Author: Laura Resnick
ISBN: 0-373-80259-5 (Luna)
Finished 31 May 2007
From the back: Esther Diamond is just an ordinary working actress in New York City. She hopes that “Sorcerer!”, the play she is currently performing in as a chorus nymph, will be her big break: she is the understudy to the leading lady, Golly Gee — a B-list rock star. When Golly disappears, Esther thinks her time has come. Until she receives a warning that her life may be in danger if she performs the disappearing act. It seems Golly Gee isn’t the only person to disappear (and fail to reappear) during a magic act. Before she knows it, Esther is consorting with true mages fighting Evil.
Comments: I enjoyed this book very much. It had humor and mystery. It did not have much in the way of a romance. In fact, what little was there could have been cut from the novel and it would not have had that much of an impact. Esther is attracted to the cop assigned to the case, Connor Lopez . Because of the circumstances, Esther is considered a prime suspect in Golly’s disappearance: she had most to gain by becoming the lead in the play. Esther’s strange behavior and the her association with some odd and not so innocent characters doesn’t help. Esther is afraid Connor will hinder the investigation and have them all committed. How can she explain to him that there are real magicians practicing real magic, and now some rogue mage has started to make people disappear? Connor, for his part, finds that he likes Esther a lot. He wouldn’t mind dating her, if it weren’t for the fact that he might have to arrest her.
Most of the book deals with Esther’s little team of intrepid researchers searching for the “who” and “how” behind the disappearances before another magician’s assistant disappears. Since the magicians and assistants have very little in common, Esther and the others are at a loss on how to connect them. After a false start or two, Ester finally stumbles across what connects them and who has been making them disappear.
The cast is quirky: a wealthy broker who’d rather be performing magic tricks; a troupe of drag queens; a Texas billionaire and his daughter; Max and Lysander, the mages; and Esther. Esther isn’t afraid to take the lead and do what needs to be done, whether it’s a little breaking-and-entering or holding off the demon until the cavalry arrives.
I found a note on Laura Resnick’s website that the next book in the series will be released in 2008.
“He’s. . .smuggling magic acts into the country?”
“Persecuted magic acts.”
—- Esther, Max
“What’s kept you up so late?
Breaking and entering, followed by the discovery of illegal aliens whose presence here I have conspired to keep secret, followed by a long postmortem with two wizards, a cowboy, and some drag queens.
—- Detective Lopez, Esther (her thoughts)