cover image Death and the Conjuror

Death and the Conjuror

Tom Mead. Mysterious, $25.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61316-318-4

Set in London, Mead’s stellar debut and series launch, an homage to golden age crime fiction, in particular the works of John Dickson Carr, introduces magician Joseph Spector. In 1936, Spector’s Scotland Yard friend, Insp. George Flint, consults him in the baffling case of Austrian psychotherapist Anselm Rees. The doctor was found dead in his study with his throat slit so deeply that his head was almost decapitated. As the room’s door and windows were locked, Flint hopes Spector, a master of conjuring tricks and misdirection, can explain how anyone could have committed the crime and left the room sealed. The pair pursue the theory that the murder was a revenge killing after learning that one of Rees’s Viennese patients cut his own throat in a similar manner. Meanwhile, they must also probe two other cases: the apparently connected murder of a possible witness in an elevator that no one but the victim had access to, and the impossible theft of a rare artwork. Mead maintains suspense throughout, creating a creepy atmosphere en route to satisfying reveals. Puzzle mystery fans will eagerly await the sequel. (July)