Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review of The Last Illusion by Rhys Bowen

From Hollywood Today --

Books: The Last Illusion --

By Gabrielle Pantera --
March 27th, 2010 --

In this Molly Murphy Mystery, a female sleuth is hired to protect the life of master illusionist and man of danger Harry Houdini **** 4 Stars

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Today) 3/27/2010 – “Harry Houdini was in a league of his own,” says The Last Illusion author Rhys Bowen. “He inflicted terrible bodily harm on himself while performing his escapes. Many of Houdini’s illusions have never been improved upon in the past hundred years.”

The Last Illusion, a Molly Murphy Mystery, features New York private investigator and Irish immigrant Molly Murphy on her way to see a trio of illusionists headlined by Harry Houdini. Houdini has just returned from Europe, and Murphy looks forward to the show and a pleasant evening with her fiancĂ©, police captain Daniel Sullivan. Unfortunately, Houdini won’t perform that night. Signor Scarpelli’s saw-a-lady-in-half trick goes horribly wrong. His assistant dies. Is it an accident or murder?

When the body of Scarpelli’s assistant disappears, there are more questions then answers. Houdini’s wife Bess asks Molly to keep Houdini safe. She thinks someone is actually after Houdini. But, how can Molly keep the master illusionist safe when he puts his life in danger every night?

“I’d long wanted Molly to meet Houdini because he was such an iconic figure of his time,’ says Bowen. “I read every biography, talked to members of the Magic Circle, and watched him perform in some very old movies,”

“It was such a pivotal decade, starting with the death of Queen Victoria and everything her age stood for…decorum, meek little women, security, the family and ending with the Titanic, invention of radio and first rumblings of WW1,” says Bowen. “The mass migrations to the U.S. meant that America would be changed forever. Setting my book in New York City gives me a chance to show the melting pot in action.”

There are currently no plans to adapt the The Last Illusion for the screen. However, Bowen’s bookConstable Evans series has been optioned for TV and Her Royal Spyness has been optioned for a film. Her Royal Spyness is a Bowen mystery series that features Lady Georgiana as the sleuth.

“I am almost finished with the next Molly Murphy book, called tentatively Bless the Bride,” says Bowen. “It takes place in New York’s Chinatown. The history of the Chinese in America makes for fascinating reading.”

“For those who have read my other Molly Murphy books, this one reads more like a thriller,” says Bowen. “It’s definitely a nail-biting page-turner as Molly enters the world of illusionists and international espionage.”

This is Rhys Bowen’s ninth Molly Murphy mystery. Her characters are charming and witty. The level of historical detail is perfectly in balance with the story. Bowen brings the time and her characters to life. Another Mystery by Bowen not to be missed by mystery lovers.

Rhys Bowen was born in the city of Bath, England. She currently lives in Marin County, California. She’s written 22 mysteries. Bowen has won both the Agatha and Anthony Awards for mystery writing.

No comments:

Post a Comment