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Brighton, 1951. Pantomime season is in full swing with Max Mephisto starring in Aladdin. But Max's headlines have been stolen by the disappearance of two children. With fairy tales in the air, it's not long before the press have a nickname: 'Hansel and Gretel'. DI Edgar Stephens has plenty of leads to investigate. Does the clue lie in the missing girl's unfinished and disturbing last script? Or with the eccentric theatricals who have assembled for the pantomime?
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In the sequel to the “captivating”* Zig Zag Girl, DI Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto hunt for a killer after two children are murdered in a tragic tableau of a very grim fairy tale.
It’s Christmastime in Brighton, and the city is abuzz about a local production of Aladdin, starring the marvelous Max Mephisto. But the holiday cheer is lost on DI Edgar Stephens. He’s investigating the murder of two children, Annie and Mark, strangled to death in the woods, abandoned alongside a trail of candy — a horrifying scene eerily reminiscent of “Hansel and Gretel.”
Edgar has plenty of leads to investigate. Annie, a surprisingly dark child, used to write gruesome plays based on the Grimms’ fairy tales. Does the key to the case lie in her unfinished final script? Or does the macabre staging of Annie’s and Mark’s deaths point to the theater and the capricious cast of characters performing in Aladdin? Once again Edgar enlists Max’s help in penetrating the shadowy world of the theater. But is this all just classic misdirection?
* Wall Street Journal
Praise for the Magic Men Mysteries
“Absorbing .º.º. Another great series.” — San Jose Mercury News
“Thoroughly enjoyable.” — Guardian
“Clever, immensely likeable.” — Wall Street Journal
“Enormously engaging.” — Daily Mail
“Original, lively, and gripping.” — Independent
“A wild ride full of mayhem, magic and murder.” — Absolute
“Excellent .º.º. Evoking both the St. Mary Mead of Agatha Christie and the theater world of Ngaio Marsh.” — Booklist
“Suspenseful.” — Publishers Weekly
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