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The Last Illusion (Molly Murphy Mysteries Book 9) by [Bowen, Rhys]
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The Last Illusion (Molly Murphy Mysteries Book 9) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews
Book 9 of 16 in Molly Murphy Mysteries (16 Book Series)
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in New York City in 1903, Bowen's winning ninth Molly Murphy mystery (after 2009's In a Gilded Cage) opens with a magic show at Miner's Theatre on the Bowery, attended by Molly and her fiancé, police captain Daniel Sullivan, who wants her to give up her unconventional profession of private investigator. When the sawing-a-lady-in-half trick goes fatally wrong, this horrible accident brings the evening's entertainment to an early end, preventing Molly and Daniel from seeing the show's main attraction, Harry Houdini. After both Signor Scarpelli, the magician whose stage equipment was apparently sabotaged, and his female assistant's corpse disappear, Houdini's wife, Bess, who worries an enemy of her husband is out to get him, asks Molly for help. Later, an act the handcuff king attempts almost ends in another death, confirming Bess's fears. The gutsy Molly, who's no prim Edwardian miss, will appeal to fans of contemporary female detectives. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Molly Murphy witnesses a terrible accident at a magical-illusion show and soon finds herself pulled into the dangerous and mysterious world of illusionists in early-twentieth-century New York City. Hired by Bess Houdini, Molly is tasked with preventing Houdini from being killed on stage, something that Bess desperately fears after a string of accidents at the theater. But the illusionists are a tight-lipped group who refuse to share their secrets. Fortunately, Molly has some inside help in the form of her fiancé, Daniel, a police captain. His help comes with strings, however, as Daniel disapproves of Molly working such a dangerous case, especially as he really wishes she was planning their wedding. Despite sparring with Daniel, Molly perseveres with the case. With plot elements including a counterfeiting scheme and German spies (in addition to Houdini), this historical mystery delivers a top-notch, detail-rich story full of intriguing characters. Fans of the 1920s private detective Maisie Dobbs should give this series a try. --Jessica Moyer

Product Details

  • File Size: 690 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; Reprint edition (February 27, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 2, 2010
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003A7I2QY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,544 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Molly and Daniel are enjoying a rare evening out viewing some magicians perform. Molly is especially excited because Harry Houdini is supposed to be the headliner that night. But then tragedy strikes and a magician's assistant is sawed in half on stage before Houdini can even go on.

The next morning, Houdini's wife, Bess, appears at Molly's door. Bess is convinced that the "accident" the night before was intended as a warning to Houdini, who seems to be troubled ever since they got back from Europe. Molly agrees to help find out what is really happening and try to protect the famous magician. But then another suspicious accident happens on stage. Can Molly find out the truth in time to protect Houdini?

I've got to admit I was a little shocked with just how quickly this book started. We open at the theater with the first incident about to happen. And the plot never really slows down from there. I pieced together a few things before Molly, but I didn't get the complete picture until the end. The end did seem a bit abrupt, but that's my only real complaint.

The characters were their normal, charming selves. I just can't help but smile at the antics of some of Molly's more outrageous friends. I actually found myself siding with Daniel in some of his squabbles with Molly this time around, too, which means I might finally have forgiven him for some of his past actions.

This was another great entry I couldn't read fast enough. Fans of the series will be thrilled.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the ninth book in the delightful Molly Murphy series of historical mysteries that take place in the turn of the twentieth century New York City. This time our feisty heroine finds herself in heady company indeed. When she and her fiancé, New York City Detective Daniel Sullivan, go to see Harry Houdini, the great illusionist, on the New York stage, Molly is thrilled. Unfortunately, before Houdini takes the stage, another illusionist seemingly makes an unfortunate error when he tries to saw his assistant in half, and the whole show is called off.

In the aftermath of the disastrous opening act, Bess, Houdini's wife, and Molly strike up a conversation. Discovering that Molly is a private detective, Beth hires her to look out for Houdini, as she suspects someone means him harm. So, despite Daniel's admonishments about giving up her chosen career now that they are getting married, Molly goes all out to discover just what exactly is going on.

As always, the author skillfully captures the feel of a bygone era, and the story is rife with period detail and highly atmospheric. This is a well-written book with an intriguing plot and characters that will fully engage the reader. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mystery is intriguing, it is the framework around which the characters evolve. Those who like the historical cozy mystery genre will definitely enjoy this entertaining series.
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By A Customer on March 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In 1903 in New York City Molly Murphy and her fiancé police captain Daniel Sullivan attend a magic show at the Miner's Theatre on the Bowery headlined by the great Harry Houdini. However, their night out on the town turns ugly when the stunt of sawing-a-lady-in-half by magician Signor Scarpelli goes awry even before Houdini was to perform.

Someone obviously tampered with Scarpelli's equipment before the performance. Even further shocking is the corpse of the magician's assistant disappears. Worried that the intended target was her spouse, Houdini's wife Bess hires Molly to investigate while Daniel directs his fiancée to stay out of the way of the official inquiry. When Houdini's act almost also ends fatalyl, Molly agrees with Bess that her husband is the prey for a maniacal predator.

Proving once again she is not a coddled women In a Gilded Cage, Molly investigates while Daniel, who also is on the case, pleading with her to stay out of it as it is dangerous. Their inquiries make for a superb historical whodunit that brings to life Manhattan at the turn of the previous century while also cleverly refreshed by having Houdini appear to be the victim.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always like historical fiction and have read all of the Molly Murphy books. This one was no exception but I thought it took a while to "catch" me. It ended with interest but I really took longer to read this than most books. Usually if I really like a book I will stay up late to read it. I did not do this until the very end. But, that said, I will read the next one.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Best series I've ever read ~ suspense wrapped in a well-researched historical setting! Mysteries and heroine's dilemmas are all solved in different ways, so the endings are not predictable. These novels are real page-turners ~ there is a subsequent novel (14 or 15 to date) to continue the main character's experiences, so you don't feel a letdown as you get to the conclusion of each novel ~ just start reading the next one in the series.
I would recommend reading these novels in order to get a smooth understanding and background of what happened previously to the main character.
"Murphy's Law" is the first novel in this suspenseful series! ENJOY!
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