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Publisher's Summary

A casual glance out his apartment window turns magician Eli Marks' life upside down. After spotting a dead body in the projection booth of the movie theater next door, Eli is pulled into the hunt for the killer. As he attempts to puzzle out a solution to this classic locked room mystery, he must deal with a crisis of a more personal nature: the appearance of a rival magician who threatens not only Eli's faith in himself as a performer, but his relationship with his girlfriend.

But the killer won't wait and starts taking homicidal steps to bring Eli's investigation to a quick and decisive end. Things get even worse when his magician rival offers his own plausible solution to the mystery. With all the oddball suspects gathered together, Eli must unveil the secrets to this movie-geek whodunit or find himself at the wrong end of the trick.

©2015 John Gaspard (P)2016 John Gaspard

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A fun listen that keeps the audience guessing

What could be more mysterious and riveting than a magic trick?  Only a locked room with a murder victim!  Magician and amateur sleuth, Eli Marks is embroiled in a murder that has lots of suspects and more dead bodies.  Not only does he have a murder mystery to solve but he also discovers a jealous streak that wreaks havoc on his career and love life.  Hopefully, Marks can solve the murder before anyone else dies.

John Gaspard creates a classic mystery in which the solution is unique and exciting.  Like magic, this story has an illusion that is masterfully crafted and executed.

A fun listen that keeps the audience guessing until the end.  Great characters and plot that keep the audience engaged and on the edge of their chair.  A unique combination of vintage detective mystery and cozy mystery.  A delightful tale that keeps the audience engaged and riveted.  Characters, as well as the plot, were well developed.

The narrator, Jim Cunningham, is excellent!  His voice matches Eli Marks character perfectly with the correct amount of emotion and wonderment and mystery.  He owns the book through his talent.

I highly recommend this book if you have a fondness for mystery, vintage movies, and magic.  Part of a series, this book can be read as a stand alone too.  Gaspar does a great job of capturing his audience with a unique character and mystery!

There were no issues with the quality or production of this audiobook.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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"Clue" meets Agatha Christie w/comedy

This book is equal parts mystery and humor, and I love everything about it. If you've been following the series, what sets this book apart is the dynamic with "Mr. Lime." He plays a bit of a "good guy" by giving the police a list of 4 people who he believes are responsible for the murder. As the book goes on it's hard to know who to trust, and who is telling the truth. It really takes you on a ride and isn't easy to figure out.
My favorite part is the very end when Eli brings all the suspects together in one room & lays out the crime step by step. It reminded me of "clue" or an old Agatha Christie novel. The performance art of acting out and describing the crime was such a treat. It kept me guessing until the very end!
If you love mystery, humor & a bit of classic magic then you'll love this book! The cast of characters are all so lovable. I was gifted this book and gave my honest review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good mystery, tons of magic detail

The mystery was unusual both in being about a missing film and how it develops. Eli, the main character, is a working magician (he's no Cris Angel or David Copperfield) who helps his uncle with his magic shop as well as perform at parties/events. The author throws in tons of magic scenes and details. The title, itself, is the title of a trick talked about and "performed" in the story. I think some readers might find it a bit much. It bordered on that for me at times since I have no real interest in magic. The interesting mystery and variety of suspects kept me going.

The epilogue was a bit long for such, but satisfying.

The narrator was good, he had the right voice (sorry) for a character I considered sort of a second rate, nebbish type. Eli is not a loser, but he doesn't seem to have any ambition and just rolls a long. I felt the narrator could have done more with his female voices though.

I received this audiobook at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Delightful and Inspiring

JG understands the world of magic and what it’s like to be a magician. Sometimes magicians are considered jokers not deserving of the respect that serious performers should receive but the author has done an excellent job of referencing the long history of artists who have devoted their lives to perfecting an art form that can truly create Awe and Wonder like no other performance art.

The author was also able to understand what it means to be one of those artists who observes a magical master more skilled than himself and experience the competing feelings of Inspiration to emulate and Depression at the futility of ever achieving similar perfection.

So, besides understanding the world of Magic, Gaspard has also written another excellent mystery that kept me guessing until the end. And that is another type of magic I envy.

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The Miser's dream

I enjoyed this book.It was fun and full of twists and turns.I'm not a fan of 'magic' so that was the only draw back.Jim Cunningham was an excelent narrator.“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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  • Mary
  • Centerville, OH, United States
  • 10-02-17

Magical Locked Room Cozy Mystery


A dead body in a locked room. How did the murderer leave a locked room? A classic locked room mystery, a perfect case for professional magician and amateur sleuth Eli Marks to solve.

Then there is a new magician in town. Eli's rival is a very talented, charismatic, charming and a likeable showman. Eli is so jealous and and he is trying so had not to metamorphose into a green-eyed-monster.

This mystery also intrigues Eli's rival. Who will solve this mystery Eli or his competitor?

Add to the mix is the somewhat frightening nefarious Mr Lime and his chauffeur, sic henchman, Harpo. Mr Lime offers a motive for the murder along with a list of suspects. Why is Mr Lime so interested in the murder? What's his involvement and stake. The exchanges between Eli and Mr Lime add humor to the story.

The narration is very good and makes an average to slightly above average story a very enjoyable listen.

This a fun listen and series that doesn't require close attention and would be a good listen while multi-tasking or driving.

I received this audio book at no-cost from Audiobookworm Promotions. The gifting of this audio book did not affect my opinion of it.

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An enjoyable mystery

The Miser's Dream is a light hearted mystery with some fun characters. As a cozy mystery series you don't need to read the first two books to enjoy the story as it fills in the gaps nicely of who everyone is and why they're important. I enjoyed this story a lot as Eli Marks is a fun and sarcastic guy to follow around and the situations he gets himself into.

Jim Cunningham does a good job as the voice of Eli Marks and I enjoyed his narration of this book.

***I received a free copy at my request from the author, publisher or narrator in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Johnny
  • Franklin, TN, United States
  • 08-18-17

One coin dropped from the bucket

What made the experience of listening to The Miser's Dream the most enjoyable?

I love Jim Cunningham's voice for Eli and the rest of the characters. His light touch and nature for Eli Marks sets a great tone for this story.

What other book might you compare The Miser's Dream to and why?

It isn't like any other story I have heard except for the other Eli Marks novels. It is really interesting how a magic trick title is really a key to the mystery solution. John Gaspard does a great job of using magic as the backdrop without it feeling like a cheap gimmick.

What does Jim Cunningham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Just a great nature to Eli and the other characters. You don't take the mystery too seriously (even though a murder is involved) and you get the sense that Eli is just a good, normal, guy.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The last coin paid for it all

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review

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Welcome to the world of magic

What made the experience of listening to The Miser's Dream the most enjoyable?

The weaving of a mystery and trying to solve it with the mind of a magician

Who was your favorite character and why?

Eli Marks displays all of our traits-caring, tender, jealous, tenacious. He reveals ourselves to us.

Have you listened to any of Jim Cunningham’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Great voice, good diction, knows his characters well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the rival magician, confesses his attempts to flatter women to Eli, we get a picture of how even very talented people have their own insecurities.

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review”.

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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 08-05-17

Another entertaining mystery

I love reading about the adventures of Eli Marks. He and the other characters are intelligent and humorous. The plot is realistic and fast paced so the reader doesn't want to put the book down. I started this book this morning and listened to it while running errands and doing chores. I have to say that I had a pleasant day. I strongly recommend this book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.