Rather boring beginning which did not capture my attention so I did not finish this novel. I much preferred Griffiths' Ruth Galloway series which also had some drawbacks. This novel has a magician helping the police discover who murdered an army general. I just couldn't get interested in the 1950's setting with references to WWII.
Did not finish.
Being ancient enough to remember Elizabeth II's coronation from a distance, I found the background in England and the trip to the U.S. authentic. The various deaths and injuries involved seem to hang on the Magic Men, but they didn't seem to have a common thread other than that, except that an unseen hand seems to be directing DI Stephens, Max Mephisto and company to draw certain conclusions by giving them clues. Trying for a link to the coronation doesn't seem to work for them; but the whole plot comes together and the characters also develop by the end. I found this book held my attention and was satisfying historically.
Good for 10 -16 year old readers, first time readers of detective fiction, and low-retention-level readers. I am a huge fan of the Ruth Galloway series, so I have tried very hard to like these books. I don't. The writing is repetitious and frustrating. We experience something with one character (in detail), that character then tells a second character (in detail) what we just witnessed. The second character thinks about that event (in detail) a few pages later. Then the first character ruminates about the event (in detail), and then tells a third character about it (in detail). The second character then thinks about the event (in detail). Later in two or three separate "review of clues" we get the details again. If reading this review annoyed you, so will the book.
This is definitely the best Magic Men Mystery yet. Edgar and Max find themselves investigating the death of their mentor, Colonel Cartwright. They soon realize that the deaths are connected to the variety circuit when an old playbill is found at two of the murders and a clipping in Cartwright's flat connects them to a hypnotist in America. Edgar spends some time in Albany and the Big Apple, but comes back to Great Britain more confused than ever. Combining the world of magic with police work, Max and Edgar are racing against time to prevent a catastrophe on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation. Edgar's mantra is "don't underestimate the women" and this book is filled with strong women. I really enjoyed the way Emma was highlighted in this book and look forward to seeing more of her!
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