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Steam, Smoke & Mirrors

Steam, Smoke and Mirrors, Book 1
Narrated by: Karl Jenkinson
Series: Steam, Smoke and Mirrors, Book 1
Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
4 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When a Music Hall hypnotist escapes from the London County Asylum she leaves a single word on the wall of her cell - scrawled in blood: Magister. Terror then stalks the capital’s streets as the killing spree begins. But why does Superintendent William Melville of the Special Branch call upon the skills of brilliant stage magician Michael Magister and his glamorous assistant Phoebe Le Breton to help capture the murderer? Especially as Michael is one of those named on the death list. 

From the recently discovered journals of Professor Artemus More, secrets are laid bare, mysteries revealed, illusions exposed, and conspiracies uncovered, all in a steampunk vision of Victorian Britain. But is anything truly what it seems? Or is it all just Steam, Smoke & Mirrors?

©2017 Colin Edmonds (P)2019 Caffeine Nights Publishing

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  • Brian
  • Niagara Falls, NY
  • 07-06-19

Better Than Sherlock Holmes!

Set in Victorian London Colin Edmonds, author, entertains his listeners with a unique, entertaining and fast-paced steampunk mystery. A Music Hall Hypnotists escapes from the Asylum leaving behind, written in blood, one word – Magister. Unable to solve the killing spree or capture the escaped woman, Scotland Yard’s Special Branch brings in master illusionist Michael Magister and his side-kick. Together they try to see through the Steam, Smoke & Mirrors to solve the case and save themselves!

Edmonds does a magnificent job of providing detailed imagery and creating a dialog that flows smoothly as well as providing depth to the story and characters. Just when you think you know something, Edmonds throws in a twist, then a sharp turn leaving the listener stunned.

The narrator, Karl Jenkinson, performs the book expertly. His voice is smooth and flexible providing calmness or excitement at the drop of a hat. I cannot imagine anyone else narrating this exciting book.

Overall a book I enjoyed and I would highly recommend this book to those who have a passion for mystery and especially for those who enjoy the steampunk genre.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Steam,smoke and mirrors

A really great story!The visuals are fantastic.Karl Jenkinson was a terrific narrator. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sherlock Holmes meets Steampunk

Classic Victorian detective style story with a steampunk twist.
it's a fun book with interesting characters.
The narrator does a great job engaging the listener with unique voices for each character and a dramatic flair in the suspenseful scenes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Steampunk mystery

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

A little magic, a little mystery, some humor, and a lot of steampunk make this book very enjoyable. There was a mystery and a few twists and turns to keep you interested through the whole book. The characters were lively and intriguing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Would make a great movie!

Whimsical, witty, well-written, loved the language.

Karl Jenkinson did a great job bringing the characters to life.

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

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Thoroughly Enjoyable!

First of all: "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review" - but free doesn't mean it will influence my review in any way... so here goes: 

Never heard of this book, author, or narrator, so I had absolutely no expectations. I love being surprised when starting a new book knowing absolutely nothing about it. The steampunk world was interesting, anchored with references to actual historical figures and events. I enjoyed the narrative from the point of view of the 'professor' who works behind the scenes of the theater with Magister and Phoebe and is the creator of outlandish inventions that is always essential in a steampunk environment. The story was interesting, with good plot twists, and enough suspense to keep me hooked and listening for the entirety of the book. The 9 hours & 43 minutes flew by! The narrator did a great job with all the myriad accents, including the American/New York accent of the main character in the midst of all the various English/Scottish/Irish ones. I especially loved the foul mouthed, lecherous priest... It's the little things too... I liked the fact that Magister's vocabulary and grammar are always being tested... that he often leaps to odd conclusions... and that Phoebe is more the brains of the pair but that Magister still comes off heroic. All in all, a terrific listen. Too bad Book 2 isn't available on Audible - because I checked right away, eager to hear more... oh well. I'll keep my eyes open for other books by Colin Edmonds going forward!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Excellent Find

What a story! What a narrator! I'll start by saying Karl Jenkinson easily just became one of my favorite narrators! Just an astonishing job with all the different and unique voices he uses for the characters, great inflection, easy on the ears, holds your attention, audio is crisp and clear, just excellent quality work. He masterfully paints the picture Colin has written so well for us; overall 10/10.

I loved the story line and the setting, 10/10 on it as well. The author does an amazing job of going into details. I really feel like I just finished the movie, the visuals he enables you to draw upon are just that great. I loved how he thought out the details of the magic acts and even went into explaining how some of the tricks work. The steampunk devices and gadgets he came up with are great as well, I'd like two pair of the goggles please! Any fan of magical mysteries should give this a go, any fan of steam punk should do the same. Shoot, anyone looking for a book to fill the void of silence should get it. I'm so glad it says book 1, that means book 2 at minimum to me.

I received a free copy of this book at my request in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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this book was given to me at my request for review

I had a hard time finishing this book to me it was boring. I didn't enjoy this book.

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Magic!

A great romp through Victorian London in the company of a cast of wonderfully imagined characters. Edmonds & Jenkinson ( a fine Music Hall Pairing, by any other name) do a splendid job in realizing a story that both enchants and captivates. It rattles along a pace, peppered with oddities, banalities and frivolities. Bravo, Sirs!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-19

A gripping summer read!

I have followed a few titles read by Karl Jenkinson in the past, having stumbled across "Essex Boys" a while ago. I decided to give "Steam, Smoke and Mirrors" a go, knowing that Karl's narration is of a superb standard.

The story is vivid and gripping, both in its prose and narrative delivery. This is a novel that requires an eccentric and demanding performance; Karl brings the many characters to life with his engaging and distinctive performances, truly I felt like I was walking the streets of Victorian London, soot-covered and ragged, following the mystery unfold.

Colin Edmonds' prose is fast-paced and well-written and this comes across in the performance from start to finish.

I am waiting patiently for a sequel and am checking out Karl's other titles in the meantime!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Dave Daniels
  • 06-03-19

Well written, well narrated

The story kept me gripped from the first page until the end , lots of twist and turns with an unexpected finale . The narration was excellent with lots of additional sound effects.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kezza
  • 05-22-19

Hooked from the 'get go'....

Wasn't entirely sure what to expect to be honest...but within the first few pages I was absolutely hooked.

Colin Edmonds conjures up a marvelous world - a vision of Steampunk Victorian London. A great story, peppered with wonderful characters adeptly narrated by Karl Jenkinson. I confess to 'binge listening' on the train and had to contain the odd laugh to avoid odder looks from my fellow travelers...certainly made the journey whizz by.

Highly recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. Esdaile
  • 09-07-19

Simply Wonderful

A gripping story from start to finish with many laugh out loud moments.
You almost feel like you are there in this Victorian London with all its wonders
I ws given a free copy of this title and leave this review freely

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Norma Miles
  • 09-16-19

Please tell me, what is going on?

Michael, an American magician, stage name of Magister, and his beautiful assistant, Phoebe, Queen of Steam and Goddess of Ether, are together engaged by the British Special Branch to stop a serial killing mesmerist who had recently escaped from a mental asylum in this steam punk vision of Victorian London.

Steam, Smoke and Mirrors is a superb presentation of music hall made murder mystery thriller. The whole glorious story confection is told as if by a third (of four) member of the theatre from which Michael Magister performs his amazing act (including the audience astonishing Throne of Dusintegration), namely the Professor, a theoretical scientist and one time Oxford lecturer, who, tired of working turned to a form of industrial espionage, improving stolen ideas and inventing the clever machinery required for the magic shows. Whilst mostly concentrating on relating the story, he occasionally breaks in with his personal monologue. The writing is vividly visual, the language delicious and the characters eccentric and colourful, and includes with the fictionals, historical well known names such as Queen Victoria, Lily Langtry, Arthur Conan Doyle, Tesla, Salisbury and Melville.
It's a thriller with murder and spills, chases and magical trickery, and oodles of humour.
It takes a talented narrator to bring this a!l together, and Karl Jenkiinson performs superbly. Each protagonist has a separate and individual voicing with assorted accents for every one. The text is read with a clean English voice: an easy and appropriate listen, resonant with warmth, sometimes sinister, always filled with understanding. Outstanding.

My profound thanks to the rights holder of Steam, Smoke and Mirrors, who, at my request via Audiobook Boom, freely gifted me with a complimentary copy. It surpassed my expectations and I loved being immersed in the excitement, colour and crankiness of the story, so ably performed by the narrator and with introductory brass music by John Orchard. One for pure fun and enjoyment, and recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful