Smoke and Mirrors (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery #2)

Chilling murder in the world of 1950s theatre – another case for DI Stephens and Max Mephisto.

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…

My review:
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

The Author:

Elly Griffiths



Elly Griffiths

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Elly Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly’s husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece’s head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.

 

 

 

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