Search This Blog

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Last Illusion

Bowen, Rhys.  The Last Illusion.

A Molly Murphy mystery (a new author and series for me) about an Irish immigrant who becomes a private investigator.  Set in 1903 in New York, Molly and her fiance, police captain Daniel Sullivan, attend a magic show in which one of the illusions goes terribly wrong. 

Daniel rushes to the stage, followed by Molly, and begins an investigation to determine whether the gruesome scene is accident or murder.

The celebrity in the novel and in the magic show is Harry Houdini.  As a result of the incident, which Daniel suspects may not be an accident, Houdini's performance is canceled.  His wife, Bess, is escorted back stage by Molly.

The next day Bess Houdini shows up at Molly's house and relates her fears for her husband's safety.  Molly decides to take the offered job of protecting Houdini.

A fast and enjoyable read, I will be looking for Bowen's previous novels in the series.  Definitely a cozy mystery and a historical novel with interesting, although fictionalized, revelations about Houdini.
Whew, I've done 4 reviews this morning and have them scheduled over the course of the day.  This will be the last one for today, I think, even though they've all been fairly brief.

Fiction.  Historical Mystery.  2010.  278 pages.


  1. I have a couple of books in this series, but not this one. They sound like just what I'll need when I want a cozy mystery.

  2. I enjoyed it...a very fast, light read.

  3. I am currently reading this book which I read about earlier on your blog. It is such a good summer read. It also reminds me of Ken Follett's series. What about you?

  4. I can see the connection in the sense of espionage which is certainly present in several of Follet's books. Bowen's style is much less involved and much less technical than Follet's, but you've made me want to read Follet again; its been a long time.

    I'd read somewhere that Houdini had ties with the Secret Service and MI5, so it was partly this involvement that interested me in The Illusionists. As a matter of fact, it makes me want to research the connection a little further.