“Captivating.” —Wall Street Journal
“An absorbing read, the debut of another great series.” —San Jose Mercury News
“A labyrinthine plot, a splendid reveal, and superb evocation of the wafer-thin veneer of glamour at the bottom end of showbusiness . . . Thoroughly enjoyable.” —Guardian
Brighton, 1950. A girl is found cut in three, and Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is convinced the killer is mimicking a famous magic trick—the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, served with Edgar in a special ops troop called the Magic Men that used stage illusions to confound the enemy. Max still performs, touring with ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls. When Edgar asks for his help with the case, Max tells him to identify the victim quickly; it takes a special sidekick to do the Zig Zag Girl—words that haunt Max when he learns the dead girl is Ethel, one of his best assistants to date.
Another death, another magic trick, and still no killer. But when Edgar receives a letter warning of another “trick” on the way—the Wolf Trap—he knows the Magic Men are in the killer’s sights.
“Enormously engaging . . . Griffiths’s plot is satisfyingly serpentine.” —Daily Mail
“Readers will finish looking forward to the next trick up [Griffiths’s] sleeve.” —Mystery Scene
Elly Griffiths is the author of the Ruth Galloway and Magic Men mystery series. She is the recipient of the Mary Higgins Clark Award and her work has been praised as “gripping” (Louise Penny), “highly atmospheric” (New York Times Book Review), and “must-reads for fans of crime fiction” (Associated Press).