Category Archives: thrillers

Edition: Mystery and Magic = Marvelous

Wednesday Reads Wide


21897317Ada Bates escaped her torturous life at 14-years-old. Leaving her mother’s care in the middle of the night, she sets sail on a journey both ambitious and tragic. Rising from the lowliness of a servant at the famous Biltmore Estate in North Carolina to the stardom of the first female illusionist, selling out grand theaters around the nation. She maintains a life by creating magic for audiences while keeping up the illusion that she isn’t haunted by an evil past – one that could rear its head at any moment. Along the way she finds Clyde Garber, her manager and eventual love of her life.

The Amazing Arden, Ada Bates’s stage name, is known for her feat of sawing a man in half and then restoring him whole. However, the illusion goes awry when her husband turns up dead from the same wounds as her mesmerizing illusion. Trying to escape, she heads out in the dead of night and is accidentally captured by a local police officer. Now as she is hand-cuffed to a chair, she must recount her story — one that spans over 10 years — to prove her innocence. That tale is one wild ride to the truth – or is it a lie?

Since I’m a voracious reader, I don’t very often come across a book that I adore – and adore The Magician’s Lie I do! As soon as I turned the last page, I couldn’t wait to share this spellbinding story with my friends.

As a historical novel the book dives into a time when society was dominated by males, and yet the story centers around a female illusionist who captivates audiences, both men and women, with her talent. Her occupation alone keeps the reader riveted to Arden’s ever-deepening character. The story is told in a series of flashbacks that return to present day every few chapters. It’s interesting to note that much of the plot’s tension take place in the chapters where she recounts her story to a local law officer who is fighting his own internal struggles. A police station’s phone rings in the dead of night and both sit through the piercing rings while the reader wonders who is on the other end.

The plot was equal parts mysterious, creepy, romantic, and action-packed. The combination provides a riveting page-turning experience. This was one of those books where when I wasn’t reading it, I was wishing that I was. I couldn’t wait to get to the end, and then I was bummed when it was over. The point of view switches from Ada’s story to a movie camera’s view of the events occurring in the police station. Just when you think Ada is guilty, she shares a story that makes you believe in her innocence.  All along though, she tells her side of things with a detached air that causes the reader to question its truth – maybe she was capable of killing her husband.

Readers will cheer for Ada from the moment she first loses the chance to escape her poverty stricken life and the clutches of Ray (winner of creepy character award). She is a survivor, and we love that she is a self-made women who works hard and dedicates herself to her craft. She is talented, beautiful, yet slightly dysfunctional. We want her to love and be loved and when her happiness begins to crash around her, we must flip the page to see if she can hold on to it.

The Magician’s Lie is Greer Macallister‘s debut novel. I guarantee readers will anxiously await the next book published by Macallister as the first one provides a unique thrill ride with characters to both love and hate. That’s a story to adore!



Wednesday Reads: A Reading To-Do List

Wednesday Reads WideEvery so often I go through a book slump. This is the moment when I lose interest in books (yes, it happens, occasionally) and each book I pick up fails to keep my attention. Or it’s the moment when there seems to be absolutely nothing interesting to read.  Since I’m more of a book buyer than borrower, I don’t want to spend my money unless it’s going to be worth it. Lately, I’ve been floating among a few interesting reads here and there. Some I purchased; some I borrowed; some I read; and some bored me and got shelved.

Suddenly, however, there seems to be a plethora of books begging for my attention. Their covers intrigue me and their jacket covers pull me inquisitively into their plots. Here’s a few that I have found appealing and will be adding to my to my Reading To-Do List over the next few weeks.



The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth

A captivating tale of life, loss, and love…Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy–including the identity of the baby’s father– hidden from her family and co-workers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. (synopsis from






Mercy Snow by Tiffany Baker

In the tiny town of Titan Falls, New Hampshire, the paper mill dictates a quiet, steady rhythm of life. But one day a tragic bus accident sets two families on a course toward destruction, irrevocably altering the lives of everyone in their wake. (synopsis from






The Magician’s Lie by Greer Macalister

The  Amazing Arden is a famous female illusionist known best for her illusion to saw a man in half. However, when her husband shows up dead one night after a show, Arden finds herself as the prime suspect.  Now a young policeman who has seen her show must decide if her alibi and story are the truth or simply  illusion at its finest.






The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag

Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires. (synopsis from





The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

This is what happens when a socially awkward genetics professor decides he needs a wife. He develops and implements a plan to find the perfect wife with a sixteen page  survey. Along the way he meets bartender Rosie Jarmen, who goes against the every correct answer on the survey. Rosie is on a journey of her own to find her biological father.  The reader finds that soon the wife project and father project intertwine to reveal a quirky and romantic love story where the unexpected is to be expected.




The Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

LIncoln O’Neil has landed a job monitoring inter-office emails making sure to report dirty joke emails between co-workers as well as non-work-related messages that clutter up the office email system. The only problem is he has fallen in love with one of the two female employees who constantly exchange emails about their personal lives. How will he ever go from email stalker to potential boyfriend?



I can officially declare my recent book slump is over. Now my only problem is deciding which one to read first!

How about a little help?  Which one would you read first?