Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun characters; great locked room mystery
Cons: Abracadabra, all cons are gone
The Bottom Line:
A locked room puzzle
Proves to be plenty of fun
In magical book
Eli Marks Must Solve a Locked Room Mystery
One of the staples of the mystery genre is the locked room mystery because they add such a great twist to the mystery. I know I always find them intriguing. And that’s exactly what we get with The Miser’s Dream, the third Eli Marks Mystery from John Gaspard.
Eli Marks lives in a third floor apartment above the magic shop he runs with his uncle in Minneapolis, Minnesota. From his window, he can see into the projection booth of the theater next door, and he has long enjoyed trying to guess the movie based on the reflections he can see. This night, however, he seems something completely different when he looks into the projection booth – the dead body of Tyler James, the projectionist.
Naturally, Eli calls the police, but they have to break into the projection booth since the door locks from the inside and there is no key for the outside. When they do, they not only find the body, but also a gun and a large stack of cash.
Eli is perfectly content to sit this one out until an outside force begins to pull him in. Accidents only make him more determined to solve the crime. But can he figure out how Tyler died and why?
I really enjoy these books because of the bits of magic that show up in them. Eli being a magician is a creative hook for the series. In fact, there is an entire sub-plot involving Eli’s jealousy of a fellow magician that winds up playing into the main mystery.
And the main mystery is great. Naturally, there is the question of how the murder took place as well as who the killer is. I’ve got to say that both were so expertly explained at the end, I couldn’t believe I didn’t piece it together myself.
And the characters are wonderful. We actually meet a fun assortment of people here. They are a bit eccentric, but it fits the book. The series regulars are as great as ever, and I enjoyed seeing the growth we got here in Eli.
The Miser’s Dream is the best book yet in the series. Eli’s fans will be happy with it, and those new to his adventures will find themselves looking for more.