Smoke and Mirrors (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery #2)
Brighton, winter 1951.
Pantomime season is in full swing on the pier with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin, but Max’s headlines have been stolen by the disappearance ’of two local children. When they are found dead in the snow, surrounded by sweets, it’s not long before the press nickname them ‘Hansel and Gretel’.
DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. The girl, Annie, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the clue lie in Annie’s unfinished – and rather disturbing – last script? Or might it lie with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?
For Stan (aka the Great Diablo), who’s also appearing in Aladdin, the case raises more personal memories. Back before the Great War, he witnessed the murder of a young girl while he was starring in another show, an event which has eerie parallels to the current case.
Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy theatrical world that seems to hold the key. But with both distracted by their own personal problems, neither can afford to miss a trick. For Annie and her friend, time is running out…
|This was a really good read. The setting, Brighton in the early 1950’s . No mobiles, internet or social media. This is what made it so refreshing. It took you back to a time when life was much simpler and pantomime was such a big thing in people lives during the festive season. Live theatre and the smell of greasepaint,plus the fascination of the audience was conveyed admirably by the superb writing of this author. Of course the investigation of the crimes would be entirely different in the present day, but that was the attraction of this book, you suspended your disbelief, then you were lost in a time and a tale that was really gripping and had you turning pages quickly. Well done Elly and I will read more of your novels