Tuesday, 20 April 2021

The Blood Card

Finished April 10
The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths

This is the third book in the Magic Men series (also called Stephens and Mephisto), but the first one that I've read. The story is set in 1953, in the days leading up to the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Edgar Stephens is a Brighton police detective, the head of the murder team there. Max Mephisto is a magician. Both men were on a team referred to as the Magic Men in World War II, where they used illusion to try to fool the enemy. 
Max discovered a few years previously that a liaison with a snake charmer back years ago has resulted in him having a daughter, Ruby, who is also looking for a career as a magician. Edgar is now dating her and hopes to marry her. 
Edgar has two police officers on his team, Emma Holmes and Bob Willis. They are both good in their own way, but Emma is very driven, feeling that she has to prove her worth. 
Both men are contacted by a man called General Petre who tells them that another man they worked with during the war has been murdered and getting them looking into his contacts and following up leads. It seems both to make sense and a bit strange, but the two men agree to assist. While Max follows up with other contacts in the theatre industry, Edgar goes off on a quick trip to the United States to meet a man there. It seems that there is a threat to disrupt the coronation and given that it is less than two weeks away, things move pretty quickly. 
When a fortune teller in Brighton is also found dead in a suspicious manner, Edgar wonders if there is a connection and Emma takes the case seriously, getting involved with the woman's family to investigate all possibilities. 
I really enjoyed the characters, both the two main male characters Edgar and Max, and the two women who have large roles in the plot here, Emma and Ruby. This is an interesting case, dating back to incidents in the war, and with danger on more than one front.  

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