Monday, February 6, 2023

Death and the Conjuror - Joseph Spector #1

Death and the Conjuror is the first Joseph Spector locked room mystery by Tom Mead. Released July 2022 by Penzler, it's 288 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Paperback format due out second quarter 2023. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats. 

This is such a stylish and well written historical mystery set in the interwar period in England. Stage magician Joseph Spector joins forces with Scotland Yard inspector Flint to solve several "impossible" crimes. Readers who enjoy figuring out how before the sleuths will find a fiendishly clever puzzle. I gave up trying to beat the mystery about halfway in (impossible crimes upon impossible crimes) and just enjoyed the ride. 

The writing is top shelf; engaging and smooth. The characters are believably rendered and the plotting is well engineered and sophisticated. The whole is redolent of the time period without being clunky or archaic. 

Four stars. A strong series start. For fans of Golden Age classic mysteries, this one definitely delivers. The classic great authors of the period aren't producing any more stories, and this one really does evoke the time without being derivative or precious. The second volume (The Murder Wheel) is due out in late 2023.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment