Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mini Review: The Last Illusion

I love history, so at times I wonder why I don't seek out more historical mysteries. But one series I do love is Rhys Bowen's Molly Murphy mysteries. Set in the early 1900's in New York City, Molly is an Irish immigrant making a living as a PI. The Last Illusion is the latest in the series and takes place in the world of illusionists.

Molly and her fiancee Daniel, a police detective, are attending a performance of illusionists on a rare night off. The headliner is supposed to be Houdini, but he never gets to go on since one of the warm up acts accidentally saws his assistant in half.

The next morning, Houdini's wife comes to Molly's house and begs Molly to protect Houdini and find out what secret he is hiding. As a result, Molly is at the theater when two more "accidents" take place. Can she figure it all out?

This is definitely one of the stronger books in the series. When it is in top form, the mystery and historical detail combine for a rich tapistry. And that's the case here. The plot starts quickly and never slows down, yet the period feel is there on every page. And the inside look at how some of those tricks are done is enjoyable as well.

Plus I love these characters, especially Molly and some of her more flamboyant friends. I think I've even grown to like Daniel since I didn't think he was completely in the wrong in some of his arguements with Molly this time around.

All told, this is a very well done and highly entertaining book. Don't miss it.

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