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Too Many Magicians (Lord Darcy Book 2) Kindle Edition

15 customer reviews

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Length: 260 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 2157 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Jabberwocky Literary Agency, Inc. (November 23, 2013)
  • Publication Date: November 23, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GWUNJL4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #511,913 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 27, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This magical mystery novel is about Randall Garrett's stock characters, Lord Darcy, Chief Investigator for His Royal Highness Prince Richard of Normandy, and his sidekick Master Forensic Sorcerer Sean O Lochlainn. If you think you'd enjoy an 'alternate history' background where the Anglo-French Empire is ruled by descendants of King Richard the Lion-Hearted--who didn't die of an arrow wound in 1199--and where magic is commonplace, along with gas lights and steam engines, then you should enjoy this adventure in detection and magic. The atmosphere is very royalist--in a pinch, "the Royal Blood of England always came through"--and very Catholic. Evidently Martin Luther didn't nail his ninety-five theses to the door of the Wittenberg Church in this alternate reality. Lord Darcy himself is a bit of a stuffed shirt, and the author is always bringing in other characters to extol his 'deductive genius' (note to author: show us, don't tell us). However, the Sorcerer Sean is a very ingratiating Irishman who serves to balance Lord Darcy's stuffiness. The mystery is hard to solve unless you're a magician, but I enjoyed it anyway.

"Too Many Magicians" takes place in London during the Triennial Convention of Healers and Sorcerers. A powerful sorcerer is murdered behind the locked door of his hotel room at the convention, and Master Sean is thrown into the Tower of London as the chief suspect. Lord Darcy manages to get his Chief Sorcerer out of prison, and the body count keeps piling up as they search for the man who is selling Royal Naval secrets to agents of the wicked Polish Empire.

NOTE: you might be better off purchasing "Lord Darcy" instead of "Too Many Magicians" because the former volume contains eight short stories plus this full-length novel.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Set in an alternate world where science is just a dream and the laws of magic are real, Lord Darcy, chief Investiagtor for the Duke of Normandy, and his chief forensic magician, Master Sean, are in action again. They become involved in a case concerning National Security, black magic, adventure, international intrigue and, of course, murder.
Who murdered one of the preminent magicians of the realm at the annual Magicians Convention? To find out, you'll have to read it and it's a page turner all the way. So settle back for a fast, twisted, tangled mystery that will leave you guessing until the last.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Kennedy on March 18, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is set in Europe (mostly London) in 1966, but a different version of the world, in which magic is real, old-fashioned nobility still exists, and people still ride horses. The best aesthetics of the past have been preserved. Technology is mostly based on magic.

At a magician's convention, a locked-room murder takes place, and Lord Darcy is called upon to investigate. Darcy himself is not a magician, relying instead on his brilliant deductive ability to solve the case (shades of Sherlock Holmes.) His associate, Master Sean O Lochlainn, is a forensic sorceror who uses magic to gather evidence which Darcy needs to solve the case. This novel has all the standard elements of the "gentleman detective" genre: the bafflingly impossible crime, the frightfully clever sleuth, even the stock conclusion in which all the suspects are gathered in one room while the detective talks through the case and explains his deductive process.

This book is filled with fascinatingly original ideas about how magic and society work in this alternative version of our world ... but the writing style is so ineptly naive, the language so stiltedly "precious" and formal, as to dull the brilliance of the author's imagination. Too many of the characters have fancy titles (Lord this, Lady that, Marqius, Duke, Duchess, His Grace) and their dialogue - aside from a few indications of dialect for characters who are Irish or Scottish - all sounds exactly the same. What could have been a great novel amounts to a shallow bit of fluff.

Still, it is pleasurable to read; it's much more cozy and charming than modern "hard-boiled" crime fiction. It just isn't very _satisfying_. My impression after finishing was that this is a book that didn't live up to its potential.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. M. Younger on February 17, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I love Garrett's Lord Darcy books. They combine elements of mystery, fantasy, and alternative history in a very imaginative mixture. I originally read "Too Many Magicians" many years ago. I just reread it, and to my delight spotted the characters of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin(who is named Lord Bontriomphe). I wasn't familar with Rex Stout the first time I read the book and delighted in spotting the items borrowed(lovingly) from Stout - The red leather chair, the large globe, the painting(not a picture) of the waterfall, his obsession with herbs(not orchids.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Randall Garrett loved to make little nods in his Lord Darcy tales to mainstream detectives and secret agents, and I will mention just one example to be found in _Too Many Magicians_ (_Analog_, 1966; 1979). On page 31, we meet the rotund, somewhat lazy My Lord the Marquis of London who raises herbs and who has an able assistant named Lord Bontriomphe. We are instantly reminded of Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. ("Bontriomphe" is a French phonetic spelling of "Goodwin".) Our suspicions are confirmed when we are told that there are paintings and a globe in the office of the Marquis, that he sits in a red Moorish leather chair, and that he talks in language like this:

"None of it is flummery... I admit I do not have the full roster of facts, but I feel I have enough to justify my actions. Would you care to hear Lord Bontriomphe's report?" (33)

When Bontriomphe reports "verbatim," it clinches the comparison. The Marquis has put Master Sean O'Lochlainn in the Tower of London on trumped up charges to get Lord Darcy to follow his agenda. But not for long. Lord Darcy quickly turns the tables, and Master Sean is released. During his stay, he has been practicing his lock picking spells on the Tower door.

These details are great fun, and they enrich the book, but they can sometimes detract from a basic truth indicated in a quote on the cover by Andre Norton: "I cannot count the number of times I have read _Too Many Magicians_-- each time with the same pleasure."

Now, _Too Many Magicians_ is (among other things) a formal, locked-room murder mystery. Yet even knowing the identity of the murderer and the solution to the locked room puzzle, I have (like Norton) repeatedly reread this novel with pleasure. Why? Because it is not _just_ a locked room puzzle.
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