|Illusions of Magic|
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.
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