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Disappearing Nightly

(Esther Diamond #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  1,938 ratings  ·  246 reviews
“I’m not a heroine; I just play heroines. Also psychotics, orphans, vamps, hookers, and housewives.”

When bizarre magical disappearances disrupt performances in the Big Apple, struggling actress Esther Diamond receives a cryptic warning not to appear in an Off-Broadway musical because “there is Evil among us.”

Since the show much go on, Esther teams up with a conjuring cowbo
Paperback, 408 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Luna Books (first published December 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  1,938 ratings  ·  246 reviews

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Feb 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one, really

Negative 40.5 stars

Review at

If I’m being honest–and I am, because I have yet to write my dishonest review–this is not my type of book. And if I’m being very honest–and I am, because I don’t want to make the mistake of reading this again–this is only an okay book, a book serviceable for people who enjoy the genre, and who aren’t feeling picky about writing or characterization.

Esther is working as a chorus girl and understudy in a magic-themed Broadway pro
Rebecca McNutt
Disappearing Nightly wasn't exactly the kind of book I was expecting, but all the same I really liked it. It manages to combine the classy glamour of New York show business with the thrill of a good paranormal fantasy, and the author's scenic descriptions bring the whole thing to life very well. Beneath a quirky story about a ragtag group of performers and friends there's an amazing adventure, and the book's unpredictability and originality make it even more engaging.

While at times some of the h
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars, but I am rounding up. Why is this author not getting more attention? Laura Resnick is a recent discovery for me Fallen from Grace Fallen from Grace suffers from a really bad cover and not enough buzz -- I think the cover turns readers away (it shouldn't, the story is great). Disappearing Nightly suffers similarly. Apparently The Esther Diamond series has quite a few books in it (5!) and she has an epic fantasy series also. But I never see Resnick's books turn up on my GR friends' TBR ...more
Lolly's Library
They often say it takes a certain mixture of acting and alchemy to make it on Broadway. In Esther Diamond's case, this is a literal truth. In a refreshing change of pace in the paranormal/urban fantasy genre, the lead character, Ms. Diamond, isn't paranormal. Nor is she supernatural, preternatural, or anything other than a hard-at-work actress, tired of waiting tables and ready for her big break, even if that break means she's the understudy to a bubble-brained pop princess in a magic-themed sta ...more
Aug 02, 2010 rated it liked it
I would love to rate this book higher, because it really was an enjoyable read, much more enjoyable than a lot of my other 3-star reads. But, the flaws are too great to ignore, and, while I enjoyed it, I recognize that there are aspects that turned me off, and would turn off other readers, as well.

The biggest turn-off was that there's rape in it. The villain, as punishment for his evil ways, suffers a horribly violent fate. In and of itself, that's not terrible, except that it seemed that the au
Olga Godim
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
This was my first Laura Resnick but it won’t be my last. I was wavering about this novel’s rating. Some chapters, I wanted to give it 5 stars. Others, my estimation slid to 3 stars. Average: 4 stars.
Mishaps of the disappearing acts plague the magicians of New York. Their assistants disappear. Seriously. Every time a magician performs a disappearing trick on stage, his assistant vanishes, never to be seen again. The magicians of the city are beginning to panic.
The protagonist Esther is a no-nons
Jennifer Crusie describes the series as "“A paranormal screwball comedy adventure. Light, happy, fantastically funny!" ... and I CANNOT AGREE MORE!! It has been awhile since I read a book that is so deliciously funny, I chuckle like crazy, even get stomachache because of it.

This book combines a feisty heroine, a bunch of over-the-top supporting characters (including a 350 years old magician and a bunch of drag performers), a sexy love interest, AND a crackling plot involving disappearances of p
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was ok
Frustration. This little pill of an urban mystery novel looked like such a good time when I read the blurb on the back. Magicians and disappearing assistants, goofy characters and wacky hijinks aplenty. What's not to like? A lot, as it turns out.

To be fair, there were a few things about this book that I did enjoy. There were spots of zaniness (especially in the fairly large and colorful cast of secondary characters), and a few moments where I smiled, but Ms. Resnick felt the urge to wrap this wh
John Loyd
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
First Esther Diamond book. Esther has a minor part in Sorcerer! but is also understudy for the female lead. The show is written around the producer's husband's magic routine. During the vanishing act, the Golly Gee actually disappears. It'll be Esther's chance to play the lead, but she is has gotten two notes warning her not to perform. Meanwhile around the city there have been other disappearances.

Esther teams up with Dr. Max Zadoc and some of the other magicians who've lost assistants to find
Apr 22, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Esther Diamond's cast as a bit part in a magic show turned musical when a disappearing trick works a little too well. As the understudy, she has to step into the lead role when the drama queen pop star lead doesn't reappear during the performance, but it's not the disappearance that brings things to a crashing halt, it's the magician's panic attack. He's convinced he felt actual magical talent channel through him as he performed the trick and now the pop star really is gone for good. While he ha ...more
This book was quirky fun. Review over... okay perhaps a bit more depth.

Disappearing Nightly is an interesting book in the 'Urban Fantasy' canon. Like much such work it centers around a mystery and a 'hidden world' of supernatural. In this case a series of 'disappearing acts' have resulted in assistants actually disappearing without a trace. Ester, the semi-professional Actress who was the understudy for one of the disapperee's teams up with Max, a centuries old Magician, in order to figure out w
First off, while this could technically be called an urban fantasy, it doesn't really have the atmosphere of one and I'd be more likely to call it a magical mystery. Disappearing Nightly is a charming, wonderfully intriguing tale featuring the logical off-Broadway actress Esther Diamond, who through no fault of her own stumbles into the world of magic, and the path of Dr. Maximillian Zadok.

The author crafted a well-done, swiftly plotted yarn that left me pleased as punch. The characters went bey
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Esther Diamond does not have a paranormal bone in her body. What she does have is a role in a play featuring magic. Everything changes when Golly Gee, the lead actress, disappears for real during a performance. As her understudy Esther has to solve the mystery before she has to take Golly Gee’s place and risk becoming another real disappearance.

Laura Resnick has written a funny paranormal mystery filled with quirky characters some of whom do have paranormal abilities. Along with a great plot th
This was a really fun read that kept me up WAY to late!
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was ok
Esther Diamond is a Broadway actress in the chorus of a new off-Broadway musical but is also the understudy for a soloist who disappears during the show--for real. When I took out this book I hadn't realized that it wasn't just magic, but demons, etc. NOT my cup of tea. Also, too many cooks spoil the broth. There are times when there are just too many characters to make things work well and I used to read the long, complicated Ludlum spy novels with reams of characters so it's not that I don't t ...more
A book away from an episode of hoarders
This was a bit of a madcap jaunt through a paranormal mystery. Esther Diamond is a chorus girl, and understudy to Golly Gee, the main “star” of a production of Sorcerer! when havoc erupts (as it does). Golly Gee disappears as she’s supposed to during the magic musical live performance but doesn’t reappear. Getting a cryptic note about EVIL afoot, Esther is nervous about the role she’s now cast in. Not to mention the fact that Golly Gee, a charicature of female b celebrities, is not the first per ...more
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is a fun little urban fantasy book, the start of a series about an aspiring actress named Esther Diamond who lives in New York City and ends up pulled into some otherworldly intrigue, and making friends with a 350 year old Dr. Zadok who happens to have drank a potion for immortality and is stationed in New York in a quest to defend the world from evil.

This first novel tracks the mystery of people who actually fully disappear when they are part of magical acts were they are supposed to be p
Apr 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Esther Diamond, a sometimes-(off)-Broadway actress, and a not-quite-immortal wizard search for the magician responsible for a series of disappearances. Light in tone with a (sometimes overwhelmingly) zany cast of characters, this is a mostly enjoyable, slightly romantic urban fantasy.

That said, the ending put a very sour taste in my mouth because of a scene in which the villain is raped. My perception is that the author set it up to be a scene of cosmic justice set against a laugh-track backgro
Darcia Helle
This book made me laugh, kept me interested throughout, and allowed me to step outside of the "normal" world just a little.

Esther is an aspiring actress who gets caught up in a bizarre mystery of disappearing people. In her quest to discover why and how these people are simply vanishing, she meets Maximillian Zadok and a host of characters whose names are as unique and memorable as their personalities.

The story has a slight paranormal edge and a magical twist. But there is nothing that you must
You take a struggling actress, a couple of mages, a sexy cop, and, yes, a handful of drag queens and the forces of Evil don't stand a chance. I enjoyed this book. I really did. I was in the mood for some humor and this fit the bill nicely. That's not to say that it was perfect. Given the lighter, comedic nature of this story I don't think the villain really deserved what he got and I also think the story meandered a bit in the middle. That said, I did chuckle quite a few times and the story is p ...more
Aug 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
i picked up this book to read on a road trip, and it definetely provided a few hours of entartainment while riding in the back seat of a car (while you are trying to distract yourself from the fact that you have car sickness). the story line is easy to follow, the characters are hilarious, and i couldn't wait to get to the end. i think it might be the first one in the series, and it is definetely a good start.
Tabitha Gray
Bit of dark humor at the end that did not work for me, seemed in poor taste (opinion), which lowered this book by a star for me. However, this series as a whole is very enjoyable. (Although I do tire of the lead finding herself scantily clad in inconvenient situations. That particular jest has grown old).
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I did really enjoyed Disappearing Nightly (Esther Diamond, #1) by Laura Resnick it was light quirky and fun! Ester was snarky and fun! Plus Drag Queens!!
Wing Kee
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5. The definition of a junk food book (which can be fun).

World: The world building here is all cliches and tropes of the urban fantasty genre, nothing new and creative here. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just what it is, it’s put together well with bits and pieces that are fun and interesting making a nice little playground for the story to take place in. I do like the insane and over the top cast of characters which makes this story stand out a bit more.

Story: Purely paint by number
Esther, the understudy for the magician's assistant, is also a scantily clad nymph in the chorus in Sorcerer!, an off-Broadway production revolving around a magician's act. A mediocre D-List magician's act at that. The highlight of the show is the Disappearing Act, you know, the trick where the beautiful magician's assistant 'disappears'. Except tonight she really disappears. Poof!

What follows is a romp, a silly, highly entertaining, mystery romp involving various D-list magician acts whose beau
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the just the type book I’ve long enjoyed – a paranormal screwball comedy mystery. I adore my books liberally lightened with levity. It’s a particularly important element these days.

As someone who grew up with a deep love for theater, this story also really appealed to me on that level.

“I’m not a heroine; I just play heroines. Also psychotics, orphans, hookers, housewives, and—on one memorable occasion—a singing rutabaga.”

Esther is understudy to Golly Gee in an off-Broadway musical when G
Bridgette Redman
Feb 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
As if low wages, tight costumes, long hours, demanding bosses, and diva stars weren't enough to plague an actress, Esther Diamond also has to worry about a plague of magicians whose magic is anything but mundane or explainable.

It is this premise which Laura Resnick draws out into a delightful romp in Disappearing Nightly, a Luna novel due out in December 2005. Set on Broadway in modern New York, Disappearing Nightly is a first-person tale that banishes all the darkness found in Luna's other mod
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
This is the first book in the Esther Diamond series but it was published after several of the sequels by DAW since the original publisher had some issues. This made it interesting to read since I have read the other books which have references to what happens in this story, but that did not diminish the fun I had reading it.

Esther is a struggling actress in New York City working in a magic act/play as an understudy when the starlet disappears -literally. Soon she finds out other magic acts have
It took me a while but I finally found and read Disappearing Nightly, the first of the Esther Diamond series. I began reading the series with Doppelgangster first. When I read the fly, the series appeared to begin with Doppelgangster yet the story and characters often refer to prior adventures. My first thought was that maybe the series began as a short story. Goodreads showed me differently and I began the hunt for the first book.

I enjoyed the introductory chapters; I enjoyed learning how Esthe
Ann aka Iftcan
Think UF-light in this first Esther Diamond book. Esther, a starving actress in NYC finds herself thrust into the shoes of the star of her show, said star having disappeared from them while performing in a magic act for the off-off-off Broadway show "Sorceror!" The only problem is--the missing star was the first of several people to go missing--and now our fearless heroine is being warned not to step into the magic (crystal) booth. General strangeness occurs as Esther finds out that there really ...more
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Laura Resnick is an award-winning science fiction and fantasy author, the daughter of prolific science fiction author Mike Resnick. She was the winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction for 1993. She also writes romance novels under the pseudonym Laura Leone ...more

Other books in the series

Esther Diamond (8 books)
  • Doppelgangster (Esther Diamond, #2)
  • Unsympathetic Magic (Esther Diamond, #3)
  • Vamparazzi (Esther Diamond, #4)
  • Polterheist (Esther Diamond, #5)
  • The Misfortune Cookie (Esther Diamond, #6)
  • Abracadaver (Esther Diamond, #7)
  • Goldzilla (Esther Diamond, #8)

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“I'm not a heroine, I just play heroines. Also psychotics, vamps, orphans, hookers, housewives, and ”on one memorable occasionâ ”a singing rutabaga. It was never my ambition to utilize my extensive dramatic training by playing a musical vegetable. However, as my agent is so fond of pointing out, there are more actors in New York than there are people in most other cities. Translation: Beggars can't be choosers.” 6 likes
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