Chris Ewan's The Good Thief's Guide to Vegas is the next caper in a series that's being called "impressive… comic…fresh" (Publishers Weekly--starred review).
Charlie Howard isn't only a part-time crime writer and part-time thief; he's also a magician. For his next trick, he'll relieve Josh Masters, the famous illusionist vying for the affections of Charlie's friend Victoria, of $60,000 in casino chips stashed in his hotel safe.
Revenge would be sweet—if there weren't a dead redhead floating in Masters' bathtub and if Masters hadn't just disappeared in a puff of smoke after cheating at roulette. Convinced that Charlie was in on the scam, the casino's owners give him an impossible mission: either pull off an elaborate heist to reimburse the house for every dollar his "accomplice" made off with, or enjoy a one-way trip into the desert.
Charlie Howard, the self-mocking narrator of Ewan's Good Thief Guide series who's both a mystery writer and smallscale thief, once again shows he's not terribly good at either in his diverting third outing (after 2008's The Good Thief's Guide to Paris). Set largely in the fictional Fifty-Fifty hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nev., the book opens with Howard picking the pocket of Josh Masters, the casino's resident magician. Armed with Masters's wallet, Howard visits Masters's suite (with a nice bit on breaking into the magician's personal safe) only to discover what appears to be a dead body floating in the bath. The stakes rise when Masters disappears during his own magic show during a trick using Howard's literary agent, Victoria, as a volunteer and the casino's security men detain the pair. Those looking for suspense or intricate plotting will be disappointed, but fans of light comic capers will be rewarded.