RogerBW's Blog

Smoke and Mirrors, Elly Griffiths 16 May 2024

2015 mystery, second in its series. DI Edgar Stephens works reluctantly with the magician Max Mephisto, this time on a case of missing children.

There aren't the flashbacks of the first book here, because the point of them was resolved, and I slightly felt their loss; but the feeling of this book is less looking back to the war and more trying to work out how the slightly seedy world of theatrical landladies and proud class distinctions is going to survive in this strange new age of television and other novelties. (Spoiler: it isn't.)

The mystery is important, but it seems that musings on the dark side of fairy stories are more important; the actual solution to the mystery is done almost in passing. That said, the story is swathed in atmosphere as the snow falls over Brighton and pantomime season is in full swing; at times it seems a pity when we have to cut back to ongoing scenes of frustrating attempts at detection.

(Though if you have just worked out something you feel the police should know, do just tell them rather than asking to meet someone specific later.)

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Previous in series: The Zig Zag Girl | Series: The Brighton Mysteries

  1. Posted by J Michael Cule at 12:27pm on 16 May 2024

    The seedy theatrical landladies lasted until at least the 1970s. Trust me on this.

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