Within any genre, there are always sub genres, often when the primary genre is mixed, or mashed, with a secondary one, or as in hard sci-fi, when the genre itself asscends to a sort of purity normally reserved for a white supremacists small gene pool. In crime, the most fiendishly difficult of the all the sub-genre’s is the locked room mystery. A mystery where generally a body is found, in a room of some sort, with there being no descernable way for a killer to either get in or out.
In Death and the Conjuror, Tom Mead’s debuet novel, we are transported back to high society of 1930s London, evoking nostalgia for a time most of us can’t remember. When a renowned pshychiatrist dies, almost everyone in his life is hiding something, and we end up treated to not one, but two mysteries. Mead transports the reader back to the golden age of crime with this atmospheric mystery, however it has a tight prose style, and charactors with some less problematic views than many of the originals of the era, leading to a book that is a welcome updating of this lineage.
Mead’s central charctor, Joseph Spector, is the magician who helps the police unravel, this fiendishly difficult murder. As a conjuror he is perfectly placed to understand the art of illusion and distraction, and fits wonderfully well into the narrative. However, we learn little about who Spector is, and how he has come to be assisting the police, leading his presence to be essentailly the third mystery of the book, and one that is already hooking readers, who are excitedly awaitng the next installment of a series.
In the next few weeks we will also have an interview with Tom Mead, released first of all on Patreon.
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