Now You See It
“Even magicians need magic in their lives.” For famed magician Harry Blackstone, magic is embodied in P.I. Toby Peters if he is to meet the challenge and foil the threats to his life that he has received. Peters, his brother and now business partner Phil, and a slew of highly colorful characters (an ex-wrestler poet, a one-hand car salesman, a multilinguist dwarf, a mad dentist inventor, and a quirky landlady, among others) will all try to clear his name when his less-talented rival and source of the threats is found murdered beside him at a banquet. This light-toned, well-drafted romp set in 1944 Los Angeles is a fun and breezy read that cleverly blends real and imaginary characters and recaptures the mood of WWII with solid background research, teaching some magical illusions in the process. There are a few needless repetitions, and the women are somewhat stereotyped. However, followers of Toby’s Hollywood celebrity series will enjoy revisiting him and new readers, mystery fans or not, will take pleasure in meeting him.