The Amazing Arden has achieved success as the most famous female illusionist of her day. She is known for several of her illusions, but has achieved specific notice for her exciting trick of sawing a man in half. One night, when Arden’s husband becomes the victim of a gruesome murder, is seems that her violent illusion may have become all too real. When local police officer, Virgil Holt, stumbles upon the fleeing magician he will spend the night hearing her story and trying to determine if he will set her free or turn her in all the while trying his best to not fall under her spell.
The plot of this book is interesting, but by the last third the characters give into spouting clichés and tedious monologues that seem to serve only to lengthen the novel, but add nothing of worth to the story. The reader will be interested in and enjoy reading the magician’s back story, but the chapters that bring the story into the current day do not measure up. As a chapter recounting the past ends and a chapter begins that is in the present, the reader will find themselves disappointed and quickly reading in order to pick up the more interesting narrative. Taken as a whole the book is enjoyable and tells an original story that brings mystery and an out of the ordinary take on females seeking and achieving professional success at the turn of the 20th century.