Monday, October 24, 2016

I never said he was a good illusionist...

A while back, I picked up Laura Resnick's Disappearing Nightly at one of the local Half Price Books locations. However, until here recently, I never bothered reading it, which as I found out, was a minor mistake.


We meet Esther, a waitress who currently has an acting gig off-Broadway as a nymphy in Sorcerer!, a show built around a magician. She's understudying for Golly Gee, a pop tart trying to further her career. Problem being, during the show's finale, Golly Gee, disappears in the crystal cage, but vanishes completely from within the confines of the box.

This leads to what are first taken as threatening notes from someone signing only his initials to the letters, which Esther takes to Detective Lopez, the man investigating the vanishing.

However, the notes are actually from Max, a 300 year old Mage, who's supposed to be the occult guardian of the 5 boroughs.

He's concerned because Golly isn't the first woman to actually vanish in recent days during an act and not reappear. In fact, we have the assistants for a drag queen, a condom salesman doing magic as a hobby, a Wall Street broker trying to become a magician, and a Vegas act trying to stage a comeback. (The Vegas guy actually has both his assistant AND his tiger vanish during his act.)

It's a fun read, as Lopez becomes the straight man, love interest, and suspicious third party in Esther's life as the mystery goes on. Max's supervisor in the occult chain of command comes in from Altoona, PA, and plays Wesley Wyndham-Price to Max's Giles. And even in some fairly serious moments, there's quite a bit of humor floating around.

Esther, unlike some heroines in series like this, currently has nothing supernatural about her. (There's evidently more books in the series, so I can't formally say if this continues to be true or not.) She's also culturally Jewish, struggling to pay rent, and uses Ben & Jerry's as therapy for stress. It's kind of nice to read a humorous Urban Fantasy novel that doesn't start off with a main character already one step above normal human, not part of some great occult conspiracy, etc.

So yeah, I'll probably be tracking down more of the series over time.