The fourth Stephens and Mephisto mystery from the author of the bestselling Dr Ruth Galloway series - a must-read for fans of Bryant and May. 'Mixes cosiness and sharpness in a way that recalls the best of Agatha Christie' Sunday Express (on Smoke and Mirrors)
What do a murdered Brighton flower seller, the death of Cleopatra and a nude tableau show have in common? Read the most dangerous case yet for Stephens and Mephisto to find out.
Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter Ruby are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens' current case of the death of a quiet flowerseller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that, in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred...
At the start of Mary Higgins Clark Award winner Griffiths's solid fourth Magic Men mystery (after 2017's The Blood Card), stage magician Max Mephisto and his daughter, Ruby French, are headlining a variety show in Brighton, England, during the 1953 holiday season. Meanwhile, Det. Insp. Edgar Stephens Max's friend and former military colleague, and Ruby's fianc investigates the murder of a young woman with ties to a female troupe performing in the same show. As more deaths follow, a ruthless killer threatens Max's new love interest, Sgt. Emma Holmes, who's Edgar's colleague. Series fans will appreciate the developments in the various relationships, but they and new readers might wish for more insight into characters' personalities and motives. That said, Griffiths nicely evokes the post-WWII zeitgeist in Britain, incorporating details about hypocritical censorship laws and the theatrical lifestyle. Those who favor human intrigues over crime solving should find this a charming holiday read.)
The Vanishing Box
I don’t want to give the game away but the usual cast work their way through a series of murders to the ultimate conclusion. However, there are many loose ends from previous books in the series which are finally fused together and presented to the reader in a very neat bow.
As always I have enjoyed this book by Elly Griffiths and cannot wait for the next publication.