, and enjoyed it.

Paranormal writing has been with us for a long time and has always had a loyal following. Think Frankenstein or The Wolfman. But Mystery in Mind brings everyday life to the paranormal. The Rhine Research Center does legitimate paranormal research and has a fine reputation in their field. Their publication of this book is an important stamp of approval. These are stories of rich imagination. Or are they based on personal experience? Don't know.

A tour of the Pearl Harbor War Memorial captured my attention, as did a tale about a golf course manager; both main characters get their richly deserved comeuppance. A story of a missing child would arouse compassion in the most hard-hearted of readers. Another child has a puddle of blood for a companion. There is a maiden who transforms from human to wolf to hawk and back again. We learn about the importance of choosing the right chair, and about a twice widowed woman, mind reading, Wiccans, hauntings ...

For those inclined to scoff at stories about the paranormal, I doubt there is anyone who has not experienced something inexplicable during their lifetime. Personally, I've had several such instances, such as the time a dearest friend was prompted to call me long distance the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and my knowledge that she had just died when we were on different continents. I don't question. I accept.

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