Saturday, January 14, 2017

Book Review: Illusions of Magic

Illusions of Magic
It doesn't take long to realize that author J. B. Rivard has a talent for writing fiction. In Illusions of Magic, his first fiction work of intrigue, page one draws you into the characters. Most especially the main character, Nick Zetner. From then on, you race through a world of excitement, humor and love. The subtitle is Love and Intrigue in 1933 Chicago. True to it's name.

Illusion of Magic: The Plot, The History


The setting is Chicago in the era of the depression, gangsters and political turmoil. It's also an era that is ushering out live stage presentations in favor of the new world of Hollywood movies. Our hero Nick Zetner, known as the Amazing Mr. Z, is losing out. His magic show bookings have dwindled to nothing. The man is in need of some money.

In steps a dubious banker in need of a man who can quietly find and return some stolen photos. And pay well for success. Nick's mysterious adventure is off and running.

The setting of political turmoil in 1933 Chicago is a fascinating feature of the plot. Franklin D. Roosevelt is about to be inaugurated as president. When giving a speech in Miami, an assassination attempt is made on his life. Roosevelt is uninjured, but the beloved mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, is mortally wounded instead.

Little known bit of history here. At the time, Chicago had no procedure for replacing it's mayor! Ergo, tremendous political turmoil in the city. For 19 days after the shooting, Mayor Cermak lived. And this is where Nick finds himself as he searches for the stolen photos.

Author Rivard's Writing

Illusions of Magic

So lots of people write mysteries and stories of intrigue. It's Illusions of Magic author Rivard who writes fast paced. The man has a talent for not wasting words. It comes from a 25-year career as a technical writer, but he has translated it well. Rivard pulls you in to the story quickly, then never lets up as the plot takes twists and turns I never expected.

As the owner of the site Mystery Book World Live, I've read thousands of mysteries. Very few have the style of writing as Illusions of Magic. Minus a wealth of flowery adjectives and adverbs, Rivard sets a pace from the beginning that continues to the end. Few first time authors can achieve that.

Illusions of Magic Review


Yes, I am a fan of mysteries of all varieties and I have some history myself of living in Chicago, so this story was a match from the beginning. But, it certainly exceeded my expectations. I was impressed from the start with the writing style and impressed further with the plot development.

An added feature is the author's illustrations. This is something we rarely see in fiction these days, other than children's books. Many of the characters Nick meets on his quest are illustrated for us to enjoy.

Author Rivard draws on his own artistic talent as well as his ability in sleight-of-hand to offer up an intriguing story. I found it to be a fast-paced novel worthy of my time to read it.

See more book reviews, including more mysteries, at ReviewThis! Book Reviews.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

9 comments:

  1. Aha, fellow mystery fan. You have intrigued me with this book review of "Illusions of Magic". Thanks for introducing me to a new author and an interesting plot.

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  2. Sounds like an interesting read. I too love mysteries and historical fiction so this sounds like a good fit for me. Thanks for the review.

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  3. Sounds like a mystery that's a bit off the beaten path. I love books that draw me in. This one sounds like a winner.

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  4. I would definitely like the writing style! I want a book to be somewhat fast-paced and it would be fun to see illustrations throughout a book again. Sounds like an absolute must-read to me

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  5. Oh this review of Illusions of Magic has me quite intrigued! I'm putting it on my list of books to read.

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  6. I love a good mystery and anything to do with history even in a fiction. This sure sounds like a must read for me. Thanks for a great review.

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  7. I would love to read a story set in Chicago. And I need fast-paced stories or I drift off after just a few pages.

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  8. This book would be right up my moms alley. I'll have to get her a copy

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  9. I read ILLUSIONS OF MAGIC and absolutely loved it! I would highly recommend it to anyone searching for their next great read!

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