Newly-single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush's husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim's business associates.
At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting the bullet catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations - while saving his own neck - may be the greatest trick he's ever performed.
©2014 John Gaspard (P)2016 John Gaspard
Eli Marks is an intelligent, likable and witty character. I like the interactions Eli has with his ex-wife and her new husband, as well as, his interactions with his uncle and new girlfriend. The plot is realistic and there are several twists and turns to keep the story moving at a fast pace. I hope the next book in this series is made available soon for Audible listeners.
great campy mystery
By dribbling clues and hints yet keeping you in suspense.
Eli was witty, sincere and relentless.
Having the bagpiper play afar off. I liked that idea in real life.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
I download over 100 books a year. I don't even know how to go about my day without listening to a title. It's my happy place!
I knew nothing of this author or this narrator before this listen but I'm a big fan now! The writing was so clever that I found myself smirking many times at the authors phraseology. For instance: "It was like Jonestown. Only with bagels." And what a unique twist to make the hero a magician!
It seems like quite a bit happened in book one but you didn't need that to follow this listen. This was a really good listen with a whodunit you don't see coming.
The ending was very satisfactory and I can't wait for the next installment!
Once again, Eli Marks pulls off some intense magic tricks. I think the funniest part of this book is how I'm still amazed that the magic tricks work, even though I'm not watching it! It's crazy! The story feels so real and the tricks are described so well that I feel like I'm actually watching the trick.
Jim Cunningham does another amazing job. I really enjoy the voices he uses for the characters.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.**
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
The book begins with an old friend showing up and inviting Eli to attend their high school reunion. He also spills the beans about his latest acting bit, a movie about a magician who dies in the execution of an illusion. Eli agrees to give him a hand.
Meanwhile, at the reunion, Eli runs into his crush from 20 years ago, and things quickly escalate and deteriorate (in that wonderful way that all murder mysteries deteriorate) from there.
John Gaspard is fast becoming one of my new favorite authors. The pacing of this story felt a little slower than the first book, but it didn’t drag. I love the way he weaves famous magic tricks and illusions, well known music and comedy acts, and allusions to classic movies into his plot and dialogue. It makes for such a great background, and many common bonds between the reader and characters. I really want to hang out with Uncle Harry and the “Artful Codgers” and listen to them talk smack and reminisce over a beer or two. Granted, the younger generation won’t recognize many of the references, I know there are quite a few going over my head, and I’m far more immersed in the entertainment of 50 years ago than most people my age. Nevertheless, it’s written in such a way that ignorance shouldn’t detract from the reading experience in any way, though there are some definite clues you’ll miss if you’re not up on your trivia.
Coincidentally I happened to have watched one of the movies mentioned less than a week before I listened to this book, so I had a hint fresh in the mind, though it didn’t give much away.
I’ve come to love Eli Marks (in a strictly platonic way), he’s clever and thoughtful without being particularly brilliant. He’s funny and sarcastic, and just so real. Combined with the first person POV that the book is written in, it’s like he’s just telling you a story. Maybe sitting on the couch with you. I’m pretty fond of all the characters, Frannie, Megan, and of course, Harry. Even Marks’ Ex-wife Deidre is is a great character.
Quality wise, I have to give it the full 5 stars, everything is clear, no EQ or mic distance issues, and the music is great, and not too long.
As for Jim Cunningham, he is one of my new favorite Narrators. He nails the tone of this book, and delivers all the characters flawlessly. He captures Harry’s gruff, crotchety old voice, and Eli’s younger, clever yet lacking a little self-confidence, personality. He also delivers on the female characters, softer, but not in anyway the “man pretending to be a girl” tone that some guys adopt.
I can hardly wait for the next book. Three cheers for John Gaspard!
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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A lover of cozy mysteries, contemporary romance and getting lost in the world of audiobooks
I was looking SO forward to read book 2 in this series, and boy it didn't disappoint! This book developed on the first, so I do recommend reading it in order. However even if you don't you will get caught up and clued in with no problems at all.
I love how humanized Eli is as the main character. He's relatable & down to earth, and his humor and charm are conveyed so well through Jim Cunningham. I found myself chuckling at his corny humor & cheering for him. He's the good guy with a big heart that somehow finds himself at the wrong place at the wrong time. I especially loved the plot about his fear of heights, because he becomes a vulnerable character, and again so relatable. I feel like I know this character & I feel like I'm a part of his world. I think my favorite quirk is how he refers to his ex wife's new husband by his full name each time: "Homicide detective Fred Hutton." I laughed every time!
I love magic & I love mysteries, and this merries together the two perfectly. I enjoy Eli as the main lead & he makes this whole series incredibly enjoyable. I received this copy as a courtesy for an honest review & I stand by everything I've said! I would gladly spend a credit for this, because it gave me days of enjoyment & I got wrapped up in each moment from start to finish. Looking forward to book 3!
Thank God for books of all kinds and ears to hear
I don't especially care for magic. I did not expect to like this book very much. I am quite pleased that I enjoyed it very much. Great main character! Who can't relate to being the 'weird one' in high school whether we really were or not! I loved his inner dialogue relentlessly running in his head. It was laughable and not always correct which is a refreshing change.
I was rather stunned by how caught up I became in the magic tricks themselves. I think it was much better imagined in my head than by seeing it in real life. Not sure why but I think it might have something to do with taking the anxiety out of it for me. I guess I'm always nervous the magician is going to mess up and therefore don't enjoy it as much as I could. I just loved this 'behind the scenes' magic that doesn't reveal any secrets.
I was surprised by the ending. Not floored, but surprised nonetheless. That always scores high in my book!
I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review. This book was fabulous and I am gong to use my credit to get the first installment!
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."
This is a quirky mystery revolving around magicians, cops and more. There is some romance a bit of murder and personal challenges. Not my favorite book, but not bad.
The narration was well done. The characters were excellently portrayed.
Avid reader who is also a mommy. Audible saved my reading time!
Take a down on his luck magician, a girlfriend who wants to take a break, a high school reunion, a high school crush, and a murder. There are really two stories in this book. One is Eli trying to solve the murder of the husband of his high school crush on the night of his 15 year high school reunion. The other story is Eli trying to keep his high school buddy from getting killed while filming a movie about the death of a famous magician. They are entwined beautifully. The characters are drawn well and I cared about them...a lot.
Jim Cunningham gives one of the best performances I've read. He is Eli.
I received this audiobook for free from Audiobook Boom! in exchange for an honest review.
I would compare these to the Reed Ferguson Detective Series. There is a really good underlying hook (magic) that sets the stage for Eli to come across opportunities to solve a mystery.
I listened to his narration of The Ambitious Card. This one was just as good.
I enjoyed it very much. I think Jim Cunningham's take on Eli really brought him to life.
I am really looking forward to the audio version of Book 3.
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