The Magician’s Lie by Greer MacAllister

The Magician's LieThe Magician’s Lie. Finished 3-25-15, rating 3.25/5, fiction, 320 pages, pub. 2o15

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.

from Goodreads

I received this from the publisher courtesy of She Reads.

Ada Bates, grew up in a rural midwestern town on the generosity of family.  Her mother chose a man for love and because of this Ada grew up intimated by boy and out of touch with any other family.  When given a way out, through newly built Biltmore Manor, tragedy strikes. How does Ada go from here to Amazing Arden success?  Virgil must wait an entire talk-filled night to find out.

I loved the time in Biltmore Mansion, and the appearance of man of manor, George Vanderbilt.  I loved Ada’s struggle. She discovered New York City at the turn of the century which is very cool.  She earned her fame by embracing her femininity and beating the crap out of a disgruntled man, also very cool.  There is a lot to like.

My husband loves magic.  He loves watching and reading about magicians and behind the scenes scoop.  I don’t share this interest and so, for me, this book didn’t hold my interest as much as I think it might his.  The detailed description of the acts will probably interest a lot of people, my husband included, but for me it felt like I skimmed most of that.  Even aside from the magic, Ada/Arden, while having a great story to tell, didn’t really have me rooting too much for her.  The story she weaved was good, but in her interaction with Virgil she was calculating and remote.  I wanted to know how her story ended, but I guess I just didn’t care if it was true or not.

A solid read sure to entice magic lovers.