Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: The Magician's Daughter: A Valentine Hill Mystery by Judith Janeway

  • Hardcover: 227 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (Feb. 10 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1464203385
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464203381

Book Description

 Magician Valentine Hill always introduces her act by announcing Reality is an illusion. Illusion is reality, and nothing is what it seems. When Valentine is reunited with her grifter mother, nothing is what it seems becomes true in real life. A wealthy socialite turns out to be a ruthless criminal, a car mechanic a psycho killer, and a cab driver a seductive gangster. When an FBI agent who'd befriended her is killed, Valentine takes on the hated role of a con artist to get evidence to put the criminals away. Will her skills as a magician prove enough to help her maintain the illusion?

About the Author

 Judith Janeway believes that she was born with a Ticonderoga no. 2 pencil in one hand and a canary yellow lined pad in the other, because she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing stories.
She attended the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Bordeaux, France, and San Francisco State University and emerged with a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature. She took up teaching at a men’s college, which wasn’t as much fun as it sounds. After seven years it finally occurred to her that having a passion for literature didn’t correlate with having a passion for teaching literature.

She left teaching in favor of the study of Health Psychology and the Philosophy of Science. She received a PhD from the University of California, San Francisco, and has pursued a career in social science research, studying people coping with serious/terminal illnesses and their caregivers.
Just to be clear, she is a research psychologist, not a clinical psychologist. She has she never been reimbursed for handing out advice to people foolish enough to tell her their problems.
During this time of teaching, not teaching, pursuing an advanced degree, conducting research, and publishing scholarly articles, she married, divorced and acquired a number of children—not necessarily in that order.

And, of course, she wrote fiction. She wrote in the library when she should have been studying for comprehensive exams. She wrote in hotel lobbies while attending professional meetings. She wrote while waiting for children at swimming, piano, violin, and guitar lessons, or at soccer, baseball, and basketball practice. She wrote while on the commuter bus to and from work. She wrote while family members waited impatiently for food to be put on the table.

She entered a romance novel in a contest and won first prize—an opportunity to show her manuscript to an editor. The editor bought the book and a second one. Since then, Judith has turned her writing focus to mystery/suspense, which has always been her favorite genre. The Magician’s Daughter, which will be published February 2015 by Poisoned Pen Press, is the first in a series of Valentine Hill Mysteries.
Currently, she lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and continues to write in the interstices of a life that encompasses work, travel, fun with family and friends, and far too much Sudoku.

My Review

Reality is an illusion. Illusion is reality, and nothing is what it seems. 

 The Magician's Daughter by Judith Janeway is the first book in a new series - Valentine Hill Mysteries.  Judith Janeway is a new-to-me author. As it is published by Poisoned Pen Press, I knew it would be a well written and thoughtful novel.

Our main character Valentine Hill is an enigma. She has no idea who her father is except that he is a magician. Her mother is a grifter..a successful con artist. Her mother is elusive and evasive. Valentine has no idea what her real age is or where she was born. You can tell this is going to be an interesting book!

Valentine is a magician working the streets in Las Vegas. In search of her missing assistant she heads to San Francisco. There she is caught up in one of her mother Elizabeth's schemes. There is a lot of craziness going on! A murder, con artists, mobsters, federal agents...what a world Valentine has stumbled into..the world of her mother Elizabeth.

Lots of twists and turns to keep you flipping the pages. Fun book...looking forward to the next one in the series.

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