Eli Marks is a highly skilled magician but he’s made a name for himself as a debunker of psychics, showing how so much of what they do is nothing more than magicians tricks. This doesn’t make him very popular among the psychic community.
Eli debunks a popular psychic in a very public forum and then that same psychic is later discovered dead. At the scene of the crime is a playing card, the King of Diamonds – which happens to be the signature card for Eli’s most famous trick. More psychics are killed and more clues lead police to seriously consider Eli as a suspect.
It all gets more complicated for Eli when he falls in love with a psychic and then learns that she is targeted to be the next victim of the real killer.
Somewhere along the line, in all the various ways I get books, I got this as a free read. Because I have such a backlog of ARCs from publishers, I tend to put my free reads on the back burner. But once in awhile I get in the mood to crack one open and in this case, I’m really glad I did.
Author John Gaspard hooks the reader immediately with the first person narrative from the very likeable character of Eli Marks. He’s smart, clever, and just enough of a wise-ass to be fun and not a jerk. He’s also working in this book in locations in Minnesota and I recognized some of the locations presented.
Late edit: Because I enjoyed this, I bought the audio book for my wife and I to listen to while on an extended road trip. We both thought that this book suffered from some over-writing. A number of chapters included descriptions (of people, magic tricks, reflections, etc) that went on and on at great length. Generally these added nothing to the book – just massive amounts of descriptions. It does get much better in the second book.
I enjoy magic (magic tricks) which is probably why this appealed to me in the first place. Couple the magic with a solid mystery and a touch of romance, and we’ve got a really exciting, enjoyable read. I am looking forward to more of the Eli Marks adventures.
Looking for a good book? The Ambitious Card by John Gaspard is the first book in the Eli Marks mystery series. If the other books in the series are as good as this I have a wonderful series to look forward to.
* * * * * *
The Ambitious Card
author: John Gaspard
series: An Eli Marks Mystery #1
publisher: Independently Published
paperback, 298 pages