Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural

Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural

4.7 7
by Rosemary Edghill

View All Available Formats & Editions

This anthology features 20 original stories of murder by acclaimed and award-winning science fiction and fantasy writers.


This anthology features 20 original stories of murder by acclaimed and award-winning science fiction and fantasy writers.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Although authors such as Randall Garrett in his acclaimed Lord Darcy series successfully melded whodunit plots with alternate universes where magic is real, few of the 20 supernatural mystery short stories in Edghill's all-original anthology rise above the mundane. Inspired contributions include Teresa Edgerton's "Captured in Silver," a nice ghostly locked-room murder tale, and Lillian Stewart Carl's "The Necromancer's Apprentice," which presents an interesting solution to the actual mystery surrounding the death of Amy Robsart, wife of Elizabeth I's favorite lord, balancing wizardry with astute deductions about the political motives of those who stood to benefit. The standout, James D. Macdonald's "A Tremble in the Air," introduces a psychic detective, Orville Nesbit, who's clearly heir to the tradition of such sleuths as Algernon Blackwood's John Silence and who deserves to live on in further tales. Unfortunately, most of the other stories rely on catchy gimmicks (e.g., a husband-and-wife sorcerer team based on Nick and Nora Charles in Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's "A Night at the Opera") rather than well-crafted puzzles. The jacket art showing a white-bearded wizard gazing at a body outline on the flagstones of a foggy, gas-lit street amusingly evokes the fantasy-crime blend. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
In "Piece of Mind," Jennifer Robinson introduces a detective who can communicate with even the most unusual witnesses, while in Mercedes Lackey's "Grey Eminence," two young girls in Victorian England are pursued by a supernatural killer. Mingling fantasy with mystery, this collection of 20 tales by such diverse authors as Carole Nelson Douglas, Lawrence Watt-Evans, and Esther Friesner should attract a wide readership among aficionados of these genres. Recommended. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

Read an Excerpt

Murder By Magic

By Rosemary Edghill

Warner Aspect

Copyright © 2004 Rosemary Edghill
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-446-67962-3


Rosemary Edghill

It is a truism of publishing that sooner or later every author wants to commit murder, and I have proof: a new take on the mean streets from Laura Resnick, a charmingly chilling story from Carole Nelson Douglas, alternate police procedurals from Josepha Sherman and Keith DeCandido-detectives amateur, private, and decidedly outside the law, in settings ranging from the haunted galleries of Elizabethan England to the worlds of the Eraasian Hegemony. And from Jennifer Roberson, perhaps the strangest detective of all.

I hope you'll enjoy these twenty stories ranging from the past through the future, set both here and ... Elsewhere.

When I set out to assemble Murder by Magic, the contributors had only two rules to follow to write a qualifying story: there had to be a crime (preferably murder), and magic and the supernatural had to be somehow involved, either in the commission or in the solution of the crime.

As you will see, that left plenty of room for variation, from James Macdonald's very traditional psychic investigator to Will Graham's wisecracking supernatural adventurers to Josepha Sherman's deadpan hilarious civil service magicians to Diane Duane's lyrical tale of a policeman's last case. And, yes, in Debra Doyle's Eraasian country-house "murder," a homage to detective fiction of the 1920s and a tragedy in the Classical sense of the word.

When it came time to choose an order for the tales in Murder by Magic, I found that the stories seemed to fall naturally into five categories that turned out to pretty well encompass most of the variations on today's supernatural detective story. Some stories were easy to fit into my five pigeonholes-a historical occult mystery certainly is, after all, and a historical mystery with animated chairs is naturally fantastical. But others I hesitated over until the last minute-was "Overrush" a Murder Most Modern or a Murder Unclassifiable? Which subgroup did "The Case of the Headless Corpse" really belong in? Was "Snake in the Grass" Unclassifiable or Fantastical? At last, with much trepidation, I made my final decisions. You may agree with me, or you may not-the fun of getting to be the editor is that I get the final say about what goes where. And certainly you'll have your own favorite stories out of all those presented here, as I have mine (I'm not telling which ones mine are, but here's a hint: there are twenty of them).

Opinions exist to differ, but one thing I'm sure we'll both agree on is that, based on the evidence, the Occult Detective is alive and well a century and more after his "birth"-though Doctor John Silence might be hard put to recognize some of his literary descendants.

And whether it's a story of clandestine and unexpected magic set in the real world, or a tale set in an alternate universe in which magic openly replaces science, the rules for a good mystery-supernatural or otherwise-are always the same: find the killer and bring him (or her, or even it) to justice.

I hope you'll enjoy your foray into the shadows, where impossible crimes are commonplace. I've gotten you some excellent guides.


There's nothing to fear.


Excerpted from Murder By Magic by Rosemary Edghill Copyright © 2004 by Rosemary Edghill . 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.

Meet the Author

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime and the Supernatural 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this up as a lark after seeing the cover, and have to say it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. PIECE OF MIND offers a nice twist on a sensational murder case, DOUBLE JEOPARDY is a well crafted story of a Wiccan Troubleshooter who would give Uma Thurman in the 'Kill Bill's a run for her money (what a concept!) but my personal favorite is MIXED MARRIAGES CAN BE MURDER. The author of MMCBM has obviously seen too many episodes of 'Hart to Hart' and 'Remington Steele', but he adds a VERY nice twist to the concept, and does so in a clever way without being silly. I laughed out loud at the very last line in the story, but won't give it away. Buy this's the perfect solution to a rainy afternoon. When is MURDER BY MAGIC II coming out?????
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ALL of the stories were tremendous reads. Highly recommended for anyone - teen though adult.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SunshineQueen More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book only because Mercedes Lackey had a short story in it and I try to read everything she's published. As a general rule I'm not a big fan of mysteries, but these short stories were almost all so good that I wished they were full blown novels. There were only two or three exceptions, but all the writers were wonderful and I have a list of new ones to read now. My favorite thing about the book, though, was that each of the stories is only a handful of pages long. So I could read one in bed and not have to worry about staying up all night because I didn't want to stop reading like normal. Funny, sweet, scary, surprising, these stories cover anything you can have a desire for.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A fun, fast, enjoyable book consisting of crime stories with an otherworld theme.