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The Durham Deception (Cathedral Mysteries) Hardcover – May 1, 2011


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Tom and Helen Ansell, introduced (but not yet married) in 2008's The Salisbury Manuscript, return for a second round of Victorian mystery-solving. Tom, a lawyer, is assigned the job of obtaining an affidavit from Major Marmont, a stage magician, concerning the provenance of a valuable dagger; at the same time, Helen's mother asks Helen to find out whether Eustace Flask, a so-called psychic, is the real deal or a charlatan. Soon Tom and Helen are investigating the death of another psychic, who died under suspicious circumstances, and Helen finds that she has become a murder suspect. Rich in character and period detail (but without being too pushy about it), the novel, like its predecessor, offers a definite change of pace from the author's Elizabethan-era Nick Revill mysteries, but readers of that series will note the same frisky spirit and playful writing style here. Further stories featuring the Ansells would be most welcome... --Booklist, May 1, 2011

The fascination with magicians, conjurers, and mediums in Victorian England brings newlyweds Tom and Helen Ansell to their second case (after The Salisbury Manuscripts). Helen's spinster aunt is about to fall victim to a medium's scam, and Helen's mother asks Helen to go check on the situation in Durham. Concurrently, Tom's law firm wants him to take a disposition from a client, a magician in possession of an exotic item from India; the magician just happens to be in Durham as well. The couple find plenty of intrigue and a bit of danger in this puzzler that shows us how the magic's done but demonstrates that solving a murder goes beyond hidden doors and sleight of hand. VERDICT This second entry in Gooden's historical series is cleverly plotted and nicely structured in five acts. The cathedral plays a minor role, but this reviewer looks forward to seeing where the couple is headed next. -- Library Journal, May 1, 2011
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Product Details

  • Series: Cathedral Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727869957
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727869951
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,293,182 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Infomapper on May 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a witty, intelligent and well-written page turner. I couldn't put this book down and finished it in one day.
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By SDW on January 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I liked the feel of an old-fashioned whodunit, and I did miss a couple of clues so that there was a bit of a surprise ending.
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The Durham Deception (Cathedral Mysteries)
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