Death from a Top Hat by Clayton Rawson
(The Great Merlini Mysteries)

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When a necromancer is murdered, a magician takes the case

Freelance scribe Ross Harte is working on an essay about the sad state of the modern mystery novel when a scream comes from the hallway: “There is death in that room!” Harte finds a trio of conjurers trying to get into the apartment of his neighbor, the mysterious Dr. Cesare Sabbat, famed occultist and, for the past few minutes, a corpse. They break down the door to find Sabbat lying in a pentagram, face twisted from the agonies of strangulation, but with no bruises on his neck. All the doors were locked, and the windows drop straight down to the river below. Only an escape artist could get out of that room, and Sabbat knew quite a few. To make sense of this misdirected muddle, the police bring in the Great Merlini, an illusionist whose specialty is making mysteries disappear.

About Clayton Rawson

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Published May 22, 2012 by Road. 286 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Good entertainment, with diverting red herrings to mislead the reader.

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