Monday, May 2, 2016

The Magician's Lie

51jd-TuTZTL._SX310_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg (312×499)Title: The Magician's Lie

Author: Greer Macallister

Narrators: Julia Whelan and Nick Podehl

Format: 9 CD's, 10hours : 24 minutes

Published: 2014 by Brilliance Audio

Genre: historical fiction, mystery

Obtained: library

Summary:  It is 1905.  Virgil Holt, a young policeman from Janesville, Iowa, has just had some devastating life changing news.  He goes with the Waterloo sheriff to see a magic show featuring "The Amazing Arden", a woman illusionist, to get his mind off it.  At the end of the show a man is found dead beneath the stage.  It is suspected that Arden is the murderess.
     That evening, Virgil happens upon the illusionist and takes her into custody.  He handcuffs her to a chair and interrogates her.  She insists on starting from the beginning and through the course of the evening tells Virgil her life story.  She denies murdering the man.  Virgil must decide what to believe and make the decision of setting Arden free or arresting her.  He knows that if she is not set free, she will be tried and treated like a witch because she is a magician.

Thoughts: This whole book was clever.  It is really two stories.  It begins in 1905 with a murder mystery, but when the suspect is captured she tells her life story.  The two stories flip back and forth throughout the book as Arden relates her life story to Virgil.   Nick Podehl reads the 1905 story and Julia Whelen reads Arden's life story.  The stories come together toward the end of the book.  It is quite a creative presentation.
     Both narrators are excellent.  They do not just read the stories.  They perform them.  The pace is good and each character that speaks has a voice that you recognize immediately.  It was odd at first when Arden's voice was different in the 1905 story than in Arden's back story, but I caught on quickly.
     Both basic plots were simple, but so much was added to the story that they held my interest.  I believe Arden's back story could have been a stand alone book, but the way the writer put Virgil and Arden together was fantastic.  It gave the story more mystery and suspense.  Also, the author writes with a lot of description, bringing the setting to life.  The main characters are very well developed and so are the minor characters.  They are creative characters as well.  I enjoyed the personalities.
     I loved the sense I got throughout the book of trying to decide what was real and what was an illusion, or what I should believe and what I shouldn't believe.  This book just seems to have everything- action, adventure, romance, mystery, magic, history.  It would seem that the author tried to incorporate too much, but the book reads smoothly and everything is woven together so intricately that it seems simple when it is not.  I really enjoyed this audio book and believe the narrators enhanced the tale.


Company: Art of Tea

Tea: Velvet Tea

Obtained: gift

     "Velvet Tea" from the "Art of Tea" is packaged in a foil-lined brown paper bag.  It protects the tea leaves and keeps them fresh.  It is an organic rooibus tea mixed with mint and honeybush leaves, along with chocolate, apples, and a hint of vanilla.
     When I opened the bag I got the scent of sweet chocolate mint.  The leaves were browns and greens and there were different sized brown chunks mixed in, which must have been the chocolate and apples.
     I steeped one tablespoon of leaves in eight ounces of water for 5 minutes.  The liquid was opaque.  It was orange brown in color.  It had a light chocolate scent that was somewhat sweet.  The taste of the tea was mint with a chocolate after taste.  I could taste a hint of vanilla.  It is a somewhat sweet tea and is very smooth- no bitterness or sourness to this tea.
     I recommend this as a dessert tea, or a tea to drink when you are craving something sweet.  It is a treat.

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