Publication Date: Available now from Quercus
Source: Publisher Review Copy.
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 Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.
I’m a fan of Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway novels so was really looking forward to diving into this one, a standalone novel inspired by her Grandfather.
I loved it. Beautifully written to give a sense of the time, a terrific mystery story and a wonderful flow, plus some great characters made this a really really fun read.
Edgar, Max and the so called “Magic Men” are a fascinating and eclectic bunch, brought back together by a strange murder that mimicks an old magic trick – The Zig Zag Girl. As Edgar investigates he looks to Max to help him work out what is going on and their friendship is rekindled.
There was a delightful old school feel to the prose, very different from the Galloway novels – Christie-esque in style to suit the era, despite the violence it is quite a gentle read. in some ways and Ms Griffiths has caught the sense of the theatre community brilliantly. The glamorous and the less glamourous side merge to give a realistic feeling to it all, you can almost imagine yourself right there. The back story involving the Magic Men during the war is evocative and intriguing as well – and the mystery element is well imagined as the author brings the two strands together to paint a full picture.
This is definitely one of my favourite mystery novels of the year so far, clever misdirection, a very enchanting look at the world of magic and a captivating and compelling story means that this definitely comes Highly Recommended from me.
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Happy Reading Folks!