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The Great Deceiver

Author(s): Elly Griffiths

Location(s): Brighton

Genre(s): Cosy Mystery

Era(s): 1960s

Magician Max Mephisto, now divorced and living in London, is on his way to visit daughter Ruby and her new-born baby when he is hailed by a voice from the past, fellow performer Ted English, aka the Great Deceiver. Ted’s assistant, Cherry, has been found dead in her Brighton boarding house and he’s convinced that he’ll be accused of her murder.

Max agrees to talk to his friend, Superintendent Edgar Stephens, who is investigating the case. What Max doesn’t know is that the girl’s family have hired private detective duo Emma Holmes (aka Mrs Stephens) and Sam Collins to do some digging of their own.

The inhabitants of the boarding house, most of whom are performing in an Old Time Music Hall show on Brighton pier, are a motley crew. The house is also connected to a sinister radio personality called Pal. Ruby, along with every woman in showbusiness, has heard some disturbing rumours about Pal.

When a second magician’s assistant is killed, Edgar suspects a serial killer. He has the wild idea of persuading Max to come out of semi-retirement and take part in a summer show. But who can pose as his assistant? Edgar shocks the team by recommending someone close …

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