Magic for Liars

Magic for Liars

Book - 2019
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"When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister--without losing herself" --
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2019
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250174611
1250174619
Branch Call Number: FIC GAILEY 2019
Characteristics: 336 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

PI Ivy Gamble goes undercover at the Osthorne Academy for Young Mages – where her magically gifted twin sister works – to investigate a teacher’s suspicious death.

Mystery - short list

Ivy wasn’t born with magic like her estranged twin sister, Tabitha, was, but when a teacher at a university of magic is found split in half, the authorities call in Ivy to solve the crime and save the school.

A private investigator is hired to solve a murder at a magical academy where her sister teaches.


From the critics


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l
LitHub
Aug 31, 2020

It was fine. I kept turning the pages and I finished it, both of which seem to be huge accomplishments for me this year.

Not sure that I found any of the characters very likeable.

Grown-up Harry Potter with a dark and drunken edge, perhaps?

l
lhohman
Feb 24, 2020

The concept of this book had so much potential - noir set in a magical school? Heck yeah! But the execution was totally boring, with a lot of time spent on side bits that didn't advance the plot or depend the intrigue. I did finish it and the ending was fine, but not exciting. Also, I didn't do an exact count but I'm willing to bet the phrase "a laugh bubbled out of me" was used over 20 times - sometimes twice in the same page!

k
KatG1983
Feb 03, 2020

I had high hopes for this book, the intersection of detective noir and magic... and yet, it was pretty boring. There's a lot of potential, but it never leads anywhere very interesting. The writing it fine, but not moving.

c
criticallyminded
Dec 29, 2019

I most liked and appreciated that the plot twists and mysteries ended up centering issues like reproductive rights, health care, and queerness. It's a modern and more inclusive detective story with strong female characters. There are multiple queer characters. I appreciated that their queerness was incidental or casual, not the only or main thing about their characters. I liked the thread about The Chosen One and the commentary it made about who gets paid attention to and who gets underestimated and how much that has to do with gender. I loved seeing one of the powerful young mages come into their own, finally having everyone realize their power. I liked the complexity of the mysteries and the characters. It was a fast, enticing read.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Dec 28, 2019

A mysterious mood set by vivacious modern narrations, I was haunted and captivated right away, coincide with living the suspense in movie Knives Out I was watching... until half way through, where the magic spell broke (I knew!!), and all luster dulled, lies blunt, with intermittent distractions to get me excited due to author's tentative craft to construct a better plot and tangled perspectives to make a few points.
For young adults, Harry Potter's fans.

JessicaGma Sep 05, 2019

It's a good mystery book with the added element of Ivy investigating her twin Tabitha, who works at a magical school. There's a lot of twists in the book, not to mention magical bits, so it's a good change if you're finding typical mysteries to be a bit dull

k
kristadarling
Aug 21, 2019

I couldn't finish it. The author uses way too many "like" comparisons, it was all I started to notice instead of the story.

VaughanPLRachelP Aug 16, 2019

A hard-boiled detective novel set at a magical academy for high school students - but think Brakebills, not Hogwarts. The PI, Ivy Gamble, is the non-magical twin sister to a magic prodigy, Tabitha, with whom she's had a strained relationship for years. I felt a lot of empathy for Ivy even as we see her making ill-advised decision after decision. I thought the mystery was super engaging, if the magical setting took more of a backseat to the storyline than I would have liked.

l
lesliegay
Aug 05, 2019

I greatly enjoyed this fresh, real and messy perspective on a sliver of the juxtaposition of magic and the normal world. The pain of being aware of the world of magic, but yet not being invited, stings throughout the main character's pivotal development and identity. The limits and practicality of magic are welcome and keep the narrative to a more realistic path. As others have discussed, the pivotal focus around the concept of The Chosen One resonates throughout several of the characters and gives the reader a chance for reflection in their own path and perception of opportunities denied. A solid read and I look forward to additional novels in this vein by the author!

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Aug 05, 2019

I loved the creepiness of how magical surgery is carried out in this hard-boiled-y magical detective story.

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