cover image Cabaret Macabre: A Joseph Spector Locked-Room Mystery

Cabaret Macabre: A Joseph Spector Locked-Room Mystery

Tom Mead. Mysterious Press, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-61316-530-0

A pair of potential murders give way to two baffling real ones in Mead’s ingenious third whodunit featuring retired magician Joseph Spector (after The Murder Wheel). In 1938 England, Lady Elspeth Drury summons Spector to help prevent her husband’s murder. Sir Giles Drury has been receiving threatening letters that Lady Elspeth believes are the work of Victor Silvius, who was confined to a sanitorium nine years earlier after he tried to stab Sir Giles. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard inspector George Flint has been approached by Silvius’s sister, Caroline, who fears the exact opposite—that Sir Giles is conspiring to have her brother killed. Spector’s and Flint’s inquiries inevitably intersect, and after the two travel together to the Drurys’ country estate, they end up investigating two seemingly impossible murders connected to the family. In one, they discover a frozen body in the middle of a pond with no evidence suggesting how it got there; in another, the victim is gunned down in broad daylight by an apparently invisible killer. As in previous Spector cases, Mead hides all the clues in plain sight, constructing a fair-play puzzle that will delight and challenge readers who love pitting their own wits against the author’s. It’s another crackerjack entry in an exceptional series. Agent: Lorella Belli, Lorella Belli