The Last Illusion
By Rhys Bowen
(Minotaur Books, Mass Market Paperback, 9780312535353, 320pp.)
Publication Date: March 1, 2011
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Irish immigrant and private detective Molly Murphy is thrilled to have a ticket to see world-famous illusionist Harry Houdini. But before he can even take the stage, the opening act goes horribly wrong—and the sensational Signor Scarpelli’s lovely assistant is sawed in half. In the aftermath, Scarpelli accuses Houdini of tampering with his equipment. Who else but the so-called Handcuff King could have got a hold of his trunk of tricks, which he keeps under lock and key?
And it seems the maestro Scarpelli’s not the only one critical of Houdini. Now that he’s raised the stakes to such a perilous level, lesser acts are being put out of business. With everyone on edge, Houdini’s wife hires Molly to watch his back. But how can she protect a man who literally risks his life every night? Now it’s up to Molly to keep an eye on Houdini and find out whether these masters of illusion are simply up to their tricks—or if there truly is something much more treacherous going on…
Rhys Bowen is the author of the award-winning Molly Murphy and Constable Evans mysteries. Her novels have garnered an impressive array of awards and nominations, including the Anthony award for her novel For the Love of Mike and the Agatha Award for Murphy’s Law. Her books have also won the Bruce Alexander Historical Award and the Herodotus Award, and have been shortlisted for the Edgar, the Agatha, the Macavity, the Barry, and the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She has also written Her Royal Spyness, a series about a minor royal in 1930s England, and she is the author of several short stories, including the Anthony Award–winning “Doppelganger.” Her story “Voodoo” was chosen to be part of the anthology of the best of 50 years of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Ms. Bowen was born in Bath, England, and worked as an announcer and studio manager for the BBC in London, before moving to Australia and then California. It was here she started writing children’s and young adult novels, and then moved on to mysteries with the Constable Evans novels. When not writing she loves to travel, sing, hike, play her Celtic harp, and entertain her grandchildren. She lives in San Rafael, California.
IN A GILDED CAGE
“This installment outshines the others in character development and plot complexity. Details of Molly’s new cases are knit together with the accoutrements of 1918 New York City life…Don’t miss this great period puzzler reminiscent of Dame Agatha’s mysteries and Gillian Linscott’s Nell Bray series.”—Booklist
“Delightful…Bowen does a splendid job of capturing the flavor of early 20th-century New York and bringing to life its warm and human inhabitants.”—Publishers Weekly
“Feisty, independent Molly and the historical New York background give good value.”—Kirkus Reviews
TELL ME, PRETTY MAIDEN
“Winning…It’s all in a day’s work for this delightfully spunky heroine.”—Publishers Weekly
“For readers who love mysteries more for character development than puzzle solving, the seventh Molly Murphy novel… does not disappoint.”—Booklist “Sharp historical backgrounds and wacky adventures.”—Kirkus Reviews
IN DUBLIN’S FAIR CITY“
Readers will surely testify that Murphy has become one of their favorite characters…This book is a keeper.”—Tampa Tribune “Enjoyable charm and wit.”—Baltimore Sun
“Molly is an indomitable creature…The book bounces along in the hands of Ms. Bowen and her Molly, and there is no doubt that she will be back causing trouble.”—Washington Times
“The feisty Molly rarely disappoints in this rousing yarn seasoned with a dash of Irish history.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)