Popsugar Reading Challenge Book 39

Prompt: A book whose title starts with “Q,” “X,” or “Z”

I had a booknplanned for this prompt that started with Q. But every time I started to read it I got a couple of pages in and put it down again. So instead I went for The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths.

What it’s about?

Brighton, 1950.

When the body of a girl is found, cut into three, Detective Inspector Edgar Stephens is reminded of a magic trick, the Zig Zag Girl.

The inventor of the trick, Max Mephisto, is an old friend of Edgar’s. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men.

Max is still on the circuit, touring seaside towns in the company of ventriloquists, sword-swallowers and dancing girls. Changing times mean that variety is not what it once was, yet Max is reluctant to leave this world to help Edgar investigate. But when the dead girl turns out to be known to him, Max changes his mind.

Another death, another magic trick: Edgar and Max become convinced that the answer to the murders lies in their army days. When Edgar receives a letter warning of another ‘trick’, the Wolf Trap, he knows that they are all in danger…

What I think:

I’ve read a couple of Elly Griffiths’ books that have been set in the present day so was intested to see what this series set in the 1950s was like.

This is a really enjoyable read.

Former army colleagues, Edgar and Max find themselves in the middle of a puzzling murder investigation.

Edgar is now a Detective Inspector in Brighton. The body of a girl is delivered to him, cut into pieces in different boxes like a magician’s trick. When the victim is identified it becomes clear that there is a link to the Magic Men. But what? And why?

Edgar and Max have revisit their wartime past and rekindle former connections to solve a brutal crime.

There’s loads of atmospheric detail and post-wsr Brighton and the other seaside towns they visit really come alive. Griffiths captures the faded glory of the variety show perfectly.

This was a great read and I am so glad I swapped books. Will definitely read other books in this series.

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