Elizabeth II's coronation is looming, but the murder of their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright, spoils the happy mood for DI Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto. A playbill featuring another deceased comrade is found in Colonel Cartwright's possession, and a playing card, the ace of hearts: the blood card. The wartime connection and the suggestion of magic are enough for him to put Stephens and Mephisto on the case.
Edgar's investigation into the death of Brighton fortune-teller Madame Zabini is put on hold. Max is busy rehearsing for a spectacular Coronation Day variety show - and his television debut - so it's Edgar who is sent to New York, a land of plenty worlds away from still-rationed England. He's on the trail of a small-town mesmerist who may provide the key, but someone else silences him first. It's Sergeant Emma Holmes who finds the clue, buried in the files of the Zabini case, that leads them to an anarchist group intent on providing an explosive finale to Coronation Day.
Now it's up to Edgar, Max, and Emma to foil the plot, and find out who it is who's been dealing the cards . . .
I was quite thrilled to get the chance to read the latest DI Stephens & Max Mephisto book. I have become quite fond of this series and I love the combination of a DI and a magician "working" together.
In The Blood Card are Edgar and Max drew into the world of anarchists after they find out that their wartime commander, Colonel Cartwright has been murdered. It seems that there is a plot to blow something up on Coronation Day. But, and who could be behind it all? Could a clue be found in America?
Once again has Elly Griffiths written an interesting book, and beside the case is it always fun to follow Edgar and Max in their personal lives trials and tribulations. Edgar is still set to marry max daughter Ruby, but is she so sure about that? And, Sergeant Emma has her own problems with her deep feelings for Edgar that she is trying to hide. Max meanwhile has been talked into doing a magic show in TV on Coronation Day. Could his future be on TV?
I liked the book however, it lost some speed in the middle of the book. I just felt that the case just wasn't intriguing enough, and the investigation just felt like it was idling along. Until the explosive ending. That I loved. I just wish that book had been as interesting in the middle as it was in the beginning and the end would this. For me, what was keeping the story going was the everyday problems that the main characters faced. I like them all, and I like reading about what's happening in their lives. It's just in this book, the case of the anarchists was just not always that thrilling.