The Stephens and Mephisto Mystery

7 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 172 ratings

The Zig Zag Girl Publisher's Summary

Brighton, 1950: When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar's. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men. Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls.

Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another 'trick', the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in the killer's sights....

©2014 Elly Griffiths (P)2014 Quercus Editions Ltd
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  • Book 1

    • The Zig Zag Girl

    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
    • Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 5
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 5

    Brighton, 1950: When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl. The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar's. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men. Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Not Ruth Galloway

    • By EmmaZ on 01-05-15

    Regular price: $20.24

    • The Zig Zag Girl

    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: James Langton
    • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 114
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 103
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 103

    Brighton, 1950. The body of a girl is found cut into three pieces. 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, is an old war friend of Edgar's. They served together in a shadowy unit called the Magic Men, a special ops troop that used stage tricks to confound the enemy. Max is on the traveling show circuit, touring seaside towns with ventriloquists, sword-swallowers, and dancing girls.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • Disappointing

    • By Cheryl on 10-22-15

    Regular price: $20.97

  • Book 2

    • Smoke and Mirrors

    • A Stephens and Mephisto Mystery
    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: Daniel Philpott
    • Length: 8 hrs and 12 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      3.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      3.5 out of 5 stars 2

    Brighton, 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing on the snowy pier, with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin. But Max's headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ­­of two local children. With fairy tales in the air, it's not long before the press have found a nickname for the case: 'Hansel and Gretel'. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The missing girl, Annie, used to write plays and perform them with her friends.

    Regular price: $21.31

    • Smoke and Mirrors

    • The Stephens and Mephisto, Book 2
    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: James Langton
    • Length: 7 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 30
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 26
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 26

    It's Christmastime in Brighton, and the city is abuzz about a local production of Aladdin, starring the marvelous Max Mephisto. But the holiday cheer is lost on DI Edgar Stephens. He's investigating the murder of two children, Annie and Mark, who were strangled to death in the woods, abandoned alongside a trail of candy - a horrifying scene eerily reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel.

    Regular price: $24.47

  • Book 3

    • The Blood Card

    • Stephens and Mephisto Mystery, Book 3
    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: Luke Thompson
    • Length: 8 hrs and 26 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 2
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 2
    • Story
      3 out of 5 stars 2

    Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are enough for him to put Stephens and Mephisto on the case.

    Regular price: $21.31

    • The Blood Card

    • The Magic Men Mysteries, Book 3
    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: James Langton
    • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 19
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 17
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 17

    Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but DI Edgar Stephens is busy investigating the death of a local fortune-teller. Meanwhile, his old pal, the magician Max Mephisto, is rehearsing for his television debut, a Coronation Day variety show. But upon hearing that their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, has been found dead in his flat, the two men join forces to find out what happened. While Max is stuck in rehearsals, Edgar finds himself heading to New York, hot on the trail of a mesmerist he's sure has valuable information for them.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Elly Griffiths does it again.

    • By Cathy Ewing on 01-03-18

    Regular price: $24.47

  • Book 4

    • The Vanishing Box

    • Stephens and Mephisto Mystery 4
    • By: Elly Griffiths
    • Narrated by: Luke Thompson
    • Length: 8 hrs and 11 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Performance
      0 out of 5 stars 0
    • Story
      0 out of 5 stars 0

    Christmas 1953. Max Mephisto and his daughter, Ruby, are headlining Brighton Hippodrome, an achievement only slightly marred by the less-than-savoury support act: a tableau show of naked 'living statues'. This might appear to have nothing in common with DI Edgar Stephens' investigation into the death of a quiet flower seller, but if there's one thing the old comrades have learned it's that in Brighton, the line between art and life - and death - is all too easily blurred....

    Regular price: $20.65