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Death and the Conjuror

(The first book in the Joseph Spector series)
A novel by

An enthralling locked-room murder mystery inspired by crime fiction of the Golden Age, Death and the Conjuror is the critically acclaimed debut novel by Tom Mead. Selected as one of Publishers Weekly's Mysteries of the Year.

1936, London. A celebrity psychiatrist is discovered dead in his locked study. There seems to be no way a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, Inspector Flint, the Scotland Yard detective on the case, calls on retired stage magician turned part-time sleuth Joseph Spector.

Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colourful cast of suspects, they uncover no shortage of dark secrets... or motives for murder. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realise the crime wave will become even more deadly unless they can catch the culprit soon.

Reviews for Death and the Conjuror

'Pure escapism and an excellent puzzle, ingeniously expounded.' The Times
'Secrets, red herrings and sleights of hand abound in an ingenious piece of intriguing escapism.'
'An intricate "impossible" crime that completely fooled me.'
Peter Lovesey
'A sharply drawn period piece with memorable characters.'
New York Times
'A real treat for mystery fans.'
Ragnar Jónasson
'A beautiful, dark, atmospheric story.'
Victoria Dowd

Genre: Historical Mystery

Praise for this book

"An engrossing tale of murder and magicians, and a revealing exploration of the ever-popular locked-room mystery, Mead's debut is a novel to intrigue and delight." - John Connolly

"This ingenious (and fair-play) locked-room mystery should win over a new generation of readers to this delightfully devious style of classic mystery." - Gigi Pandian

"With a deviously intricate locked-room plot, Death and the Conjuror unfolds as both an elegant tribute and a cunning update of the classic 'impossible crime' story. Somewhere, the great John Dickson Carr is smiling." - Daniel Stashower

"Tom Mead has created an intriguing set of puzzles on par with John Dickson Carr in Death and the Conjuror. A true delight for mystery lovers!" - Charles Todd

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