Disappearing Nightly (Esther Diamond Series #1)

( 27 )

Overview

Esther Diamond, a struggling actress in New York, seems destined to attract supernatural mayhem.

When bizarre magical disappearances disrupt shows around the city, Esther receives a mysterious warning not to go on with her off-Broadway show. Desperate to stay on stage rather than resort to waiting tables, Esther turns to her new BFF, Dr. Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old mage whose day job is protecting New York from Evil. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery without ...

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Disappearing Nightly (Esther Diamond Series #1)

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Overview

Esther Diamond, a struggling actress in New York, seems destined to attract supernatural mayhem.

When bizarre magical disappearances disrupt shows around the city, Esther receives a mysterious warning not to go on with her off-Broadway show. Desperate to stay on stage rather than resort to waiting tables, Esther turns to her new BFF, Dr. Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old mage whose day job is protecting New York from Evil. Determined to get to the bottom of this mystery without losing her job, Esther and Max team up with a conjuring cowboy, a banker with stage aspirations, and a flock of fearless drag queens. Also on the case is Detective Connor Lopez, a sexy cop who has a thing for Esther, but who fears that she and Max may be a bigger problem than the vanishing performers.

Since the show must go on—and the astronomical rent must be paid—Esther, Max, and their friends pursue Evil to its lair in their fearless determination to find the missing performers and restore harmony to the city that never sleeps. Disappearing Nightly is the thrilling first novel of the Esther Diamond series.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
When the lead actress in an Off-Broadway musical called Sorcerer! disappears onstage during a magician's botched illusion, the opportunity of a lifetime awaits for her spunky understudy, Esther Diamond. But when Esther receives a cryptic message -- "As you value your life, do not go into the crystal cage. There is Evil among us." -- and then later realizes that numerous magician's assistants are vanishing all over the city during magical performances, she must get to the bottom of the mysterious disappearances before the next show when she'll be obligated to put herself in harm's way.

The message, it turns out, is from Maximillian Zadok, a 350-year-old magic practitioner who is also a member of the Magnum Collegium, a centuries-old group dedicated to fighting Evil. With the help of Max (and a misfit group of drag queens, dancing cowgirls, and pretentious magicians), Esther finds the answer in the unlikeliest of places…

A delightful mélange of amateur sleuth mystery, romance, and urban fantasy, Disappearing Nightly should appeal to fans of Resnick's previous critically acclaimed fantasy works (In Legend Born, The Destroyer Goddess, et al.), as well as followers of her romance novels (Fallen from Grace, Fever Dreams, et al.) written under the pseudonym Laura Leone. Starring in the first installment of a new series called Manhattan Magic, feisty Esther Diamond is a protagonist as quirky as Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse, as deeply intuitive as Sujata Massey's Rei Shimura, and with the sex appeal of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake. Readers will anxiously await her return. Paul Goat Allen
Explorations
A delightful mélange of amateur sleuth mystery, romance and urban fantasy.... Esther Diamond, (is) a protagonist as quirky as Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse…and with the sex appeal of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake.
Mary Jo Putney
Swift, fresh, and inventive, DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY is Laura Resnick at her witty best. Not to be missed!
Jennifer Crusie
A paranormal screwball comedy adventure. Light, happy, fantastically funny!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756407667
  • Publisher: DAW
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Series: Esther Diamond Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 270,981
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Laura Resnick was born in Chicago, and when she was a teenager her family moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up in a family of writers, daughter of SF writer Mike Resnick, she never thought she would end up in a writing career, herself. A cum laude  graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied languages and linguistics. Laura can speak French and Italian. After college, she moved overseas for a few years, where she studed acting at London Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. Laura Resnick can be found at sff.net/people/laresnick/.

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Read an Excerpt

Disappearing Nightly


By Laura Resnick

Luna

Copyright © 2005 Laura Resnick
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373802331

Idespise movies where the heroine is threatened and simply ignores it, acting as if there's nothing to worry about. I mean, if you got a mysterious note telling you not to go into the attic, and you knew that the last person who'd gone into the attic had gotten into a whole lot of trouble — well, would you really just shrug, toss the note aside, and head for the attic without another thought?

If you would, then frankly, you're the kind of person who deserves what's going to happen to you up there.

So naturally, when I received my mysterious threatening note, I gave it my full attention.

It arrived a few days after Golly Gee disappeared.

The night of the performance the stage manager had brought the curtain down in front of a surprised audience, the hapless house manager had announced that there'd been an accident backstage and the show was over, and we had spent the rest of the evening giving our statements to the police — who were less interested in the case than you might suppose.

Golly wasn't all that stable to begin with, and her recent discovery, during hypnotherapy, that she had been Marilyn Monroe in a previous incarnation had resulted in some very strange behavior, including a marked obsession with the Kennedy family.

The police seemed to think Golly had walked out in the middle of the performance and gone off on some bizarre quest. Since there was no sign of violence or foul play, the good-looking detective who interviewed Joe and me evidently didn't plan to do much more than file a missing persons report if Golly didn't reappear (so to speak) in a couple of days.

I didn't necessarily agree with Detective Lopez's view of the matter, but I hardly knew Golly and certainly couldn't claim to miss her. Besides, with the leading lady missing (and in breach of contract), I finally had that big break I'd been fanta-sizing about since the beginning of rehearsals: I'd be playing Virtue from now on. If, that is, we could get Joe back onstage.

The night Golly vanished, Joe had been too hysterical to give a coherent statement to Detective Lopez — who had, in any case, not seemed to expect much coherence from any of the actors. (I sensed that our being painted green and covered in glitter affected the detective's impression of us.) Joe seemed to blame himself for Golly's disappearance, and he refused to do the show again. Consequently, Matilda was forced to cancel our next few performances while she tried to talk some sense into him. We didn't have an understudy for Joe. He was the show.

We couldn't even get him into the theater for the rehearsal I had requested. I didn't want to go on as Virtue without a complete run-through. For one thing, there had been several changes in the show since my last rehearsal in the role. More importantly, I wanted to make sure I could trust Joe to pull himself together before I let him saw me in half, balance my body on the point of a sword or do the flame-throwing routine with me. Things can go terribly wrong onstage when people lose their concentration. Actors have been stabbed to death while playing Richard III. They've been shot to death with mis-loaded prop guns, as well as strangled to death in malfunctioning harnesses. It's a much riskier profession than you might suppose, and I was determined not to be among the ranks of thespians whose reviews read "R.I.P."

It was in this frame of mind that I read the messages handed to me by the assistant stage manager as I arrived at the theater on Tuesday. The first note informed me that Joe would not be at rehearsal today. The second note advised me that there would be an Equity meeting that afternoon to discuss our circumstances; in other words, the actors would all get together to fret about whether we were going to lose our jobs, as well as to make empty threats about what we'd do to management if they folded the show on us just because a pop singer had gone AWOL and a magician was having a nervous breakdown.

The third note was handwritten on expensive monogrammed paper, initials M.Z. It was written with a black fountain pen in elegant, archaic-looking script. It read:

As you value your life, do not go into the crystal cage. There is Evil among us.

"I'm looking for Detective Lopez," I told the uniformed sergeant at the muster desk. The precinct house was chaotic and noisy, just like in the movies. I had practically sprinted here from the theater on Christopher Street. The desk sergeant sent me upstairs to the squad room, a large, cluttered, overcrowded area painted a vile green.

I spotted Lopez right away. He was sitting at his desk, apparently begging a chubby white man with a loud tie not to force a large, overflowing box of file folders on him. The man, whose expression was irritable, dropped the box on Lopez's desk and walked away. Lopez, looking like he wanted to weep, lowered his head and banged it against his desk a few times.

Perhaps I had come at a bad time.

However, the mysterious note was burning a hole in my pocket, and there was no way I was going to turn around and leave without reporting it to the police.

I took a breath and squared my shoulders as Lopez lifted his head and reached for his ringing phone. After a moment, he cradled the phone between his ear and his shoulder and, still talking, started unpacking the overflowing box. It appeared to contain a lifetime supply of old paperwork — dog-eared, a little dusty and flaking. Frowning, Lopez brushed something away from his face and kept unpacking the box while he continued his phone conversation.

I crossed the room, nearly bumping into someone whose hooker costume looked really authentic, right down to the runny mascara and handcuffs. Lopez, whose gaze was fixed on his mountain of paperwork, didn't see me. His jacket was slung over the back of his chair. He wore a holster over his shirt; the gun inside it looked really authentic, too. I stared at it while he kept talking on the phone.

He had the body of an athlete — soccer or tennis, perhaps, a sport that required lithe muscles and physical grace. He was around thirty years old, and he had a dark, strong, slightly exotic face framed by thick, straight, jet-black hair. His eyes were blue, and just as I was wondering where that trait had come from, I read the nameplate on his desk: Detective Connor Lopez.

"Connor?" I said in surprise. He didn't look like a Connor. He glanced up and saw me. There was no look of recognition, but my use of his name must have made him realize I was there to see him. He gestured to a utilitarian chair next to his desk, and I sat down.

"Uh-huh," he said into the phone. "Yes. No. What time?...

Can't you get it to me any sooner? I need it before I can apply for a warrant."

Someone called across the squad room, "Lopez, line four!" He raised a hand in acknowledgment, then closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead as if it ached. Well, he had banged it rather hard against the desk. "One hour," he said firmly. "No, one hour. Please." He grinned after a moment and said, "I almost love you right now." Then he hung up and said to me, "I'm sorry, miss, I'll be with you in a minute." He hit another phone line and said, "Detective Lopez."

It was clear from his expression a moment later that the call was personal. "Hi. Uh-huh... What?" His expression darkened. Turning away from me, he said, "No, I can't."

Though I could tell he didn't remember me, he had certainly made a memorable impression on the cast of Sorcerer! the night he'd questioned us.

"Okay, you're right," Lopez said to his caller, "I don't want to. Now I have to go. I've got —"

He was interrupted by a voice on the other end of the line, loud enough that even I could hear it. The caller sounded like a woman.

Some of the show's nymphs had been openly interested in him, and although his behavior couldn't be called unprofessional, he'd obviously enjoyed their flirting. He'd been caught off guard by the same sort of interest coming from a couple of the satyrs, but he'd nonetheless been courteous about it.

"No. No. No!" Lopez sounded exasperated. "Look, what part of 'no' didn't you —" He sighed and closed his eyes, listening again. After a moment, he said, "Why do you persecute me like this? Why, why?" A pause. "Besides that."

Two cops hauled someone past me who looked like a rapper. A very annoyed rapper.

"Look, this isn't a good time," Lopez said into the phone.

"Can we —" He winced.

Even I winced. His caller's voice was getting shrill.

Lopez took a deep breath and said, in a voice filled with dark despair, "Mom, I can't talk now. Goodbye... Bye." He scowled and said, "I'm hanging up now. Right now."

The voice was still squawking as Lopez gently placed the receiver in its cradle. Looking a little paler than when I'd arrived, he turned to me and said, "Now, what can I do for you, Miss..."

"Diamond. Esther Diamond. You took my statement Saturday night at the New View Venue on Christopher Street."

"Oh, yeah! Miss Diamond." His gaze traveled over me slowly, then he grinned. "You look different without all that green body makeup."

"I'm also wearing a lot more clothes today," I said, noticing where his eyes lingered.

He raised them to my face. "And much less glitter."

"Have you made any progress on the case, Detective?"

"That singer who disappeared — Gosh Darn?"

"Golly Gee."

He smiled at me, and I realized he'd been kidding. "She's still missing," he said. "I know."

"No ransom demands?" he asked. "No."

"Have you heard from her family? I've tried to get a hold of her mother, but —"

"Oh, I doubt that Golly was of woman born," I said.

"Excuse me?"

"Um, her mother's in Europe just now. Golly's manager got a hold of her yesterday. She hasn't heard from her, either." I shrugged. "She's really missing, Detective."

He nodded. "I've filed a missing persons report."

"That's all?"

"It'll be compared to any likely Jane Doe that turns up."

"You mean, like...a body?"

"Yes."

"Oh."

He said, "Her family — or her manager — might consider hiring a private investigator."

"I see."

"Anything else?" he asked.

"Yes. This is a little strange...." He raised one black brow. "Last week you told me that a woman had vanished into thin air in front of hundreds of people —"

"Not hundreds. Our house wasn't that good."

"But you're afraid that what you're going to tell me now is a little strange? I can hardly wait."

I pulled out the note and handed it to him. He read it over briefly and then frowned at me.

"This came in the mail?"

"No. Someone left it at the theater for me."

"Did you get a description?" he asked.

"The assistant stage manager, who accepted the envelope from him, says he was a short, slightly chubby, white man, at least seventy years old. Lots of white hair and a beard. He wore a fedora and a duster."

"A what?"

"You know. One of those long coats they wear in cowboy movies."

"Oh. Anything else?"

"I don't think so."

"As you value your life, do not go into the crystal cage," Lopez read aloud. "There is Evil among us." It has a certain ring to it. But why does this guy think you intend to go into the cage?"

I explained. When I was done, Lopez studied me speculatively. His silence got on my nerves, so I asked, "Do you think it's important?"

"What?"

"The note," I snapped.

"Well, it provides a new theory."

"So you no longer think Golly walked off on her own?"

"Actually, that's exactly what I think happened. According to the statements I took, Miss Gee is a temperamental twenty-three-year-old who's got less fame than she wants and less sense than she needs."

"That hardly —"

"She's got cash flow problems, and she's deep in debt — mostly to plastic surgeons and diet clinics. She's also got a police record — mostly minor drug busts. Two of the Kennedys have had to slap restraining orders on her, and —"

"You've checked up on her!" I shouldn't have sounded so surprised. He looked insulted.

"Yes, Miss Diamond, I did. But now I find myself obliged to concentrate on more mundane matters — assault, murder, armed robbery, extortion and so on." As he gestured to the mountain of paperwork on his desk, a clerk dropped another armload of files onto it. Lopez stared after her with a tragic expression.

"But what about the note?" I said. "Do you think — ?"

"I think it's a hell of a promotional opportunity for an off-Broadway show with overextended producers and an ambitious understudy."

"You think I had something to do with this?"

"I have to consider all possibilities."

Okay, I had seen enough cop shows on TV to know that. So I tried not to take offense. "Look, I'm not reaping any benefits from this fiasco. Joe Herlihy is refusing to perform the show again."

"He didn't get along with Golly Gee, did he? She insulted him, humiliated him, upstaged him and accused him of attempting to set her on fire that very night."

"Surely you don't think Joe is behind this?"



Continues...

Excerpted from Disappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick Copyright © 2005 by Laura Resnick. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 27 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    An enchanting novel

    Actress Esther Diamond knows she should have had the lead of Venus in the play Sorcerers instead of Golly Gee but while she is the current understudy, she hopes that Golly will get sick and she will have the chance to play the part. During the latest performance, Golly steps into an ordinary crystal cage and when the illusion is supposed to be finished she is nowhere to be found. Esther anticipates going on stage as Venus the next day but she gets a letter warning her not to go in the crystal cage because ¿Evil is on the Loose.¿.............. She reports the note to Connor a detective who thinks it is just a prank. In Esther¿s dressing room Maximilian Zadok materializes and tells her than another female disappeared while performing the same magic that and tells her he sent the note to save her because he is a mage who belongs to the Magnum Collegium, an organization that fight evil. Other women in the same situation also disappear and once Esther believes him, she decides to help him find what happened to the missing women, who is behind it and why.................. The sparks fly between the detective and the actress but he refused to give in to his feelings because he believes she is a fruitcake and a suspect. Combining elements from the romance, fantasy and mystery genres, DISAPPEARING NIGHTLY is an enchanting novel that will appeal to readers of all three genres. The mystery is well constructed leaving readers trying to figure out who is behind the disappearances. The heroine is at times funny and determined but always charming and believable................ Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 6, 2010

    Too Much

    I bought Dopplegangster and wanted to start with number 1, it was very hard to find and not worth the time or money. Too much going on...just go straight to number 2 its MUCH better.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Kept Me Gussing

    In a world where too many books are transparent from the beginning, I absolutely loved that I didn't know the end of this book until the end! It was thrilling and captivating, a can't-put-it-down read that I would definitely recommend.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    I absolutely *loved* this book! <BR/><BR/>It's a quick, fun paranormal read about Esther Diamond, who has a role playing a green nymph in the Off-Off-Off Broadway show "Sorceror!" When the show's star, Golly Gee, truly disappears during a magic-show type disappearing act, it doesn't take Esther long to figure out that something strange is going on -- especially when she finds out that other people have also gone missing during the same type of acts.<BR/><BR/>This book is full of quirky characters who are truly fun and well-developed -- from the three-hundred-plus-year-old Max to the creepy Hieronymus, from Dolly the Dancing Cowgirl and Delilah the beautiful transvestite, to Satsy (aka Saturated Fat) the obese cross-dresser to the tight-lipped Herlihy.<BR/><BR/>Read it! It's too good to pass up. My only complaint is that the second book in the series, DOPPELGANGSTERS, didn't come out from Luna Books in December 2006 as planned. Fortunately, DAW is publishing it in 2008. I can't wait!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2006

    this was a good read

    It took a while for me to get into this book. It was a bit confusing, a little frustrating at times, but well worth the read. Once I got into it, I finished in hours.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2006

    Recommended

    This is an amusing tale with an engaging heroine and a cast of terrific secondary characters. I figured out the bad guy pretty early on, but the story was well developed and the promise of romance interesting. Obviously the beginning of a series, I look forward to the next installment.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

    A story+

    Story: Blood Fallen at "dsa" results one through three. Author: ~L&beta<p>Clan: Pandemonium. Information and application at "panda fall" all results.<p>Clans: Pact Clans. Information disperced at "pocket rough guide" all results. Gathering tomorrow!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    Story at wild side res3!!!!

    -lala.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    A bunch (or maybe only a few) ads!

    MLP: FIM RP: St res five! <br> MLP Rainbow Factory RP: hgu res three! (To find out what this is, you need to not be scared of killing blood and gore, and also probs at least 10 years old and over! But to find out what it is go to you tube and search Rainbow Factory and watch that. Yeah...) <br> MLP Shadow Factory RP: bleak house res one! (Find out more about it when you ask anypony at st hgu or bleak house! Also its also the same age and requirements as the rainbow factory) <br> Half-Monster RP: monster res three! (For info on what this is just find the bio res!) <br> MLP Alicorn/shunned pony character/oc safe haven RP: tree of harmony res one! (This is a place where your pony ocs can go if they have been outcasted or shunned! Talk to Firework for more info!) <br> Camp Half Blood RP: ethics res one! (Alana is currently leader there so if you need anything just ask her) <br> Thats all! Thanks! - Awesome Face 8D

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    MoonLight To NewsPaper

    I am writing a book; it's called "Physon". The Prologue is posted at "reca" result 1, Chapter 1 at result 2. Thanks for possibly putting this in your newspaper!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2014

    Advertisements and News

    Should be posted here!

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  • Posted December 21, 2013

    Fun, light reading.

    I read a lot, and like to balance out heavy/serious/intense books by reading something light and fun. Disappearing Nightly fit the bill perfectly. The characters are quirky and have some depth. The story is total fantasy, with a little romance and intrigue thrown in. If you like Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books, you will probably like this.
    I have already read the 2nd in the series, and plan to continue reading them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 25, 2013

    I like the books I read to have humor in them and even comedy wh

    I like the books I read to have humor in them and even comedy when it is appropriate.  This story is full of comedy, well more like slapstick.  But, the characters remain flat without any emotion invested in them, which is why I can’t say this is a really good book.  You may enjoy it more than I did.  I have to say I won’t be reading any more of her books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    Disappointed

    I had already read all of the other Ester Diamond books before this. I had no idea until after I bought this that it was the FIRST book of the series. It is very confusing because it states that it was published in June 2012 when it is really a re-release from 2006. This should have been made clear!! I didn't care for this book as it dragged on and on. I ended up skipping the middle of the book and read only the first 80 or so pages and the last 40 pages and didn't miss a thing. The other books of the series I really enjoyed and I will get the next of this series. If you haven't read any of the series or if you have read the others makes no difference because this book can (and should) be skipped. I'm upset because I feel like I was mislead about this book and it wasn't worth my time or money to read it. Sorry!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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