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Deadly Magic

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Librarian Note: This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B00A1N2F5Y. A night of magic turns into a night of murder. It's Halloween night and the normally unhappy co-workers of the Straker Toy Company are eagerly looking forward to the celebration of their tyrannical boss' fiftieth birthday. None more so than Grace Holliday. After all, it's not every day she gets invited t Librarian Note: This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B00A1N2F5Y. A night of magic turns into a night of murder. It's Halloween night and the normally unhappy co-workers of the Straker Toy Company are eagerly looking forward to the celebration of their tyrannical boss' fiftieth birthday. None more so than Grace Holliday. After all, it's not every day she gets invited to the annual costumed bash at the Dragon's Lair, the premier magic theater in Manhattan. What promises as a night of magic and mystery, quickly turns into a night of mayhem and murder when the boss' equally tyrannical wife dies on stage. According to the police, it was an obvious suicide. Now it's up to Grace to discover which one of her co-workers pulled off the trick of the year before she becomes the killer's next victim.


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Librarian Note: This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B00A1N2F5Y. A night of magic turns into a night of murder. It's Halloween night and the normally unhappy co-workers of the Straker Toy Company are eagerly looking forward to the celebration of their tyrannical boss' fiftieth birthday. None more so than Grace Holliday. After all, it's not every day she gets invited t Librarian Note: This is an alternate cover edition for ASIN B00A1N2F5Y. A night of magic turns into a night of murder. It's Halloween night and the normally unhappy co-workers of the Straker Toy Company are eagerly looking forward to the celebration of their tyrannical boss' fiftieth birthday. None more so than Grace Holliday. After all, it's not every day she gets invited to the annual costumed bash at the Dragon's Lair, the premier magic theater in Manhattan. What promises as a night of magic and mystery, quickly turns into a night of mayhem and murder when the boss' equally tyrannical wife dies on stage. According to the police, it was an obvious suicide. Now it's up to Grace to discover which one of her co-workers pulled off the trick of the year before she becomes the killer's next victim.

30 review for Deadly Magic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Evgeny

    The employees of the Straker Toy Company are invited to the birthday party of their boss named - as you might guess - Straker. The birthday takes place in the premiere magic palace of Manhattan. A grand illusion is interrupted by an appearance of a dead body; the person committed suicide while literally everybody in the theater was watching. Grace Holliday, a heroine of the novel is quite sure it was a murder. It turns out she is not the only one who thinks so. How was the murder committed, unle The employees of the Straker Toy Company are invited to the birthday party of their boss named - as you might guess - Straker. The birthday takes place in the premiere magic palace of Manhattan. A grand illusion is interrupted by an appearance of a dead body; the person committed suicide while literally everybody in the theater was watching. Grace Holliday, a heroine of the novel is quite sure it was a murder. It turns out she is not the only one who thinks so. How was the murder committed, unless it was a pure magic? I gave the high rating to the book, why? Because the author remembers that cozy mysteries is primarily about mystery with romance coming distant second, or even last. I read so many cozies lately where these parts were switched that this one came out very refreshing. Grace is a single woman in her thirties, but she is not obsessed with finding The Right Guy. It did not hurt any that the mystery part was quite baffling, complicated, and with a lot of red herrings. The relationships between co-workers of the Straker Toy Company during big layoffs were very well done with all the back-stabbings between people trying not to lose their jobs. I am not sure it this was intentional, but in most cases they looked really pathetic while doing the whole drown-your-colleague-so-you-can-keep-the-job thing. As to the problems, the book could really use a better editing. The start is really slow and somewhat boring until the dead body shows up. There were some minor grammar errors; if this bothers you, subtract one star from my rating. If you can overlook this part, there is a good mystery waiting for you as a reward. It was good enough for me to want to read the second one of the series. This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/101483...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marja

    This book is a mess. Intitially, I liked the setting, magicians and all but it wasn't magical at all. There's too many people and they all seem like a caricatures instead of real people. I didn't like Grace, I didn't get her and why she had been working for Straker's Toy Company for a decade when clearly the company was a shitty place to work and her boss a senile old man who just bullies everyone around him to do stuff that they're not qualified to do or makes no sense. Grace was an idiot and a This book is a mess. Intitially, I liked the setting, magicians and all but it wasn't magical at all. There's too many people and they all seem like a caricatures instead of real people. I didn't like Grace, I didn't get her and why she had been working for Straker's Toy Company for a decade when clearly the company was a shitty place to work and her boss a senile old man who just bullies everyone around him to do stuff that they're not qualified to do or makes no sense. Grace was an idiot and a complete doormat and the rest of the characters weren't any smarter. Moreover, this is too frickin long. I kept reading and reading and every time I checked my progress it was like to 2% more than the previous time. There are so many things that just confuse the reader but doesn't contribute to the story in any way. I got so bored and confused that I started to pay attention to trivial things, like recurring expressions. 'In amusement'/'with amusement'/'amused'/'to his/her amusement' was used 19 times in total. Curious/curiously was used 27 times. Worry/worried/worriedly was used 73 times. Snap/snapped/snapped her mouth etc was used 46 times. These people really like to snap to each other.. What do these counts tell me? I have absolutely no idea, but I have never before felt compelled to count how many times same expressions are used in the book before this. My impression of this book in a nutshell: a bunch of dumb dumbs doing idiotic things and a whole lotta nonsense that doesn't contribute to the story in any way. About 100 hundred pages from the middle could be cut off and that wouldn't cause any damage, it might even improve the story. Maybe even make it a little more enjoyable. This author should get an editor to weed out all the stupidities. I'm done with this series. This author is just not for me.

  3. 4 out of 5

    JoAn

    Deadly Magic was a cozy mystery that I found difficult to read. I had trouble connecting to the main character, Grace Holliday. She seemed too easy going and just accepted whatever came along at work. The book was filled with characters who didn't seem to be necessary to the plot. Too much conversation and not enough sleuthing. Deadly Magic was a cozy mystery that I found difficult to read. I had trouble connecting to the main character, Grace Holliday. She seemed too easy going and just accepted whatever came along at work. The book was filled with characters who didn't seem to be necessary to the plot. Too much conversation and not enough sleuthing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Lee

    "There were far too many accidents in too short of a time to be mere coincidences." Crabtree, Elisabeth (2014-01-10). Deadly Magic (A Grace Holliday Cozy Mystery Book 1) (p. 2). . Kindle Edition. This quote alone gives readers a pretty good idea of the direction author Elisabeth Crabtree will take with Deadly Magic. The premise of a magic related mystery caught my attention when I read the synopsis. I looked forward to getting somewhat of a behind the scenes look into how different tricks and il "There were far too many accidents in too short of a time to be mere coincidences." Crabtree, Elisabeth (2014-01-10). Deadly Magic (A Grace Holliday Cozy Mystery Book 1) (p. 2). . Kindle Edition. This quote alone gives readers a pretty good idea of the direction author Elisabeth Crabtree will take with Deadly Magic. The premise of a magic related mystery caught my attention when I read the synopsis. I looked forward to getting somewhat of a behind the scenes look into how different tricks and illusions are performed. Although we do get a bit of a glimpse the author was careful not to give away too many secrets of the trade. The ugly side of office politics and relationships is also highlighted, adding to the drama and confusion of the storyline. For a cozy mystery, Deadly Magic had a large cast of characters and suspects. At times this was slightly overwhelming, especially when there was mention of people from the past, who weren’t necessarily featured in the forefront of the plot. Following the main character Grace throughout I had hoped to have a better understanding of who she was and learn more about her background, family and personality. However the focus is more set on the mystery itself and the inner workings of Straker Toy Company. I was able to come to the conclusion that she makes for a terrible investigator. Her loose tongue and trust in everyone blinded her from realizing that the truth was right in front of her the entire time. The longer she took to solve the mystery the more I became exasperated with this character. Although lacking character development the plot line seemed to go on and on, passing over 300 pages. In my own personal opinion, I feel that it could have been effectively solved in less and perhaps I might have enjoyed it more. I had a hard time rating this book because it did keep my interest and I wanted to see the mystery solved, yet I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters. As this is book one in the Grace Holliday series I can only hope that there will be more character development in the next installments. Unfortunately I don’t think my curiosity is strong enough to continue on with the second book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marilyn Groves

    Made it not quite half way, and even that was a struggle. I know I'm the minority, but I just couldn't get into the book. Characters, and there are a LOT of them, were over-the-top to me & to add insult to injury I don't really enjoy magicians/illusionist entertainment. Don't like leaving books unread, but decided it was time to move on and read something I would enjoy... Made it not quite half way, and even that was a struggle. I know I'm the minority, but I just couldn't get into the book. Characters, and there are a LOT of them, were over-the-top to me & to add insult to injury I don't really enjoy magicians/illusionist entertainment. Don't like leaving books unread, but decided it was time to move on and read something I would enjoy...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Sorry.... I just couldn't get past the first few chapters. I didn't care for the characters, plot, or writing style. it simply didn't hold my interest. Sorry.... I just couldn't get past the first few chapters. I didn't care for the characters, plot, or writing style. it simply didn't hold my interest.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    Toy product manager, Grace Holliday, doesn’t want to attend the birthday party of her boss Franklin Straker. But since attendance is mandatory, she tolerates the magic show being performed for him until Straker’s wife Lily makes a sudden appearance on stage by hanging from a silk rope. Although the authorities rule it a suicide, Grace has her doubts, as does Straker who insists that Grace takes a close look at coworkers. Anonymous phone calls and strange goings on at the toy store convince Grace Toy product manager, Grace Holliday, doesn’t want to attend the birthday party of her boss Franklin Straker. But since attendance is mandatory, she tolerates the magic show being performed for him until Straker’s wife Lily makes a sudden appearance on stage by hanging from a silk rope. Although the authorities rule it a suicide, Grace has her doubts, as does Straker who insists that Grace takes a close look at coworkers. Anonymous phone calls and strange goings on at the toy store convince Grace that she was right about the murder. Deadly Magic is a light cozy filled with eccentric, mean personalities and the art of illusion. I suppose a company that designs toys and magic tricks would attract odd personalities but I kept asking myself why Grace puts up with so much immaturity and nonsense in the workplace. Although she likes designing dolls, the environment is negative, the pay isn’t great, and Straker in a nutty, over-the-top bully who has a penchant for attracting women. None of his supposed charm is shown to the reader, though. I did enjoy trying to figure out who the murderer was, and the culprit’s identity caught me by surprise. The magic tricks added an interesting element to the story but the many conversations recalling characters’ activities the night of the murder became confusing, as were the actions of some characters. The story seemed to jump from one incident to another which threw the pacing off. Those of you who don’t like typos and grammatical errors won’t be happy, and the text’s blue background was strange. Another edit would have made the book better.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bookmom

    Toy company with an attached toy store, a magic shop, illusions, a stage show and murder all sound like an interesting setting for a story. Grace, our protagonist, has worked for the Straker Toy Company as a designer for ten years. Why, we’re just not sure because it’s definitely not a good place to work. When the boss’ wife is killed on his birthday on stage during a magic act she used to tour with, it’s ruled a suicide. But Grace knows that just doesn’t make sense and starts asking questions, Toy company with an attached toy store, a magic shop, illusions, a stage show and murder all sound like an interesting setting for a story. Grace, our protagonist, has worked for the Straker Toy Company as a designer for ten years. Why, we’re just not sure because it’s definitely not a good place to work. When the boss’ wife is killed on his birthday on stage during a magic act she used to tour with, it’s ruled a suicide. But Grace knows that just doesn’t make sense and starts asking questions, putting her own life in danger. Plenty of characters with a great deal of motive is the best I can say about this story. We don’t know whodunit until the author is set to reveal it. The biggest problem with the story is a lack of character building and a scattered plot. You will dislike some characters and be very suspicious of others, and that’s the most interesting aspect of the story. Other than the reveal of a detective’s background information to tell us other character’s histories, we really don’t know much about anyone. And that includes Grace who comes across as a doormat. I almost walked away from this book a number of times. The beginning is confusing and much of the rest of it, while holding the occasional interesting scene or learning a new piece of information, was surrounded by filler that had you wondering why Grace continued to work there, or even why her boyfriend was dating her.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Kylie

    Deadly Magic took me quite a while to read. I was reading it on my phone Kindle App and pretty much only read it when I was stuck somewhere without a book, magazine, or my Kindle. It was ok. Good enough that I finished it, but not enough that I wanted to read it all the time. Grace is a toy designer who witnesses the murder of her boss's wife. The Police declare it suicide, but Grace is convinced that it was murder, so along with a cast of slightly insipid characters, decides to investigate on h Deadly Magic took me quite a while to read. I was reading it on my phone Kindle App and pretty much only read it when I was stuck somewhere without a book, magazine, or my Kindle. It was ok. Good enough that I finished it, but not enough that I wanted to read it all the time. Grace is a toy designer who witnesses the murder of her boss's wife. The Police declare it suicide, but Grace is convinced that it was murder, so along with a cast of slightly insipid characters, decides to investigate on her own. The investigation takes all the usual twists and turns, with the motive and the killer being eventually found out. The only surprise was the accomplice. A very light and easy read, but not a chair gripper.

  10. 4 out of 5

    T.A.

    I liked the premise of a cozy mystery based around a magic show, I still miss Johnathan Creek, unfortunately I was a little disappointed in this story. I had guessed the murderer before the reveal, which maybe due to me reading and watching a lot of these stories, or because so of the misdirects were a bit clunky. You just know when it’s being made obvious who the suspect is it clearly isn’t going to be them. Everything was explained at the end but I still feel like I was missing something. Maybe I liked the premise of a cozy mystery based around a magic show, I still miss Johnathan Creek, unfortunately I was a little disappointed in this story. I had guessed the murderer before the reveal, which maybe due to me reading and watching a lot of these stories, or because so of the misdirects were a bit clunky. You just know when it’s being made obvious who the suspect is it clearly isn’t going to be them. Everything was explained at the end but I still feel like I was missing something. Maybe it was the lack of romance that is usually more involved in these style of books, or maybe I was expecting Jonathan Creek but instead got more of a Scooby. Not that there’s anything wrong with Scooby, I just wasn’t expecting it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tyrannosaurus regina

    I'm not sure if this was actually really long or if it just felt that way. It meandered all over the place and had a ton of filler. I actually do think somewhere in there was an interesting story, but it was buried under thin characterisation and inexplicable choices and a whole lot of unnecessary running around and aimless conversation. I'm not sure if this was actually really long or if it just felt that way. It meandered all over the place and had a ton of filler. I actually do think somewhere in there was an interesting story, but it was buried under thin characterisation and inexplicable choices and a whole lot of unnecessary running around and aimless conversation.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Too many characters, not a believable plot, predictable ending. Three things I really don't want in a mystery. Too many characters, not a believable plot, predictable ending. Three things I really don't want in a mystery.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Joan

    Unbelieveable plot and unlikable characters. I won't be reading any more in this series. Unbelieveable plot and unlikable characters. I won't be reading any more in this series.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Not NOT going to read the next ones but this just felt overly long for my tastes.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cindi (cheesygiraffe)

    Kindle Freebie!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

    This one was better than some of the other "cozy mysteries" I've read so far to catch up on my Goodreads challenge. The major problem I had with this one is that there were just so many characters to keep track of. It also didn't make sense to me why the boss would think an employee with one class of criminal justice in college could solve his wife's murder. That part was not believable. However the mystery itself wasn't terrible. I did suspect the murderer pretty early on however, I just didn't This one was better than some of the other "cozy mysteries" I've read so far to catch up on my Goodreads challenge. The major problem I had with this one is that there were just so many characters to keep track of. It also didn't make sense to me why the boss would think an employee with one class of criminal justice in college could solve his wife's murder. That part was not believable. However the mystery itself wasn't terrible. I did suspect the murderer pretty early on however, I just didn't know the backstory of how he was connected.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    It was a good cozy, but I thnk more editing would have made this much more enjoyable for the reader. The number of wives Mr Straker takes appears to be outrageousand sort of unecessary to the story. The exploits, or misadventures of many of the cast involved seem outlandish, immature, or just questionable. I think that many of the characters' thought and actions, would not realistic or reasonable to me. Magic and toys are a major part of this book, but most of the charact3ers do not appear to be It was a good cozy, but I thnk more editing would have made this much more enjoyable for the reader. The number of wives Mr Straker takes appears to be outrageousand sort of unecessary to the story. The exploits, or misadventures of many of the cast involved seem outlandish, immature, or just questionable. I think that many of the characters' thought and actions, would not realistic or reasonable to me. Magic and toys are a major part of this book, but most of the charact3ers do not appear to be happy at all.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grace Herbst

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It started off interesting, but it began to drag. I was surprised when it skipped a month before the widow asked the main character to look into his wife's suicide because he didn't believe she would kill herself. I thought it would pick up from there, but it still went slow. I finally had to skip and see who the murderer was. I wish I could have gotten into the story because it was part of a series. However, I wasn't impressed with this story. It started off interesting, but it began to drag. I was surprised when it skipped a month before the widow asked the main character to look into his wife's suicide because he didn't believe she would kill herself. I thought it would pick up from there, but it still went slow. I finally had to skip and see who the murderer was. I wish I could have gotten into the story because it was part of a series. However, I wasn't impressed with this story.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Allyson Dyar

    Be prepared. This is a long book, taking me longer than usual to finish this book. I also had considered abandoning this book because I felt that it was really slow and tedious to read. I'm glad I kept with it. The deeper I got into the book, the more engaged I became and I felt that the end of the book made up for any tediousness I felt in the beginning. The mystery was more than satisfying and I really did enjoy the characters, but not enough to continue reading the series, especially for $3 or $4 Be prepared. This is a long book, taking me longer than usual to finish this book. I also had considered abandoning this book because I felt that it was really slow and tedious to read. I'm glad I kept with it. The deeper I got into the book, the more engaged I became and I felt that the end of the book made up for any tediousness I felt in the beginning. The mystery was more than satisfying and I really did enjoy the characters, but not enough to continue reading the series, especially for $3 or $4 a book. I give this book a solid four. Better than most but not the best.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Laurel

    This was a very busy read. At times I was really lost. Characters entering, leaving, disappearing, New characters appearing so fast it made my heàd spin. I was so greatful when the book ended. Strangely enough, the preview from the next book changes my mind on the rating. I do want to read it. Beware, the only real magic performed in this book, was a small handful of characters, telling the truth.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paul Hefka

    Absolutely enjoyable. This book had been sitting in my to read pile, and I'm only sorry that it took me this long to read it. I found it difficult to put down once I started reading. The story and characters were intriguing and engaging. Everyone is a suspect. A solid whodunit that keeps you guessing until the end. I look forward to reading more about the adventures of Grace Holliday. This book is definitely worth reading. Absolutely enjoyable. This book had been sitting in my to read pile, and I'm only sorry that it took me this long to read it. I found it difficult to put down once I started reading. The story and characters were intriguing and engaging. Everyone is a suspect. A solid whodunit that keeps you guessing until the end. I look forward to reading more about the adventures of Grace Holliday. This book is definitely worth reading.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Fun Murder Mystery I know the words fun Nd murder don't typically go together, but this Grace Holiday Cosy Mystery certainly was a fun read. Although several dead bodies turn up, th he entire story line was fun and mysterious. Well rounded characters with just enough humor and mystique to keep you wondering if you, yourself have solved the case. Fun Murder Mystery I know the words fun Nd murder don't typically go together, but this Grace Holiday Cosy Mystery certainly was a fun read. Although several dead bodies turn up, th he entire story line was fun and mysterious. Well rounded characters with just enough humor and mystique to keep you wondering if you, yourself have solved the case.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Aditi

    Slow starter but a really good mystery This book was a slow starter, and I almost didn't continue after 10%. Half way through I rolled my eyes at what I thought were obvious answers. I was wrong about the answers, the mystery surprised me and really kept me guessing. I am glad I kept reading. Slow starter but a really good mystery This book was a slow starter, and I almost didn't continue after 10%. Half way through I rolled my eyes at what I thought were obvious answers. I was wrong about the answers, the mystery surprised me and really kept me guessing. I am glad I kept reading.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    On Halloween night the unhappy co-workers of Strakers Toy Co. are celebrating their tyrant of a boss 50th birthday. While they are celebrating the bosses wife dead body fell unto the stage. Now its up to Grace Holliday to find out how she died before she becomes the next to die while still keeping her job. I really enjoyed this, it was a quick, witty fun read.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenika Ioffreda

    Free download from Amazon kindle. After a while I started skipping whole pages hoping something interesting would catch my attention but sadly nothing did. I was slightly curious to know who the killer was but other than that I couldn't like any of the character. If this is a series I am not going to continue it. Free download from Amazon kindle. After a while I started skipping whole pages hoping something interesting would catch my attention but sadly nothing did. I was slightly curious to know who the killer was but other than that I couldn't like any of the character. If this is a series I am not going to continue it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Ping Naka

    This is the first of Grace Holliday series. At a company function the boss's wife died. Everything points to suicide! However, it is not what it appeared to be.But if it's not a suicide how did she get killed? The way Grace and her assistant try to find out is hilarious! This is the first of Grace Holliday series. At a company function the boss's wife died. Everything points to suicide! However, it is not what it appeared to be.But if it's not a suicide how did she get killed? The way Grace and her assistant try to find out is hilarious!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Allison Galloway

    This book was okay. I'd had high hopes since I loved another series by the author. It took awhile to get into, kind of dragged at parts, and some of the characters need a little more. The book got better right at the end. I've purchased the next book in the series with the hope it gets better. This book was okay. I'd had high hopes since I loved another series by the author. It took awhile to get into, kind of dragged at parts, and some of the characters need a little more. The book got better right at the end. I've purchased the next book in the series with the hope it gets better.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chanover55

    Wow, I didn't figure out who the murderer was! Grace is a toy designer. When the wife of her boss is murdered during a magic show at his birthday party who is the guilty party? Someone within the company or an outsider? A very enjoyable read! Wow, I didn't figure out who the murderer was! Grace is a toy designer. When the wife of her boss is murdered during a magic show at his birthday party who is the guilty party? Someone within the company or an outsider? A very enjoyable read!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Entertaining easy read mystery

  30. 5 out of 5

    Patricia M Stephenson

    Kept me guessing I'm usually good at figuring out who had done it but I kept changing my mind all the way through. Kept me guessing I'm usually good at figuring out who had done it but I kept changing my mind all the way through.

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