The Magician’s Daughter: A Valentine Hill Mystery by Judith Janeway. | My copy: Galley, 227 pages, Poisoned Pen Press, releases February 10th, 2015. | Source: Publisher. | View on Goodreads here.
The Magician’s Daughter was a super-fun, super-fast story about a young magician who gets caught up in her con artist mother’s dealings. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into this, as I’ve barely read any mysteries besides Nancy Drew, but I went in with an open mind. Well, even though the first chapter was only partially interesting, the writing moved really quickly and I just kept turning pages… I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book.
Basically, it’s your typical spunky heroine trying to take down an upper-class, high-powered baddie. Spunky heroine in question is named Valentine Hill. She’s makes a living doing magic shows. She seems to be a very skilled magician, but her sleazy assistant/almost-boyfriend steals all her money and says he won’t give it back until she joins him in San Francisco. In the meantime, Valentine’s been searching for answers about herself and her father, and has been looking for her slippery mother Elizabeth for answers.
Elizabeth was a piece of work, a type of person I was honestly glad Valentine didn’t know that closely. Valentine herself was pretty cool. She made some dumb decisions but was so likeable and no-nonsense that I forgave her. I thought her fear of elevators was an interesting touch, and led me to wonder–what happened to her in her youth that paralyzed her about getting trapped in one of them? Throughout the book, Val does find out a few answers to her own back story, but not everything is resolved–especially when it comes to Elizabeth, whom Val refuses to refer to as “mom”.
The mystery was interesting enough, but there were instances where I lost interest or simply forgot a few details. I wasn’t that keen on most of the characters. I didn’t feel much toward Phil. I wish that Ashley had played a larger role. But I did really enjoy Rico, although I knew there was something fishy about him from that very first cab ride. 😉
Before I wrap this review up, let me mention that I wish there had been more instances of Valentine performing magic tricks. There were at least two instances of her doing a show, but I would have liked more of this unique detail entwined in the overall mystery. The Magician’s Daughter was a really enjoyable story that surprised me and I will definitely be looking for the next book in Valentine’s saga. ♦