The Tivoli Murders

Written by John Pilkington
Review by Sally Zigmond

London, 1891. The Ripper murders have ground to a halt, although nobody has been arrested. London is still jittery, so when two men are killed just outside the famous Tivoli Theatre, fear mounts again and suspicions abound. Audiences dwindle, forcing theatres to close and performers to be laid off. Yet again, the Metropolitan Police are baffled.

Inspector Maskell, therefore, needs the insider knowledge of Sam Vasey, son and manager of the celebrated illusionist, The Great Albertini (Albert Vasey). His role is to make enquiries amongst the music hall fraternity, friend or foe. He discovers, to his horror, someone is sabotaging his father’s famous illusionist acts. But murder? Matters reach a devastating climax at the Star Music Hall in Bermondsey, when Albert’s most spectacular illusion goes badly wrong before a sell-out crowd—resulting in the disappearance and murder of his onstage assistant, known as Mirabel (Nancy Poole).

When the Albertini show is grounded, Sam throws his energy into helping the police investigation. As the mystery deepens, Sam finds his own life in danger. Not only do others in the business want to ruin the Albertini company, sinister foreign assassins are lurking.

This novel takes readers on a terrifying roller-coaster ride from the brightly-lit theatreland to the crowded and grimy East-End alleyways and yards, recently the haunt of the Ripper. If you like fast-paced historical thrillers, The Tivoli Murders is a must.