An enthralling locked-room murder mystery inspired by crime fiction of the Golden Age, Death and the Conjuror is the debut novel by acclaimed short-story writer Tom Mead.
Selected as one of Publishers Weekly's Mysteries of the Year 2022.
1936, London. A celebrity psychiatrist is discovered dead in his locked study. There seems to be no way a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, Inspector Flint, the Scotland Yard detective on the case, calls on retired stage magician turned part-time sleuth Joseph Spector.
Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colourful cast of suspects, they uncover no shortage of dark secrets... or motives for murder. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realize the crime wave will become even more deadly unless they can catch the culprit soon.
Reviews for Death and the Conjuror:
'An intricate "impossible" crime that completely fooled me.' Peter Lovesey
'A sharply drawn period piece with memorable characters.' New York Times
'Mead's debut is a novel to intrigue and delight.' John Connolly
'A delightful homage to Golden Age detective fiction with a highly entertaining impossible crime puzzle.' Martin Edwards
'A true delight for mystery lovers!' Charles Todd
'Tom Mead's debut is a sheer delight.' Maxim Jakubowski
'Mead maintains suspense throughout, creating a creepy atmosphere en route to satisfying reveals.' Publishers Weekly
'An absolute delight. Great characters, wonderful locked-room puzzles, it kept me hooked.' Jim Eldridge
'A real treat for mystery fans.' Ragnar Jónasson
'A fiendishly clever puzzle wrapped in a beautiful, dark atmospheric story.' Victoria Dowd