|Pages/Publication Date:||325 / 2014|
The author of the mystery novels starring forensic archaeologist Ruth Galloway here gives us a standalone novel of magic and murder in 1950 Brighton. When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of his: they served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men. Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls, and reluctantly agrees to help Edgar investigate. After another death and another magic trick, Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days.
"Enormously engaging.... Post-war Brighton and its Theatre Royal are beautifully captured in all their seedy glory.... Subtle, charming and very good."—Daily Mail (London)