Ta-da! Magicians in the Mysteries

The magician’s lie by Greer Macallister

It starts with a woman telling the reader she’s going to kill her husband (the exact moment I was exactly), then continues with a past and present timeline to reveal it all.

The Amazing Arden is a female illusionist from the early 1900s known for such incredible acts as sawing a man in half, until one night her husband is found murdered on stage and she disappears. Depending on who you support, lucky/unlucky for her, cop Virgil Holt captures her. Holt hides a recent disability, terrified of being fired because of it, and considers catching Arden his ticket to keeping his job. But Arden swears on everything that she is innocent and that she did not kill her husband. So, while handcuffed to a chair, Arden tells Holt the story of her life, including how she became an illusionist and how she came to flee from her husband’s murder.

The past and present timelines only work for me when both timelines give me enough interesting stories that I don’t feel like we have to rush already so we can get back to the mystery. I’ve always been interested in Arden’s story, from her childhood to now, but especially when she first entered a traveling performance and how she rose through the ranks. Learning all the tricks and illusions of the 1800s was fun, and I loved the running element.

(cut from TW / attempted child molestation / animal cruelty / brief mention of murder / suicide / mention of sexual assault / harassment / kidnapping)

Brian L. Hartfield