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The Illusionist's Apprentice
     

The Illusionist's Apprentice

by Kristy Cambron
 

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Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and

Overview

Harry Houdini’s one-time apprentice holds fantastic secrets about the greatest illusionist in the world. But someone wants to claim them . . . or silence her before she can reveal them on her own.

Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.

In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.

Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her. Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 01/09/2017
Cambron (Butterfly and the Violin) brilliantly weaves a tale of intrigue and history, using Houdini’s disdain for debates about magic vs. illusion as her premise. Stapleton, a vaudeville performer, debunked by Houdini as a fraud several years earlier, decides to restore his reputation by publicly bringing a man back to life 20 years after the man’s death. The performance, which takes place in the months after Houdini’s own death, is attended by Jenny “Wren” Lockhart, Houdini’s trusted apprentice and protégé. Stapleton summons the man to rise from the coffin, but shortly after he rises, before he is able to speak, the man promptly keels over dead—again. In the background watching this incident stand FBI agent Elliott Matthews and the wealthy widow Amber Dover, a colorful character who married into society but comes from a vaudeville background. Suspicious of both Wren and Amber, Elliott’s instincts lead him to investigate their potential involvement in the bizarre resurrection and potential murder. Wren unwittingly becomes entwined with FBI agent Elliot, initially to solve the case of what exactly happened to the “dead” man but eventually to pursue her budding affection for Elliot. Cambron’s lithe prose pulls together past and present and her attention to historical detail grounds the narrative to the last breathtaking moments. (Mar.)
RT Book Reviews - 4 1/2 stars TOP PICK
'Cambron takes readers on an amazing journey into the world of vaudeville illusionists during the Roaring Twenties. This novel includes an intriguing mystery that adds adventure and suspense to the intricately detailed historical drama . . . The romance is wonderfully portrayed as well, rounding out the story with tenderness.'

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780718041502
Publisher:
Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date:
03/07/2017
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
220,506
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 5.40(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews. Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons. Website: www.kristycambron.com Twitter: @KCambronAuthor Facebook: Kristy-Cambron-Author.

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The Illusionist's Apprentice 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
iStudyScripture 14 hours ago
Kristy Cambron is a remarkable author with a unique voice. Ever since her debut novel The Butterfly and the Violin (2014), I've impatiently awaited each subsequent release. While I was initially intrigued by the synopsis of The Illusionist's Apprentice, I questioned how Harry Houdini and magic would play out in a Christian novel. With Cambron at the keys...the answer is impeccably well! It's important to begin by stating the author draws a clear line between mysticism or spiritualists and the art of illusion for the purpose of entertainment. Prior to reading this story I was unaware of how Houdini worked to discredit many such frauds during his lifetime. This bit of history provides a fantastic springboard for Wren's character, a former apprentice to Houdini, who’s called upon by Agent Elliot Matthews to assist in a suspense-filled investigation of a magic act turned murderous. As the mystery unraveled, I was irresistibly drawn to these characters and their lives. Particularly Wren, who is so delightfully complex. Over time, glimpses into Wren’s past provide insight as to why she is so guarded, contemplative, and secretive (beyond what her profession would require). The more I learned, the more I championed Elliot’s efforts to breach her defenses. The way their relationship teeters between tenuous and tender keeps readers on their toes. In reading this story you surrender yourself to Kristy Cambron’s lavish depictions of a bygone era. With it’s clever characters and intricate plot, the The Illusionist’s Apprentice has become my second Book Club Top Pick of 2017. With thanks to the author/publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.