The Clairvoyant Countess
and its sequel Kaleidoscope
are novels by Dorothy Gilman
about Madame Karitska, a psychic somewhere between middle and old age, once a refugee from the Russian Revolution, technically a countess, who befriends a policeman, Lt. Pruden, and helps him in his investigations.
Tropes included in this work
- Above Good and Evil: downplayed.
- Affably Evil: Zoehfeld
- A Friend in Need: Madame Karitska, to several people
- Bad Humor Truck: A significant ice cream truck company run by a very scary bad guy.
- The Bluebeard: Though his motive was very like the Black Widow
- Blue Blood: She calls herself "Madame" rather than Countess because she doesn't really care.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Foretold by Madame Karitska, rather than appearing herself.
- Dreaming of Things to Come: One way her powers manifest: it leads to her finding her current location.
- Driven to Suicide: Mazda Lorvale
- Drowning My Sorrows: Mr. Faber-Jones, after his wife leaves him.
- Due to the Dead: Flowers on Mazda Lorvale's grave
- Fingertip Drug Analysis: Lt. Pruden discovers heroin.
- Grudging Thank You: Joe Painter, after she stops him from shoplifting.
- Identification by Dental Records: Not used after an accident until she turns up evidence.
- Ignored Enamored Underling: Exploited, and then disposed of.
- Impoverished Patrician: The countess's background; she has settled down to working for her living.
- Indian Burial Ground: She warns against disturbing this.
- Lonely Funeral: Mazda Lorvale's
- The Mafia: The Syndicate
- Pater Familicide: One of the other psychics is rescued from one of these.
- Pet the Dog: She sends Lt. Pruden away to deal with an appointment: a small boy who has lost his kitten.
- Psychic Powers: not surprisingly.
- Reincarnation Romance: Joe Painter's song is about one.
- Starving Artist: Her landlord. He can't afford to be slack about rent because he needs the money.
- Talk About the Weather: After Mr. Faber-Jones learns about his doctor, he struck by how different the conversation is.
- Talking in Your Dreams: After one reading, Madame Karitska finds this happening.
- There Are No Coincidences: She discusses this with Mr. Faber-Jones.
- War Refugees: Madame Karitska's Back Story
- When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Gavin screams and collapses at this time, after she prevented his being sent home.
- Wicked Stepmother: The young woman who visits her, the first described customer, thinks her stepfather is the only person she can trust, and is horribly wrong.