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The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths
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The Blood Card by Elly Griffiths is the third book of the Stephens & Mephisto mystery series set in 1953 Brighton, London and New York. Magician Max Mephisto is happy to be the headline act in a 'top tier' theater in seaside resort Brighton. Police Inspector Edgar Stephens (Brighton PD) is blissfully awaiting his wedding to Ruby. She's an up-and-coming magician, and Max's daughter. Max doubts Edgar & Ruby are compatible, but keeps his opinion to himself. He and Edgar served together in a special unit in WWII, and have been friends ever since.

Both men receive urgent summons to London by a general, to investigate a murder. Very hush-hush arrangements include a passport, cash and transatlantic flight for Edgar. Edgar's experiences in postwar New York are quite the culture shock. He's suddenly in a land of plenty, vs. the severe postwar privations at home. Edgar arrives in Albany just after a murder, and he is attacked (hit-and-run). He diligently gathers evidence for his case as best he can, interviews everyone who is willing to answer questions. Before departing, he has time for a day and night sightseeing in New York City. He dreams of returning with Ruby.

Back home in Brighton, Edgar returns to investigating the death of a gypsy woman. His key assistant detective Emma has been skillfully sleuthing in his absence. She's become friends with the gypsy woman's family, and has uncovered interesting clues. Emma must be on to something that threatens a killer, because she's viciously attacked on her way home one evening.

Meanwhile, Max is 'courted' by a television producer. Joe wants Max to headline a retrospective of vaudeville programs. Max reluctantly agrees, but then learns his daughter will be on the program as well. By mutual agreement, they do not publicize their relationship. She doesn't want to be assisted in her career by her famous father; he doesn't know if her adoptive parents would approve of the publicity.

Conspiracy and plot twists galore! Suspense over a bomb threat, at first was thought to be directed at the queen's coronation, but turns out to have a different target/intent. To truly appreciate these characters, and feel like you're reading adventures of old friends, read this series in order. Learn about The Magic Men. A brief background is provided for a reader starting at this book, plus a bit more history (Egypt) to supplement a series reader, but to understand risks they have faced together, read the series in order.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 3, 2020 – Shelved
September 3, 2020 – Finished Reading

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