Now You See It (Toby Peters Series #24)

Overview

Illusion gets more deadly than reality on Toby Peters's twenty-fourth outing from Edgar-winning author Stuart M. Kaminsky. A string of star-studded successes—most recently with Cary Grant in To Catch a Spy and an edgy Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierced—has won Tinseltown detective Toby Peters a bit of local celebrity, and that's something his new client, Harry Blackstone, understands. At the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, Blackstone is billed as the World's Greatest Living Magician. Of course, should the giant ...

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Now You See It

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Overview

Illusion gets more deadly than reality on Toby Peters's twenty-fourth outing from Edgar-winning author Stuart M. Kaminsky. A string of star-studded successes—most recently with Cary Grant in To Catch a Spy and an edgy Joan Crawford in Mildred Pierced—has won Tinseltown detective Toby Peters a bit of local celebrity, and that's something his new client, Harry Blackstone, understands. At the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, Blackstone is billed as the World's Greatest Living Magician. Of course, should the giant buzz saw in the climax to Blackstone's act cut the beautiful young woman in fact in half, his sterling reputation would be ruined. And someone among the Los Angeles Friends of Magic is decidedly intent upon ruining it—whatever the price, including the life of Toby's prime suspect. Unfortunately, with the corpse count mounting, the evidence is pointing increasingly to Toby's client as the man behind the murders. As always, adding to the wackiness of Toby's investigation are the ungentle dentist Sheldon Minck, wrestler-poet Jeremy Butler, the suave, small-statured Swiss multilingualist Gunter Wherthman, and daffy Mrs. Plaut. But to solve the case, Toby finds he needs someone else—the dashing star of the movie A Thousand and One Nights, Cornel Wilde.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When PI Toby Peters answers the bell for the 24th time, his footwork is as nimble as ever, even if the dance will be familiar to fans of Kaminsky's Hollywood historical series. The celebrity-friendly detective has aided every kind of star from Errol Flynn in the first book (Bullet for a Star) to Joan Crawford in the most recent (Mildred Pierced). Toby often earns gratitude, frequently reaps scars and bruises, but never garners the kind of riches likely to change his boarding-house lifestyle. As WWII appears headed for a close, the great magician Harry Blackstone, who's been challenged and (apparently) threatened by a third-rate competitor, approaches Toby. Now teamed up with his brother, Phil, Toby undertakes to protect and unmask Blackstone's nemesis. Kaminsky makes an art of interjecting bits and pieces of period color, from Toby's dilapidated Crosley auto to 1940s songs or jingles. The running madcap humor includes landlady Irene Plaut's endless memoirs and dentist Shelly Minck's wacky inventions. Murder transforms Blackstone from magician to suspect and leaves him holding the bag, with predictably enjoyable results. Intriguing but simple magic tricks borrowed from Blackstone: The Magic Detective radio show serve as clever chapter lead-ins. Agent, Donald Maass. (Nov. 2) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Joined by his recently retired brother Phil Pevsner, 1940s p.i. Toby Peters (Mildred Pierced, 2003, etc.) proves that the hand really isn't quicker than the eye when he plays bodyguard to a famous magician. Harry Blackstone isn't so much scared as piqued by anonymous threats to sabotage his act unless he reveals the secrets of his illusions. But just to make sure his lovely assistant doesn't really get sawed in half, he hires Pevsner and Peters to check things out backstage. Sure enough, a vital safety switch goes missing from Blackstone's buzz saw, forcing Toby to make a daring last-minute rescue-only to find blackmailing con man Robert R. Cunningham shot to death in a dressing room. As the threats continue, suspicion falls on rival conjurer Calvin Ott, who under his stage name Marcus Keller arranges a testimonial dinner for Blackstone and offers to present the diners with "the death of a magician." Unfortunately for Ott, the dead magician turns out to be him. So Toby and Phil, along with four-foot-tall Gunther Wherthman, ex-wrestler Jeremy Butler, and demented dentist Sheldon Minck, all have to sweat in their rented tuxedos while the LAPD's John Cawelti tries to establish who saw what in a room full of illusionists. The Peters entourage, barreling ahead full tilt, provides just enough insanity to enliven a routine whodunit.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786714230
  • Publisher: Avalon Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/2004
  • Series: Toby Peters Series , #24
  • Pages: 300
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.92 (d)

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