Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead

Death and the Conjuror by Tom Mead

It's no surprise Death and the Conjuror caught my eye. It's set in London in 1936, the Golden Age as far as mysteries are concerned. It features a locked room mystery, something I've been reading a lot of lately, and our sleuth is a magician, which is a fun touch - after all, who would be a better person to solve the impossible? A psychologist seeing three rather unique patients is found dead in his locked study. Inspector George Flint is in charge of the case, but he knows he needs help and calls his friend, magician Joseph Spector. There are a fair number of suspects each with his or her own secrets. Actually, there are all around a lot of characters involved - the dead man's family and clients, the folks from the show Spector is helping put together, the cops obviously - and two mysteries, the murder and a stolen painting, taken from a locked chest in a locked...
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Jove Brand Is Near Death by J.A. Crawford

Jove Brand Is Near Death by J.A. Crawford

Jove Brand Is Near Death is tons of fun. Ken Allen, is a personal trainer and martial arts expert in LA. His 15 minutes of fame came years ago when he played fictional spy, Jove Brand, in a single film in the blockbuster franchise. He had the looks and the action hero moves, but his acting was awful and the script was not much better. It was the worst Brand movie, but Ken has moved on, more or less. Until a new Brand is announced, and people connected to the series start turning up dead, killed with one of Ken's signature movie moves. Now Ken has to prove he's innocent - and figure out who the killer is. This was a perfect summer read, with plenty of action and gadgets galore. The characters are a varied lot, from Hollywood royalty to the cop who is sure Ken must have something to do with the murders to the special effects guy who...
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Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr

Till Death Do Us Part by John Dickson Carr

John Dickson Carr is considered a master of the locked room mystery and Till Death Do Us Part is a good example of that. This is the first Gideon Fell book I think I've read, but it worked fine as a standalone. Dick Markham with his fiancee, Lesley Grant, arrive late to the village fair. Events lead to Lesley accidentally shooting the fortune teller, renowned criminologist Sir Harvey Gilman. Later Markham hears from Gilman the story of Lesley's life as a serial poisoner. Soon Superintendent Hadley and Dr. Gideon Fell become involved when a murder occurs in the village. It's an enjoyable mystery. The characters are the usual odd lot that lives in fictional small towns, with assorted secrets and jealousies. There is plenty of misdirection, lots of red herrings, and several people who aren't who we think. I did not guess who the killer was or how they managed to pull it off. It's a quick read, but I think...
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A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford

A Plus One for Murder by Laura Bradford

I love Emma's idea for a business - well actually her friend's idea, but it's Emma's business. She's a friend for hire, someone to go to the gym with or take to a party. When one of her clients dies at an open mic night, Emma takes on the role of (very reluctant) amateur sleuth. Thankfully, she has some help - an elderly woman she has tea with once a week and a nurse who has paid her to be a gym buddy. I like how the three women work together and combine sleuthing with real life activities. We are immediately given a list of 4 suspects, a list put together by the dead man himself. Each of the four had a good reason for hating the dead man - a writer who was determined to bring all the town's corruption to light. The clues and red herrings were placed well. I liked the three main characters. Emma is sweet and honestly...
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Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung

Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman by E. W. Hornung

I can't remember what I was reading that mentioned Raffles, but clearly something put him on my to-read list. Raffles is a gentleman and a good cricket player. He's also a charming jewel thief. His exploits are written up by, Bunny, his partner in crime who is never quite all in the know. These are a fun collection of interrelated stories. Raffles is unrepentant but has a lack of seriousness that lets you root for him. The thefts are sometimes clever and Scotland Yard is mostly incompetent, of course. ...
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Murder at the Mansions by Sara Rosett

Murder at the Mansions by Sara Rosett

It appears that there has been a murder in Olive's building and it seems highly likely that someone on her floor is dead. The trouble is that there is no body and no one seems to be missing. Olive's friend, Minerva, is not one to imagine things though. She's practical and intelligent and she saw a foot sticking out of the end of a wrapped rug, so Olive takes the case and together they are determined to get to the truth. Murder at the Mansions is a fun little mystery. Olive is smart and clever as always. I liked that it was set in her building which has a nice variety of people and their pets living in it. We get to meet some new characters, but Jasper is still around and I like their relationship. He helps her out, but she is definitely the one solving the case and the romance doesn't take over the book. I really like this series....
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