Magic for Liars

Tor. Jun. 2019. 336p. ISBN 9781250174611. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250174604. FANTASY
OrangeReviewStarDEBUT Oakland-based PI Ivy Gamble chases adulterous partners and money-hungry families, until a new client asks her to investigate the death of a health teacher at the Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, where Ivy's estranged twin sister, Tabitha, works. Tabitha possesses magic in spades, but Ivy does not. The headmaster at the school insists that the teacher's death is not accidental, and if that's true, someone on the grounds is a killer. Ivy grudgingly takes the investigation, uncovering both typical and unusual scenes at a boarding school for magical elites: secret relationships and mean girls, not to mention the prophecy of the Chosen One. As Ivy hunts for answers to Sylvia Capley's gruesome death, details about her childhood and bias against magic emerge, and she finds out just how much the past can affect the present.
VERDICT Gailey's debut is an energetic modern fantasy that plays rough with relationships and personal beliefs, from youth to adulthood. Ivy's emotional investigation will strike a chord in anyone who has ever felt like they don't belong. Highly recommended for all collections.

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