This book was provided to me by Henery Press via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The Bullet Catch by John Gaspard
Newly-single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush’s husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim’s business associates.
At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting The Bullet Catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations — while saving his own neck — may be the greatest trick he’s ever performed. (via Goodreads)
I read the first Eli Marks mystery, The Ambitious Card, last August and enjoyed it immensely. I was impressed by John Gaspard’s use of magic and a magician character in a mystery. Eli is a working magician. He has gigs and he practices his craft, but he’s not Houdini or the Great Merlini. When any part of his sleuthing is reliant on some knowledge derived from magic, the reader has already been made familiar with the concept. After reading a few other magician mysteries in the past year, I realize how difficult gracefully imparting expertise can be.
I’m not generally a follower of series, but I was excited about The Bullet Catch and also, of course, a little apprehensive. Would it be as good? I’ve suffered a couple let downs this year due to overly high expectations. Would this be another? Considering how much I enjoyed the Minneapolis-St. Paul setting of The Ambitious Card, would the movie sub-plot be taking me to Hollywood?
A couple of tricks into The Bullet Catch, I knew all would be well. There is, it seemed to me, more magic in The Bullet Catch thanks to movie subplot. Eli’s classmate Jake has been cast as the once famous magician, Terry Alexander, who meets a tragic end while performing the one trick in magic that may honestly be death-defying. Eli is hired as an unofficial magic consultant by the actor to make sure all goes smoothly on a movie set that is everything but smooth. Gaspard has directed and written about low-budget movies and brings that expertise into this novel as well. Happily, the shooting (of the movie variety) remains in Minnesota.
In general, the mystery in The Bullet Catch is a little more down to earth than the plot of The Ambitious Card. It is maybe even a tiny bit more mundane, but I think that works well. Gaspard also introduces the intriguing Mr. Lime, whom I hope we see again.
Publisher: Henery Press
Publication date: November 4, 2014
Why did I choose to read this book? Second in a series, a series I enjoy!