Magicians, nurses solve crimes in novels

A magician wanting to make it big in Las Vegas finds himself the prime suspect in a murder in “The Amazing Harvey” by Don Passman.

Harvey has been working on a trick that will take him to the big time. Now he only has to pay the builder the huge expenses involved in creating it, get his agent to get him the right audience and he’ll be like David Copperfield in Vegas! Except when Harvey goes to his day job as a substitute teacher, he is met by the police and pulled in for questioning. A young woman has been murdered and Harvey’s DNA was found at the scene. Harvey’s never met the woman in his life and cannot figure out how his DNA got there, but knows he needs a lawyer. A friend recommends a former classmate of theirs, Heather, who agrees to take Harry’s case and offers him reduced fees in exchange for office work. Harvey uses his time at the office and intuition to try to solve the case and figure out who really murdered the woman before he ends up in jail!

Harvey’s wit and sarcasm makes him a fun “detective” to follow along on the case. The stage magician plots of the story are fun too. The chemistry between Harvey and Heather makes the reader yearn for a romance between the two of them too. I really hope this isn’t the last case for Harvey.

“The Amazing Harvey” is published by Minotaur Books. It is $25.99 and 336 pages long.

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A nurse turned deputy coroner investigates the murder of a nursing home executive in “Board Stiff” by Annelise Ryan.

The fifth book in the Mattie Winston series, this time Mattie is called in for the body of Bernie Chase – a nursing home executive who seems to have a lot of enemies and a lot of reasons for someone to want him dead. A strange powder is found on his body and as Mattie investigates, she finds people from the nursing home have been disappearing. Was Bernie killing them? Meanwhile, she is also dealing with a shaky romance with Detective Hurley, who has recently found out his divorce never went through from his ex-wife and that he has a teenage daughter he never knew about. Will their romance end before it really begins? Will Mattie find the murderer before she is put in danger?

This is a fast read that cozy mystery fans will enjoy, and Mattie is a relatable heroine.

“Board Stiff” is published by Kensington. It is $7.99 and 360 pages long.

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Elise Sax continues her romantic cozy mystery series, The Matchmaker, with “Love Game.”

Gladie is still working for her Grandma Zelda’s matchmaking service, and solving crimes in the meantime. Her sometimes boyfriend, Spencer Bolton, the chief of police would rather she stay out of it, but Gladie can’t help but get involved. When a self-proclaimed psychic named Luanda comes to town and seems intent to take all of the matchmaking business, Zelda wants Gladie to use her sleuthing skills to prove the woman is a fake. Meanwhile, Gladie gets involved in another investigation – a home flipper named Rellik is found dead and Gladie is on the list of suspects. This puts her into direct contact with new officer Remington Cumberbatch – right at a time when Spencer doesn’t seem so interested. Is a new romance in Gladie’s future? Or is murder?

Those who enjoy funny romantic suspense will enjoy Gladie’s latest adventure!

“Love Game” is published by Ballantine Books. It is $7.99 and 277 pages long.

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Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com