The Magician's Lie

The Magician's Lie

A Novel

Book - 2015
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Water for Elephants meets The Night Circus in The Magician's Lie , a debut novel in which the country's most notorious female illusionist stands accused of her husband's murder - and she has only one night to convince a small-town policeman of her innocence.

The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her notorious trick of sawing a man in half on stage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden's husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear.

But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a very different story to tell. Even handcuffed and alone, Arden is far from powerless - and what she reveals is as unbelievable as it is spellbinding. Over the course of one eerie night, Virgil must decide whether to turn Arden in or set her free... and it will take all he has to see through the smoke and mirrors.

Publisher: Naperville, Ill. : Sourcebooks Landmark, 2015.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9781402298684
Branch Call Number: MAC
Characteristics: 312 p. ; 24 cm.


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ArapahoeKati Jun 28, 2017

This book was one of my favorite reads in 2014. There's a bit of romance, mystery, history and magic, and it swept me away.

This is one of those books that is a nearly perfect combination of lyrical writing, great storytelling, and compelling characters. A consistent tense pace drives the story, with a constant tension and release going on throughout the story.
The author adds real historical details to this story.For example, she adds in a character, Adelaide Herrmann, who really existed. Another detail was including the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago, and having Arden's performance set during the fire.
Good book to pair with The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman, and Rain Village by Carolyn Turgeon.

Sep 16, 2015

While the writer convincingly captures American life in the early 20th century, with several entertaining elements, for me the abusive relationship that is central to the plot hindered any real enjoyment. I also didn't think the duel of wits between the Amazing Arden and her police interrogator was very convincing in the way it played out.

Jul 06, 2015

It's difficult to fit this story into a category--romance, mystery, magical realism, historical fiction. It had me tight in its grip from the first page to the last, and I read it in two gulps separated by a few brief hours of sleep. I loved it!

Mar 15, 2015

Just great well-written entertainment.

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