Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Smoke and Mirrors” as Want to Read:
Smoke and Mirrors
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Smoke and Mirrors

3.81  ·  Rating Details ·  1,768 Ratings  ·  22 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Smoke and Mirrors, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Smoke and Mirrors

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Joan Young
Mar 12, 2012 Joan Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 11, 2012 Elli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, romance, 2012
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.
Jun 27, 2011 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
She is my favorite guilty pleasure! As usual she delivered a great read, interesting characters and a fun plot!
Aug 23, 2008 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  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.
Jan 17, 2012 Beverly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-mystery
The mystery was good if you can get past the stupid Democrat propoganda.
Jul 29, 2012 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Sheri South
I'd just finished the spooktastic AMMIE, COME HOME and was all ready for a Barbara Michaels glom when I found this one cheap at a used-book sale. What a disappointment! The mystery didn't really get interesting until the last 100 pages or so--and what I was given in the meantime amounted to little more than a political screed. This would have been annoying even if I'd shared the authors political convictions, but it's rather offensive when everyone who shares your own views is either (a) an idio ...more
Alison C
Feb 26, 2015 Alison C rated it it was amazing
Smoke and Mirrors, by Barbara Michaels, is a multiple-time re-read for me; I first encountered Ms. Michaels (aka Elizabeth Peters) in the early 1980s and have read just about everything she's written - and re-read a fair number of them too. This one is particularly apt during an election season, as the setting is that of a US Senate campaign in about 1988. Young Erin Hartsock goes to work for charismatic Congresswoman Rosemary Marshall, who has given up her cozy seat in the House to run for Sena ...more
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.
Aug 14, 2015 Kellie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a disappointment. I love Elizabeth Peters' (Barbara Michaels) writing in the Amelia Peabody and Vicki Bliss series much better than her writing in this book. I had to force myself to finish the book.
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~
Aug 04, 2010 Ali rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An okay ghost story.
Sep 27, 2015 Skeetor rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Moved a little slow...just didn't hold my interest.
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.
Nov 24, 2007 Ana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't usually read this type of book, but it was fun.
Nice change of subject matter but I found the suspense to be just average. Not up to Michael's usual standard.
Sep 15, 2008 Cws added it
Shelves: adult-fiction
F Mic
Sarah Sammis
Aug 31, 2007 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a political thriller / mystery with some arson thrown in.
A great light-hearted read
Sep 12, 2012 Katherine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Michaels writes interesting and enjoyable mysteries that are easy to ready during a busy time, and keep the reader absorbed.
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it it was amazing
A great read for an election year
I've read better books. Not much happened until almost the end.
Ayesha rated it really liked it
Dec 21, 2010
andrea j saunders
andrea j saunders rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2017
Amanda rated it liked it
Apr 21, 2012
Janne rated it really liked it
Sep 07, 2008
Jill rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2014
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer
Elizabeth Nesbit-comer rated it really liked it
Jan 18, 2011
Rachel rated it liked it
Sep 20, 2011
Rachelle Crews
Rachelle Crews rated it it was amazing
Sep 29, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Devil May Care
  • Wildfire at Midnight
Barbara Michaels was a pen name of Barbara Mertz. She also wrote 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...

Share This Book