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Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural Paperback – October 1, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Although authors such as Randall Garrett in his acclaimed Lord Darcy series successfully melded whodunit plots with alternate universes where magic is real, few of the 20 supernatural mystery short stories in Edghill's all-original anthology rise above the mundane. Inspired contributions include Teresa Edgerton's "Captured in Silver," a nice ghostly locked-room murder tale, and Lillian Stewart Carl's "The Necromancer's Apprentice," which presents an interesting solution to the actual mystery surrounding the death of Amy Robsart, wife of Elizabeth I's favorite lord, balancing wizardry with astute deductions about the political motives of those who stood to benefit. The standout, James D. Macdonald's "A Tremble in the Air," introduces a psychic detective, Orville Nesbit, who's clearly heir to the tradition of such sleuths as Algernon Blackwood's John Silence and who deserves to live on in further tales. Unfortunately, most of the other stories rely on catchy gimmicks (e.g., a husband-and-wife sorcerer team based on Nick and Nora Charles in Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's "A Night at the Opera") rather than well-crafted puzzles. The jacket art—showing a white-bearded wizard gazing at a body outline on the flagstones of a foggy, gas-lit street—amusingly evokes the fantasy-crime blend.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Here's an interesting collection. These 20 stories, by names both big and small, feature otherwordly crimes and supernatural solutions. Carole Nelson Douglas writes about a stage magician who meets a real magician; Diane Duane introduces us to a detective who solve crimes with the help of the dead; Laura Resnick (in the delightfully titled "Dopplegangster") writes about mobsters who are dying after seeing someone who looks just like them. The stories plunge us deep into history and fling us far into the future. The fantasy elements may put off mystery fans of the never-mix, never-worry variety, but readers who don't mind mixing things up a little, crossing over genres and back again, should have a very good time indeed. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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There is a great diversity in the types of stories. The characterizations and story-telling are uniformly good to outstanding. The works tend to be set in somewhat feudal cultures, as fantasy usually is, but others are quite modern or otherwise set in familiar times and places (if you credit the existence of magic.)
Worth reading both for fantasy aficionados and mystery fans.