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Smoke and Mirrors
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Smoke and Mirrors

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,482 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The fast-paced world of politics was both exhilarating and daunting to young Erin Hartsock. But Erin's enthusiasm turns to dread when a series of strange fires and a seemingly accidental death show her the shocking truth behind the political game. her legion of fans!"--Publishers Weekly.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published January 1st 1990 by Berkley (first published 1989)
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Joan Young
Smoke and Mirrors is an interesting mystery set in the chaos of a house full of volunteers supporting a political candidate for the US Senate (a woman who has fulfilled her dead husband's tenure, and is now seeking election for herself). The book was written in 1989, so lacks a lot of the modern communication options - such as everyone having cell phones. Not that it matters, except that a reader might wonder why these things are not being used, as the rest of the text does not betray the time p ...more
I can't believe I'm saying this about a Barbara Michaels book, because usually I love all her stories, but this was the first one I was sort of "meh" about. It wasn't terrible, it just wasn't what I've come to expect from her, which is a book I don't want to put down because I'm dying to know how it ends. This one wasn't that kind of story.

Erin Hartsock is an idealistic, but naive and inexperienced new member of the staff of the campaign for up-and-coming politician Rosemary Marshall. Although E
Read ably by Pat Starr. Good gentle mystery for election season. DC/NOVA setting (one of the characters spends a lot of time in Charlottesville, but it's only ever mentioned in passing). And by gentle, I mean, I think I recall a character apologizing for harsh language after saying "Shoot". Or something similar. Its discussions of "feminism" sound quaint as well. But nice for a driving-around town story.
Sherri Dub
I have to say, the content of the plot wasn't engaging enough in this novel to keep my interest. But, in all fairness, I don't like to read about political figures or careers.
Otherwise, it was excuted in the flawless Ms. Michaels style~
Even having read it before, I still found it hard to put this book down. My only complaint is that I don't really like Nick & feel like he has to grow up a bit more before he's worthy, but Erin & Rosemary make me smile.
Aug 23, 2008 Miriam rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: read a different Barbara Michaels book instead
Shelves: mystery
A young woman goes to work for another woman's political campaign, and discovers she is being threatened. The mystery here is weak, and the politics heavy-handed.
The pacing in this book felt off, but Michaels is a smooth, confident writer and she will carry you along effortlessly. Not one of her better books.
Barbara Michaels writes interesting and enjoyable mysteries that are easy to ready during a busy time, and keep the reader absorbed.
She is my favorite guilty pleasure! As usual she delivered a great read, interesting characters and a fun plot!
Nice change of subject matter but I found the suspense to be just average. Not up to Michael's usual standard.
The mystery was good if you can get past the stupid Democrat propoganda.
I've read better books. Not much happened until almost the end.
Sarah Sammis
It's a political thriller / mystery with some arson thrown in.
I don't usually read this type of book, but it was fun.
A great read for an election year
An okay ghost story.
A great light-hearted read
Sep 15, 2008 Cws added it
Shelves: adult-fiction
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Barbara Michaels is a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also writes as Elizabeth Peters, as well as under her own name.

She was born in Canton, Illinois and has written over fifty books including some in Egyptology. Dr. Mertz also holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in Egyptology.
More about Barbara Michaels...
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