The Murder Wheel

Mysterious Pr. (Joseph Spector, Bk. 2). Jul. 2023. 288p. ISBN 9781613164099. $26.95. M
Idealistic young lawyer Edmund Ibbs is stuck with an impossible, infamous case in 1938 London. Carla Dean and her husband, Dominic, were atop the Ferris wheel at a fair when Dominic was shot in the stomach and died. Carla insists she didn’t shoot him, and he didn’t have a gun on him. Several witnesses claim to have seen a limping man leave the scene. Ibbs is an enthusiastic amateur magician, fascinated by what he cannot see. The same night he starts his investigation, he goes to the theater to see a master illusionist, Professor Paolini. When a dead man falls out of Paolini’s crate, Ibbs insists they call the police. Paolini is later found shot in a locked room, and Ibbs is arrested. Ibbs may protest his innocence, but his insatiable curiosity puts him in all the wrong places. Former stage magician Joseph Spector, now a detective, is the only one who can see the impossible solutions to all the murders.
VERDICT Fans of Golden Age locked-room mysteries will appreciate the homage in Mead’s sequel to Death and the Conjuror.
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