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Murder at Midnight

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by LadyJay for TeensReadToo.com

Mangus the Magician is in serious trouble. A plot to overthrow the king has surfaced, and Mangus is the perfect scapegoat for a traitor lurking inside the castle walls.

The whole city of Pergamontio is on edge, including poor Fabrizio, loyal servant to Mangus and his...
Mangus the Magician is in serious trouble. A plot to overthrow the king has surfaced, and Mangus is the perfect scapegoat for a traitor lurking inside the castle walls.

The whole city of Pergamontio is on edge, including poor Fabrizio, loyal servant to Mangus and his wife. Fabrizio foolishly believes that the magic Mangus creates is "real," but does not believe that his Master would try and kill the king.

Mangus' real passion is philosophy and the betterment of the mind. These concepts escape Fabrizio, a simple street boy, who uses his wits to keep himself safe. Fabrizio, with the help of a fellow misfit, must bring the true conspirator to light and save Mangus from certain death.

Readers are once again thrown into a story set within the confines of Renaissance Italy in MURDER AT MIDNIGHT. The story precedes the events that occur in Avi's novel MIDNIGHT MAGIC, which also features the young Fabrizio.

While the story remains a mystery at heart, one cannot help but chuckle at some of the dialogue that takes place between Fabrizio and his Master. It is a fun story that moves quickly and is easy to read. Lovers of all things Avi will enjoy this light-hearted mystery.

posted by TeensReadToo on October 21, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

from missprint DOT wordpress DOT com

Trouble is brewing in Pergamontio, Italy. The year is 1490 and a deadly plot to overthrow the king is unfolding. Papers demanding change have appeared all over the kingdom all magically the same. Magic is outlawed in Pergamontio, so surely Mangus the Magician must have ...
Trouble is brewing in Pergamontio, Italy. The year is 1490 and a deadly plot to overthrow the king is unfolding. Papers demanding change have appeared all over the kingdom all magically the same. Magic is outlawed in Pergamontio, so surely Mangus the Magician must have something to do with this dangerous plot.

Except Mangus isn't that kind of magician, at least he says so. Mangus' new servant boy, Fabrizio, is certain his master really can do magic. But he's also certain Mangus would never commit treason.

If Fabrizio can unravel the mystery and reveal the true traitor he might be able to clear his master's name. And if Fabrizio can do that, maybe he can finally prove his worth to Mangus and earn the right to remain a part of the Magician's household in Murder at Midnight (2009) by Avi.

Murder at Midnight is the prequel to Avi's earlier novel Midnight Magic.

Avi is a widely known and beloved writer. He writes in just about every genre and, throughout his career, has earned a kind of legendary status as an author. He doesn't disappoint in this book that blends a clever mystery with humor and witty language.

This book is filled with amusing characters and clever language that is straightforward yet subtle enough to appeal to reluctant and avid readers alike. That said, the dynamic of Fabrizio as a servant--often genuflecting and apologizing to his betters--felt a little over the top, not in a bad way but just in an odd way.

Fabrizio might not be the quickest hero at the beginning of the story, but what he lacks in reasoning he more than makes up for in loyalty and ingenuity. Murder at Midnight is a quick, fun read. The period and setting are a good backdrop to the story but won't distract any readers put off by historical settings. At the same time, without getting into specifics, the time period also plays a very key role in the story.

Possible Pairings: The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd, Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen, We Are Not Eaten by Yaks by C. Alexander London, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

posted by MissPrint on February 28, 2012

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Yearning to Read Review

    I'm not impressed.
    I'm not even a bit excited about this book. After about 175 pages, I began skimming, hoping it would end well.
    I was quite disappointed.
    Avi has always been a wonderful author. My favorite of his is The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, but he has written others such as Poppy, Ragweed, and The End of the Beginning. However, it was the mastery and cleverness of Midnight Magic that made me want to read this book. Midnight Magic is about Mangus and Fabrizio, but can be read as a prequal, sequal, or stand-alone book next to Muder at Midnight. Midnight Magic was full of complicated mysteries, great twists and believable characters. Murder at Midnight held a mystery that can easily be explained, nothing to look forward to, and flat characters. I was surprised and bummed that it wasn't better, especially after such great experiences with Avi's works of art.
    But don't let this review stop you from reading Avi's other fantastic books. Enjoy them, relish them, and let them inspire you. Get caught up in the magic of his stories. I can only hope he hasn't lost his charm for the future...

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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