MYSTERY

Now You See Them

Mariner: Houghton Harcourt. (Magic Men, Bk. 5). Dec. 2019. 368p. ISBN 9781328971593. pap. $15.99. M
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In 1960s Brighton, UK, Beatlemania and miniskirts are in full swing. DS Edgar Stephens and his pal, magician Max Mephisto, have their careers well in hand and Edgar’s wife, the former DS Emma Holmes, is a stay-at-home mom. When a string of young girls goes missing, likely victims of kidnapping, Edgar and his team snap into best detecting mode, and Emma sinks into restless frustration, knowing she’s the best detective for the job but unable to convince her husband to let her return to work—this is the 1960s, after all. But when Max’s daughter Ruby and then Edgar’s daughter Marianne become victims as well, Emma goes rogue to solve the case and find the girls.
VERDICT The fifth in Griffiths’s “Magic Men” series (The Vanishing Box) is written with a lighter touch and quirkier characters than her “Ruth Galloway” archaeological mysteries. Nevertheless, it’s a highly entertaining read with a spot-on portrayal of the manners and mores of the 1960s. [See Prepub Alert, 3/25/19.]

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