blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Death and the Conjuror – Tom Mead

In 1930s London, celebrity psychiatrist Anselm Rees is discovered dead in his locked study, and there seems to be no way that a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, the Scotland Yard detective on the case calls on retired stage magician-turned-part-time sleuth Joseph Spector. For who better to make sense of the impossible than one who traffics in illusions?

Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colorful cast of suspects among the psychiatrist’s patients and household, they uncover no shortage of dark secrets—or motives for murder. When the investigation dovetails into that of an apparently-impossible theft, the detectives consider the possibility that the two transgressions are related. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realize that the crime wave will become even more deadly unless they can catch the culprit soon. 

A tribute to the classic golden-age whodunnit, when crime fiction was a battle of wits between writer and reader, Death and the Conjuror joins its macabre atmosphere, period detail, and vividly-drawn characters with a meticulously-constructed fair play puzzle. Its baffling plot will enthrall readers of mystery icons such as Agatha Christie and John Dickson Carr, modern masters like Anthony Horowitz and Elly Griffiths, or anyone who appreciates a good mystery.

Tom Mead is a UK crime fiction author specialising in locked-room mysteries. 

He is a member of the Crime Writers’ Association and the International Thriller Writers’ Organization. 

His debut novel is DEATH AND THE CONJUROR, featuring magician-detective Joseph Spector.

My thoughts: this was a lot of fun, harking back to my beloved Golden Age detective stories (honestly still some of the best crime fiction) with a magician turned “consulting detective” called Spector (excellent name) assisting the police investigation into the locked room mystery death of the psychiatrist Dr Rees (think Freud, complete with the large house in North London and dysfunctional family). The suspects are his three patients, his daughter and her fiancee.

As the pair delve into the lives of the Doctor and his patients, more mysteries appear, who was the man in the alley, what happened to the lift operator and who was the mysterious visitor the housekeeper couldn’t identify? No spoilers here, so grab a copy and follow the sleights of hand, the misdirection and try to guess where the case will go next!

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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