Trick of the Mind [NOOK Book]


Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons has been shot twice, and even after the surgery he isn’t out of the woods and may still be in danger because he can’t remember how it all happened. While his colleagues dig into his personal life, his best friend, Phillip Bethancourt, focuses on his last case, the robbery of a collection of antique jewelry valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds.    Although Phillip is a man of leisure---handsome, charismatic, and fantastically well ...

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Trick of the Mind

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Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons has been shot twice, and even after the surgery he isn’t out of the woods and may still be in danger because he can’t remember how it all happened. While his colleagues dig into his personal life, his best friend, Phillip Bethancourt, focuses on his last case, the robbery of a collection of antique jewelry valued at hundreds of thousands of pounds.    Although Phillip is a man of leisure---handsome, charismatic, and fantastically well off---he makes a point of tagging along on Jack’s more interesting cases.

But this time it’s different. Not only is it personal, but Phillip will have to fill in the blanks without Jack, and retracing his friend’s steps may put him in the same line of fire.

Trick of the Mind, Cassandra Chan’s third clever outing for these best friends, written in the classic tradition with a delightfully modern voice all its own, is a charming story that mystery lovers are sure to enjoy.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A solid plot and a view of some of London's more obscure neighborhoods enhance Chan's third contemporary cozy to feature amateur sleuth Phillip Bethancourt and his best friend, Scotland Yard Det. Sgt. Jack Gibbons (after 2006's Village Affairs ). When someone shoots Jack, who's recently been transferred to the Yard's arts theft division, Phillip thinks the crime has something to do with his friend's investigation of an antique jewelry heist. Jack's mentor at the Yard, Detective Chief Inspector Carmichael, provides access to the forensic evidence in the theft case, introduces Phillip to possible suspects and sets up a good dynamic between the official and unofficial investigators involved. While progress in the shooting case is as slow as Jack's recovery from his wounds, Chan pulls off an ending as surprising as it is fitting. (Apr.)

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From the Publisher
Praise for Village Affairs

“Gibbons and Bethancourt’s second adventure is another enjoyably lighthearted look at murder among the upper classes.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Bethancourt is a charming character. . . . A well-developed plot, intriguing and likable characters, solid investigating techniques, and an excellent sense of place distinguish this second in a series.”


Praise for The Young Widow

"Chan’s sprightly debut, a contemporary homage to Dorothy L. Sayers’s classic Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, introduces an appealing pair of sleuths. English mystery devotees should look forward to their further adventures.”

Publishers Weekly

“The author tells a tale that is part crime story, part family drama, part buddy flick, and part love story—-a combination that makes for enjoyable reading.”

School Library Journal

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429992169
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/13/2008
  • Series: Phillip Bethancourt and Jack Gibbons Mysteries, #3
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 442,246
  • File size: 313 KB

Meet the Author

Cassandra Chan has published two novels, most recently Village Affairs, and several short stories featuring Gibbons and Bethancourt. She lives in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 27, 2012

    more from this reviewer


    Trick of the Mind (2008) is Cassandra Chan's third book in her Gibbons and Bethancourt mystery series (preceded by their debut in The Young Widow (2005), and Village Affairs (2006)). This book starts with the unthinkable. Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons has been shot twice. Worse, no one knows why, least of all Jack who has no memory of the preceding events or the shooting itself.

    With mere fragments, Gibbons' best friend Philip Bethancourt and Chief Inspector Carmichael try to put together the events that led to this brutal attack. As the investigation leads to a seemingly unrelated jewel robbery and a dodgy London neighborhood, Bethancourt begins to wonder if any of the pieces will fall into place without Gibbons' own memories to connect things.

    Initially I was profoundly worried when I heard that Gibbons began this book by being shot. Was he being killed off? Would he go through the book in a coma? Would he be okay? (Gibbons is, incidentally, my favorite of the duo.) Upon actually reading the book, I was deeply relieved to have to these questions answered to my liking. Although Gibbons is necessarily on the sidelines for much of the action and investigation, he did play a key role.

    In fact, both Bethancourt and Carmichael spend a significant amount of time bemoaning Gibbons absence and the lack of his excellent investigative skills. After Bethancourt often taking the lead in the first two novels, it was nice to see Gibbons' role (and importance) acknowledged by the other characters.

    Although the case here is as intricate as in her earlier books, Chan spends a fair bit of time on characters here. Much of the novel offers a study of the friendship between her two protagonists--one that neither man is ashamed to admit is a close bond. Written in third person, this book also follows a lot of the characters around in the narrative. Almost anyone who has a piece of information about the shooting also gets a piece of the narrative. The structure is complex and fragmented, but works well with the general chaos of the first pages and the gaps in Gibbons' own memory.

    The design of this book is also different from earlier volumes in the series. The chapters here are shorter and always named (although not in a table of contents). The general span of the book also seems to take place over a shorter amount of time though that, to be fair, might be because of the urgency lent to the shooting case. These changes seem deliberate on Chan's part although I am still not sure to what end.

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  • Posted February 15, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another Delightful Visit with Gibbons and Bethancourt

    Happily, the two charming and intelligent sleuths, Gibbons and Bethancourt are back for a third time. This adventure takes us through the streets of London in what proves to be a true test of their friendship. As Gibbons lies in a hospital bed, the elegant and suave Bethancourt must attempt to recreate his friende's last conscious efforts to solve the case on which he was working. How well does he really know his friend and how he thinks? Can he decipher his notes and follow the trail he was pursuing when he was attacked? It's a real adventure and a great treat to tag along and see how he pieces together the clues, then tries to pick up where Gibbons left off....These two wonderful chracters are such a joy to spend time with, and in this story we get to see a little more of their pirvate and family lives, which makes it even more enjoyable. It's always a pleasure to spend time with them in town or country, and this is as much fun as ever!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    strong whodunit

    Affluent Phillip Bethancourt congratulates his best friend New Scotland Yard Detective Sergeant Jack Gibbons on his transfer into The Arts Theft Division after working homicides. In fact the pair worked a couple of cases together (see THE YOUNG WIDOW and VILLAGE AFFAIRS). --- However, his accolades turn sour when someone shoots Jack. Phillip assumes the shooting of his friend is tied to his new police work most likely Jack's investigation into an antique jewelry robbery in which the detective sergeant was getting close to solving. As Jack slowly heals, Phillip quietly arranges with Police Detective Chief Inspector Carmichael to share information as the amateur sleuth makes inquires into who shot his friend and why. --- The key to this strong whodunit is that Jack is not running around town like a superhero, but instead is gradually recuperating from his wounds and is in no shape to search for clues instead the collaboration is refreshed by Jack¿s boss working with Bethancourt. The investigation is fun to follow and a final twist adds a great climax to the strong story line. Readers will appreciate the inquiries as Phillip escorts the audience on a rare tour of a part of London that seemingly never appears in literature. --- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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