UK Publishing Date: 5 Nov 2015. 352 Pages
Smoke and Mirrors is a quintessentially British novel set in post World War 2 Britain. This is the second of the DI Stephens & Mephisto stories but can easily be read as a standalone novel (I did!)
It is nearly Christmas and the pantomime season is about to start in Brighton. Two children disappear on their way to a sweet shop. A huge search begins for the children and as the snow starts to fall hopes that they will be found alive start to disappear.
While this is a fairly gentle period crime novel it has an added element that is the insight into the theatre world and particularly the pantomime genre. Coincidentally our local panto was also Aladdin this year and as I was watching it I kept thinking about the book I was reading.
The key characters are a likeable bunch with their own foibles and back story. Emma Holmes, the police sergeant from Roedean still living with her mother in the family mansion. DI Stephens, whose university degree was cut short by the war and ended up in an elite unit with a number of illusionists and magicians including the current Panto villain Max Mephisto.
In hindsight I would have liked to have started with The Zig Zag Girl but I’ll be going back and reading that one. Smoke and Mirrors is a nice gentle read with sufficient suspense and intrigue to keep you guessing and the theatrical stories are an added bonus.
Supplied by Net Galley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You can find the book here: Smoke and Mirrors: Stephens and Mephisto 2