cover image Magic for Liars

Magic for Liars

Sarah Gailey. Tor, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-17461-1

In this clever and fast-paced magical mystery, Gailey (River of Teeth) introduces Bay Area PI Ivy Gamble, who usually tracks down adulterers and insurance scammers. Then, Marion Torres, headmaster at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, walks into Ivy’s office and asks her to solve a murder. Sylvia Capley, the school’s health teacher, was found bisected head-to-toe in the library, and Marion does not agree with the findings of accidental death; she’s certain it was murder and wants Ivy to prove it. Reluctantly, Ivy visits the school—where her magically gifted twin, Tabitha, whom Ivy greatly envies and resents, happens to teach. To Ivy’s surprise, it’s just like a regular high school, except that the kids are armed with magical arsenals. One student stands out: Alexandria DeCambray, whose brother believes he is the chosen one foretold in a prophecy. As Ivy continues her investigation, she ruminates on her past choices, especially as she tries to rebuild her relationship with Tabitha. A budding romance with one of the school’s teachers also complicates matters. Petty, petulant Ivy is hard to like, but her story is a wonderfully quirky mystery filled with inviting characters and gripping surprise twists. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary. (June)