Book Review: “The Magician’s Daughter” by Judith Janeway

August 30, 2015 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Books | Leave a comment
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Judith Janeway in her new book, “Magician's Daughter book coverThe Magician’s Daughter” Book One in the Valentine Hill Mystery series published by Poisoned Pen Press introduces us to Valentine Hill .

From the back cover:   Magician Valentine Hill always begins her act with:  “Reality is illusion. Illusion is reality, and nothing is what it seems.” Valentine herself is a case in point:  she is unquestionably real, but she has no legal existence. Her mother, a skilled con artist, has never revealed Valentine’s real age, birth place or her father’s identity–except to say that he was a magician.

No grifter herself, the scrupulous Valentine has spent years searching for her evasive mother, desperate to learn the basic facts of who she is. Literally, to get a life. Robbed of her stake in Vegas, she chases it to San Francisco where a series of odd events reunites her with her mother who, Valentine is sure, despite her respectable façade, is playing one of the city’s super rich. And Valentine quickly enters a world where truly nothing is what it seems. A socialite is a ruthless criminal, a car mechanic a psycho killer, and a cab driver a seductive gangster. After a friendly FBI agent is killed, Valentine forces herself into playing a grifter’s role to put the criminals –and her mother –away. Or at the very least, get what she wants from mom. Will her skills as a magician prove enough to help her maintain the illusion?

If you think about it for a moment being a magician is really no different from being a con artist. The magician deceives you by creating a false reality, so does a con artist. The real difference is that we want the magician to deceive while we do not want the con artist at all. Valentine is on a search to find out all her real birth information. For that she needs to find her mother. And she actually does. that is when she finds trouble. And a dead body. And it spirals out of control from there. The story hums along at a fast pace as Valentine is working to figure out just what is going on. Valentine is an amazing character. The pain she reveals about her past and the search for her birth details give real depth to her character. “The Magician’s Daughter” is loaded with twists and turns and red herrings that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. Ms.  Janeway has provided us with a marvelous character in Valentine and I look forward to reading about her next adventure.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Poisoned Pen Press.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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