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Now You See Them

(Stephens & Mephisto Mystery #5)

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  395 ratings  ·  93 reviews
The fifth book in the Magic Men series, Now You See Themis awild mystery with detective Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto, as they investigate a string of presumed kidnappings in the swinging 1960s.

The new decade is going well for Edgar Stephens and his good friend the magician Max Mephisto. Edgar is happily married, with children, and promoted to
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published December 3rd 2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published October 3rd 2019)
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It has taken this latest addition to Elly Griffiths's historical Stephens and Mephisto series set in Brighton for me to become aware of just how much I love this series. It picks up more than a decade later from events in The Vanishing Box, in the interim fundamental shifts have taken place in the lives of the major characters. It is 1964, Max is now a bona fide movie star living in LA, married to the famous actress, Lydia Lamont, and has two young children, Rocco and Elena. He is now Lord ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
As a huge fan of the Ruth Galloway series, I was thrilled to learn that Elly Griffiths had another series. So, when book five in the Magic Men series became available on netgalley, I jumped at the chance to read it.

This story takes you back to 1964. The Magic Men originally came together in WWII. Now Max is an actor in Hollywood and Edgar is a Police Superintendent. The time period allows for the sexism of the day to shine through, like the fact that a female police constable isn’t allowed to
Where the first four books in this series were set in 1950s Brighton, this fifth episode has leapt ahead 10 years to the 1960s. Mini skirt wearing teenage girls are swooning over the Beatles and Mods and Rockers are ganging up on each other. The Magic Men who were part of a special squad in WWII have all gone their separate ways. Max Mephisto is no longer a variety show magician but a movie star, married to a Hollywood actress in LA and father of two young children and Edgar Stephens is now a ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is always an event when a new Elly Griffiths book is due out. The chance to receive an advanced reader’s copy (ARC) should not be passed up.
This is now the 5th in this series that began with her main characters caught up in making a go of things after World War II. Life in Post War England was a struggle and the charm of these books were the end of the pier shows, variety and where magicians were often topping the bill in theatres. Two wartime colleagues were reunited in what became initially
Ten years have passed since the last Magic Men mystery. Emma is no longer a police officer; she’s married to Edgar, who is now Superintendent, and a mother of 3. Max is back--he married an American, and is just visiting Brighton. An important man’s daughter is missing, and the police start to connect the case with some other disappearances of young women in the area. Then the kidnapping gets very personal, and everyone’s help is needed to before it is too late.
I adore Griffiths’ Ruth Galloway book series and also loved her recent standalone The Stranger Diaries but, on a whole, I will admit I have not enjoyed the Stephens/Mephisto (or as it is advertised on the US cover, The Magic Men) series quite as much. The trend continues with Now You See Them.

For this, the fifth book in the series, Griffiths has skipped ten years, thus the post war 50s has morphed into the swinging 60s. I really enjoy books set in the 50s, where PTSD from WW2 is so prevalent and
Susan Johnson
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Diablo would have preferred applause at his funeral just as he liked it in life but all he got was tears. The WWII special ops gang have gathered 10 years after the last book (now 1964) was concluded to pay their last respects to the old vaudevillian. And how things have changed. Edgar and Emma are married and have three children. He is now Police Superintendent in Brighton. Max has become a movie star in Hollywood and lives there with his movie star wife and two children. Ruby is the star of ...more
With thanks to Netgalley and Quercus for this ARC in exchange for an open and honest review.

Now You See Them had moved to 1960s Brighton when the word teenagers were invented. The Beatles were the original UK boy band, and battles between mods and rockers on the promenade.

Times had changed for Edgar and Max. Edgar became a superintendent and married his former sergeant Emma Holmes and had three children. Max went to America where he appeared in a successful film. Max married a film star and they
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the fact that this book had jumped 10 years in time since the last one in the series quite disconcerting to start with, but still enjoyed the story after a while.
It's so good to spend time with Max, Edgar and Emma again. Time has moved on and things have changed for them all but now they must work together again to stop a killer. This is a lovingly developed story in which character and setting matter more than the plot and, as usual, Elly Griffiths writes beautifully. This will always be one of my very favourite series. Review to follow shortly on For Winter Nights.
Elaine Tomasso
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Netgalley and Quercus Books for an advance copy of Now You See Them, the fifth novel to feature Superintendent Edgar Stephens of the Brighton police and magician turned film star Max Mephisto.

Time has moved on for the characters and it’s now 1964. Max is back in Brighton, having spent the last 11 years in Los Angeles, and Edgar has been promoted to Superintendent. Life has changed for them but crime still exists so Edgar is soon busy investigating the disappearance of
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Girls are disappearing and the Magic Men need to figure out how to undo the trick of this unknown man lurking in the shadows -- promising to turn girls into models. Ten years have gone by since Stevens & Mephisto #4 and it is 1964. With WW II so distant in the rearview mirror, the tumultuous 60's are in focus. Max and Edgar both have young children. Diablo is dead. Emma is a stay-at-home mom. Ruby is a celebrity in her own right. There is a new recruit at the police station and she has some ...more
Joy Smith
Nov 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
The story started out slowly, and the preceding story--11 years ago--sounded more interesting, but eventually I got to know the characters and learn about what happened back then, and what's happening with everyone now, and when things picked up farther along, the mystery and suspense really drew me in, and the climax--though I saw that coming--was riveting with a twist that I enjoyed. (It's about time!) And the ending was satisfying. (I was really worried; one of the kidnapped victims was ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley2019
#NowYouSeeThem #NetGalley
"The fifth gripping Stephens & Mephisto mystery from the bestselling author of the Dr Ruth Galloway series - a must-read for fans of Agatha Christie and Robert Galbraith. DCI Edgar Stephens, Detective Sergeants Emma Holmes and Bob Willis, and of course magician Max Mephisto, are facing a brave new world: the 1960s.

Max is a huge TV star in the USA, and life in Brighton has settled down for the three police officers."

I just loved this one and have been waiting for
Bebe (Sarah) Brechner
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Magic Men series is fabulous fun! Griffiths brings the fifth story into a setting many years after the last one. This is a bit disconcerting at first, but quickly steps into the rich, suspenseful story readers have come to expect. All the favorite characters of the past stories are unexpectedly together again. Griffiths also brings a focus on former detective Emma Holmes, who is bored with her life as wife to Edgar, of the original Magic Men and now head of the detective unit. Emma featured ...more
David Gilchrist
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My 5* review of 'Now you see Them" by Elly Griffiths.
Another story set in Brighton with Max and Edgar back in harness working to resolve the mystery of girls going missing, along with a host of other supporting characters. This author writes and develops characters better than most. Though set in Brighton not too cosy touching on racism, sexism, homophobia along with misogyny the issues of the day in the 1960,s.
Lizzie Hayes
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brighton May 1964 and Edgar Stephens is attending the funeral of an old friend a magician known as the Great Diablo, aka Stan Parks. Lost in his memories a door banging at the back of the church brings Edgar back to the present and there is Max Mephisto, looking unchanged by the last eleven years.

Much has changed for the friends who served in the war together as part of a group called the Magic Men. Edgar is now a Police Superintendent and has married his former sergeant Emma Holmes. Max is now
Disclaimer: I did not know that this was the fifth book in a series and, although everything made sense without reading the previous books, I just thought like it was something I should mention. Also, I recieved this as an Arc on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Well. I'm pretty sure you shouldn't finish a book feeling like you've just ran a marathon but that's what I did. It was quite difficult to read just because it struggled to hold my interest. I'm not entirely sure if the
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
Now You See Them – A Trip back into the swinging sixties

It is Brighton 1963, Edgar Stephens is now married and been promoted to the position of Superintendent and is happily married to Emma, his former detective sergeant. Emma is now a stay at home parent to their children, even though she still hankers for her days back on the job.

At a funeral of an old friend, and stage magician in Brighton, and brings back together the friends who knew him so well. Edgar Stephens and Emma are in attendance,
Diane Dickson
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It was great to meet old friends again and especially as their lives had moved on and developed. Having lived through the sixties and remember the Brighton battles I did enjoy the cultural references and in particular the beginning of the feminist awakening. The plot was perhaps not quite as convoluted as some of Ms Griffiths' other work but it was satisfying enough and came to a complete and tidy conclusion.

Though I really enjoyed the scene setting I would not rest easy if
Hannelore Cheney
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the eARC.
We're back in Brighton, 11 years after the previous in the series - it's now 1964 and the mods and rockers are expected to clash on the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend. A young girl is missing as well, so Edgar Stephens, now a Detective Superintendent, has his hands full. He and his team soon find out other girls have gone missing as well. Then one of them is found murdered.
It was so good to be back in the company of Edgar, Emma, Ruby
Jun 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Edgar Stephens, now a Detective Superintendent, and his team are investigating the possible kidnapping of a young girl when they realize that there are other girls going missing around Brighton. Soon the disappearances begin hitting too close to home.

I enjoyed reading all of the previous books, but was wondering if the series would really continue after The Vanishing Box. Very glad it did! As with the previous books, the story is compelling, the characters engaging, and the mystery
I very much enjoyed books 1-4 of this mystery series set in Brighton in the 1950s/60s, but this one took too long to get going. It wasn't until about half way through that the story really picked up, and although this second half was interesting and kept me reading, it was just too slow in coming. Overall though, a good series.
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just devoured the ARC of this book. It was delicious.
The Library Lady
I am not sure why Griffiths needed to jump about 10 years since the last book in that series, but I guess that she feels that her characters are all settled into new lives, time to bring them back together again. I guessed a lot of the twists in this mystery, but still enjoyed it, but after the last awful Ruth Galloway book, and this less than fabulous one for the magic men, I can't help thinking about how good the standalone The Stranger Diaries was, and wishing that she could be that strong a ...more
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
The fifth book in the Magic Men series, Now You See Them, takes place in the 60's, 10 years later than the last book. Superintendent Edgar Stephens and the magician Max Mephisto are involved in a case of missing girls in Brighton UK. DS Emma Holmes is now married to Edgar and is a frustrated wife and mother who misses being out there solving crime along with Edgar. She begins her own hunt along with Sam Collins, a woman reporter. When two more girls go missing, both with ties to the group, the ...more
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This is the fifth book in the Stephens and Mephisto series which is set in Brighton. Edgar Stephens has now been promoted to Superintendent and married to former DS Emma Holmes, they have three children. Meanwhile, Max Mephisto is a movie star in Hollywood, he is married, with two children. His daughter Ruby is doing well in her tv programme too.

Max is back in England for the funeral of Stan Parks, aka Diablo, actor and wartime comrade to him and Edgar. DI Bob Willis is trying to find local
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
was delighted for the opportunity to continue with Elly Griffiths’s mystery series featuring police detective Edgar Stephens and magician Max Mephisto In Now You See Them, the fifth book of the Magic Men (or Stephens & Mephisto) series.

Unexpectedly, eleven years have passed since the events of The Vanishing Box. In the interim, Edgar Stephens has been promoted to Superintendent, and is happily married to (former Sergeant) Emma, with three young children, while Max Mephisto has become an
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: net-galley
It has been ten years since the events in The Vanishing Box and things have certainly moved on! Edgar Stephens, now a superintendent, has finally got his act together and is married to his former DS, Emma Holmes, and is the father of three children. Edgar’s friend, Max Mephisto, has made the move to America where he is now a film star, married with children, while his daughter, Ruby, is now the star of her own television show, Ruby Magic.

Now something has brought them all back together in
Louise Marley
I've just read the first four books in this series, back-to-back, so to get my hands on this one was an absolute treat! I love Elly's books but I can't decide whether I love her Dr Ruth Galloway series best or this one. Do I have to choose?!!

The first four books in the Brighton Mysteries were set in the 1950s and many of the ongoing plot strands were resolved in the fourth book. Now You See Them is almost a reboot, in that we rejoin the characters nine years later. Some of them are no longer
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Elly Griffiths' Ruth Galloway novels take for their inspiration Elly's husband, who gave up a city job to train as an archaeologist, and her aunt who lives on the Norfolk coast and who filled her niece's head with the myths and legends of that area. Elly has two children and lives near Brighton. Though not her first novel, The Crossing Places is her first crime novel.

Other books in the series

Stephens & Mephisto Mystery (5 books)
  • The Zig Zag Girl (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery, #1)
  • Smoke and Mirrors (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery, #2)
  • The Blood Card (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery, #3)
  • The Vanishing Box (Stephens & Mephisto Mystery, #4)