The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m a fan of Elly Griffiths Ruth Galloway novels and admire her unusual style of historic mystery writing. This novel is no exception. Expertly written to really evoke the post-war old-school British era, the seedy back stage areas and the awe that magicians once had.
This is a multi-viewpoint story from the perspective of one-time superstar magician Max Mephisto and DI Edgar Stephens, a lonely shy policeman. They served together in the war as part of a shadowy unit called the Magic Men, formed to use stage trickery to confuse the enemy.
The story had an interesting premise, with little bits of drama both during and post-war period. This novel was inspired by the authors Grandfather, which I think gives it a really interesting feel of a rekindled era. Mystery, magic, mayhem and murder all add to this dramatic story. The characters are incredibly well written and I was excited to read that Max & Edgar will be returning in a future mystery novel, making this an exciting start to an unusual mystery series. There was a few areas that the novel was a little slow filling in quite a bit of background info but I am hoping that is used to the authors advantage in future novels in the series.
This book captures your interest in a particularly unusual historic storyline. It is definitely different from the Galloway series but I did enjoy seeing the author’s diversity. These books will appeal to fans of Agatha Christie & MC Beaton style writing; cosy murder, mystery but with a very smart plot and plenty of action.