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A Deadly Game of Magic
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A Deadly Game of Magic

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,066 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Seeking shelter from a fierce Texas storm, four teens are trapped inside a strange house as unwitting players in a magician's evil games. The phone goes dead. A plaster head suddenly appears. A disembodied hand taps the mantel. Then the magic turns even more sinister, leading inevitably toward murder.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published March 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published November 1st 1985)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,187)
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I was actually surprised at how much I liked this book. When I picked it up, it looked like a book a kid in 5th grade would read, but I figured, the story line sounds interesting, so why not try it out, right? I got bored after the first 20 pages, but, as my OCD kicks in, I told myself I needed to finish the book because I had already started it. So i continued reading and the mystery started and the clues began to appear and I wanted to know what, or who, was in that house, tormenting Lisa, Bo, ...more
I really enjoyed this book. It was quite a page-turner. I read the entire book in about 4 hours on my couch. I read the book in broad daylight and I found myself jumping at every sound in my house. Even though the writing was a little young for my reading level, I would find myself afraid of what would happen on the next page. I can't imagine what a younger kid would feel reading it. Overall I did enjoy the book, but there was one part that was never really explained. The characters continually ...more
so this book is about 4 friends who is driving around n then there car gets messed up cause of the rain so they see this house near by n stop by to use the phone n then they found out that the people that were there didnt liv in that house soo then the lights go off and thats wen the magic begins.....
Emma Decker
After their car breaks down in a violent storm, Lisa,Teena,Bo,and Julian spend the night at an old house that belonged to a retired magician full of old props. Soon the teens realize they are not alone in the house, and get caught in the mystery of a burning theatre, a magicians assistant, and attempt to beat the deadly game of magic. My favorite character was definitely Lisa, while her friends worry about insignificant things she focuses her mind on the prop room where nobody else wants to go, ...more
Hannah  Montana
This book is amazing. Yes,it's scary,but just amazing. It leaves you wanting more.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Although this is a young adult book, I found it gave me (twice the age of its target audience) quite the heebie-jeebies. I was literally, lamely, going back to the age where you see the shape in the darkness and even though you know it's a pile of clothes in your messy room, you're like "but what if someone came in and is just imitating the pile of clothes that was there?" It started up about halfway through, when Lisa attempted her knock-knock joke, and grew like a cold covering of creepiness

The only reason I read A Deadly Game of Magic by Joan Lowery Nixon is because it was free. Granted, most of the books I read are free—from the library. But I was actually able to take this book on an overseas flight.

I read other Joan Lowery Nixon books as a teenager—and I enjoyed them. Either I had no taste in books at the time or Deadly Game is just a stinker. (Since Lowery Nixon is an Edgar Award winner, I hope it’s the latter.)

In the book, four high school students are trapped in a rainstorm.
Dec 16, 2014 Colton rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody
I thought that this was an amazing book. I liked it so much that I had read it from late in the afternoon, to late into the night. It took me about four hours total. The book was very exiting, and I wanted to know what happened after every event. The characters had all worked together very well to solve the problem.They did a great job of figuring out all of the details in the mystery. In all, I though that this was a great book, and would recommend it to all types of readers
Jamie-lynn Hazzard
A surprisingly fun and fast read. I normally do not read YA, but I recently learned Joan Lowrey Nixon is the only author to hold four Edgar Allen Poe awards an had been keeping an eye out for her books. Even though the ending went a little off the rails for me (is this an episode of Scooby Doo?) I had a blast reading this. there are some genuinely creepy parts. I suggest staying up alone to read this, for the full effect.
Mar 22, 2014 A. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
When I was younger and still in middle school I was shown the wondrous writings of Joan Lowery Nixon. I'd visit the school libraries and public libraries just to get ahold of her novels. The murder and mystery of this one just thrilled me to bits and I still have this book on my shelves where I've read and reread it nearly a dozen times. Probably my favorite book by the author and had opened me to a new world of thriller.
Humberto Cnca
The book A Deadly Game Of Magic is full of suspence and thriller. You can't stop reading the book because something intresting is always happening. The main charecters are Lisa, Julian, Bo, and Teena. The setting takes place in an old creepy house. The plot is the four friends have to survive the night with some crazy lunatic trying to scare them away. Will they find out who the perso is or will they be part of the magician final act: murder.

Lisa and Julian have almost the same characteristic
To me Nixon is reminicent of R.L. Stine. This book is a horror mystery and keeps you wondering till the end. What makes this story particularly unique is that it centers around a magician giving insider info on typical magic tricks and illusions. The characters are highschoolers all anxious to impress their parents and live out lives that have been pre-planned for them-this is a consistent struggle between the very different but stereotypical characters; football player, closet male dancer, blac ...more
This book was very interesting because it allowed me to expand my curiosity throughout each page. It also gives you a kind of feeling like "whats going to happen next?" or maybe even a shocking part to. Well this book is about 4 teenagers who try to drive back to Dallas, in which there car gets stuck because there was a lightning storm. So they try to go to somewhere that has people , so they can call one of the teenager's(Julian) Automobile Club, in which the Automobile club is owned by the tee ...more
Lisa and three of her fellow drama club members break down on their way back home. A torrential downpour leads them to an old abandoned house, where a magician's strange contraptions gather dust. As the night wears on, several of these old contraptions spring to life when they are used to frighten and drive them to enter the room at the end of the corridor, the one that they are convinced reveals the secret of what happened to the owner of the house. Now Lisa must use her amateur's knowledge of ...more
Title: A Deadly Game of Magic

Author: Joan Lowery Nixon

Series: N/A


Summary: Seeking shelter from a fierce Texas storm, four teens are trapped inside a strange house as unwitting players in a magician's evil games. The phone goes dead. A plaster head suddenly appears. A disembodied hand taps the mantel. Then the magic turns even more sinister, leading inevitably toward murder.

Review: Not my favorite from Nixon, but still definitely worth the reading.

Things I Loved: It was all so scary and
This book is about four teenagers that go in a strangers house because their car broke down and it started to rain. Strange things happen and are scared in whats in one room. When I started reading this book, I thought it was going to be about a magician who kills people in his magic tricks. My favorite part of the book is when action starts happening. Such as, when the head appeared. My favorite character is Lisa because shes actually tries to come everyone down and is basically the one who tri ...more
Apr 14, 2015 Vania added it
The book "A deadly game of magic" was a very good book, it reminded me a lot like the movie "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" I feel like it starts off like any other scary story. But this one has its background info . It has its twists and turns as well. In conclusion it is over all a great book and I do recommend it.
Drew Bergeron
A couple of things i liked about is that a group of friends were driving and there car broke down. So they go into a house because the owner said they could but then they realize that was not the owner and that someone was it the house when they were there but they didn't know who it was.
I'm glad that I wasn't alone when I read this book! It's a heart-pounding thriller for sure but I couldn't put it down.

Four kids, who rather dislike each other, are driving home from a debate in Dallas in a terrible rainstorm. The water is rising and in a desolate area the car dies. But there is a house nearby and the kids run to it. They manage to call a tow truck and one parent before the phone goes dead. And then the electricity goes out as the storm gets worse. Trapped in the house, that se
This book is really good. It's a great light read but my only problem with this book is that the ending is poorly done. You don't know what happens for a page and all of the sudden the book is done. Overall it's a great read!
I can't tell you how many times I borrowed this book when I was a teen, and now, as an adult in my mid-30s, I can still say confidently that its creepiness is just as fresh as it was when I first picked it up when I was 14.
Ashley Meihls
Do you ever have that one book that you read again and again, yet you never ever get tired of it? Yeah, this is one of those for me. It's creepy, well written, and just a plain old good book. Joan Lowery Nixon has written a lot over the years, and I think that this is one of her best works.
I think that plot is fresh and original. The book was written in the 70s-80s, but I think it's a book that teen today could read and really enjoy. I like the friendships that spawn from these four kids trap
Guo Hui
This book is the book for people who want to have a good scare. When i was reading this book, the pages just made it more intense after every single page. I liked how the kids don't realize there's a magician until 3/4 into the book, this shows that the story develops slowly. I would really recommend people who like thrillers to read this, but the story gets boring half the time, so it's like a half good half bad book. Last of all though, i think that this book requires a patient person to read ...more
I chose this book because of the title. The deadly game of magic sounded like it would be a good book, and it was. This book involved a teenage girl who knows about and now has to use it to save her friends from a murder. Even though the begging was slow this book was really good. There was exciting parts on every page which didn’t want to make me stop reading. The only thing that I didn’t like about this book was that the characters that were in danger didn’t seem too scared. I would have liked ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Katie rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: suspense lovers
Shelves: read-once
This book started out very well. It was the first I had ever read by that author. I have only read two so far and I like this one better than the other one. Set in an abandoned house in a solitary Texas area it centers around a group of four kids who get stuck inside the house by a flood with a murderer. I like how they slowley uncover the plot through clues and magic tricks set by the murderer and there were many heart pounding moments. It was just okay though because there was never a real cli ...more
Carol Yu
i hate this book! this book probably falls into the genre of horror which isnt my type of thing. All i can say is that there is a whole group of friends trap in a house from a texas strom because there spelling bee contest was cancled.
It turns out that there was a magician guy that was really creey. Unsure if he was a muderer or not but he had some how took over the home and it was a realy night mare for Lisa and her friends.
This book kind of reminds me of the movie the haunted house. How there
Mar 24, 2015 Raina added it
it was good.....the story line needs a bit of work here in there but all around a ok story.
Sandra Stiles
On their way back from a competition four teens find themselves stranded at a stranger's house due to car trouble. The man who let them in to call a mechanic tells them to lock up when they leave as he and his wife are headed out to a party. You immediately get the feeling that something is not quite right here. From this point on things really start getting suspenseful. You wonder, are they alone in the house? this was a great read. However, due to a lot of unanswered questions at the end of th ...more
Sam Bashaw
Wasn't my favorite but was worth my time.
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Author of more than one hundred books, Joan Lowery Nixon is the only writer to have won four Edgar Allan Poe Awards for Juvenile Mysteries (and been nominated several other times) from the Mystery Writers of America. Creating contemporary teenage characters who have both a personal problem and a mystery to solve, Nixon captured the attention of legions of teenage readers since the publication of h ...more
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