cover image Club Deception

Club Deception

Sarah Skilton. Grand Central, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-455-59701-7

In YA author Skilton’s entertaining adult debut, Cal Clarke asks his dead wife’s best friend, Claire Fredericksson, to introduce his new bride, Jessica, to the wives and girlfriends of Club Deception, an exclusive magicians’ society in downtown L.A. Although Cal’s rival—Claire’s husband, Jonathan—is president, Claire essentially runs the place. Claire intimidates Jessica, so Jessica is delighted to meet fellow newcomer Kaimi Lee. Kaimi seems friendly, but unbeknownst to Jessica, she and her boyfriend, sleight-of-hand artist and con man Landon Gage, are scoping out potential buyers for stolen magical merchandise. Meanwhile, Claire—secretly the architect of Jonathan’s tricks—tires of her spouse’s extramarital affairs and decides to help his intern, Felix Vicario, win the club’s Magician of the Year competition. When Jonathan is murdered, Cal, Felix, and Landon become suspects, and Jessica, Claire, and Kaimi must scramble to clear their names. Skilton captures the romance of stage magic while educating readers about its history and culture. Splashy backdrops, steamy sex scenes, and strong, smart female characters complement the soapy plot. [em]Agent: Victoria Marini, Irene Goodman Agency. (July) [/em]