Just in case you’re wondering, we’ll be re-running some of our best and most popular book reviews every other week from now on.  They will be described as our Legacy Mysterious Book Reports.  Send us a quick request if you have a favorite that you’d like to see again and we’ll do our best to re-publish it.  We’ll still be reviewing the newest and best and brightest of published mystery and spy thrillers while working on our own Jake McKern series.  Stay tuned . . . there’s still more to come.                     JDM


Death and the Conjuror

Mysterious Book Report No. 500

by John Dwaine McKenna

If you’re a fan of murder mysteries who’s put off by too much gore, but still loves the mental challenge of trying to figure out who did it before the denouement—the point where the author reveals all—this week’s historic MBR No. 500 . . . Death and the Conjuror, (Mysterious Press, $25.95, 288 pages, ISBN 978-1-61316-318-4), by Tom Mead . . . is everything you’ve been looking for and more.  Written in the Golden Age style, it begins September 1936, when a seemingly impossible murder takes place within the locked confines of a London, England office.

Scotland Yard Inspector George Flint is stumped when prominent Austrian psychiatrist Anselm Rees is found dead in his study.   With the door locked from the inside and the window to the outside, the Doctor is found with his throat slit.  The impossibility of the crime causes the Detective to call on his friend and world-class magician Joseph Spector for help.  Inspector Flint hopes that the master illusionist will be able to somehow determine how this fiendishly clever crime was carried out in a locked room, and most importantly . . . by whom.  One theory is that the killing was revenge by allies of a former patient in Austria whose throat was cut in a similar fashion.  But just as the pair are honing their theories, a potential witness is hung in a locked elevator cab and at the same time, the impossible theft of a priceless and rare painting takes place under all of their noses.  Naturally, the intrepid pair of sleuths are personally compelled to solve those associated crimes along the way in this atmospheric and suspenseful—as well as complex—locked room mystery that’s a homage to the Golden Age of pulps from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.  Flint and Spector are an entertaining and riotous pair that all fans of puzzle mysteries will root for and hope to see more of soon!


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