Boston, 1926. Jenny “Wren” Lockhart is a bold eccentric—even for a female vaudevillian. As notorious for her inherited wealth and gentleman’s dress as she is for her unsavory upbringing in the back halls of a vaudeville theater, Wren lives in a world that challenges all manner of conventions.
In the months following Houdini’s death, Wren is drawn into a web of mystery surrounding a spiritualist by the name of Horace Stapleton, a man defamed by Houdini’s ardent debunking of fraudulent mystics in the years leading up to his death. But in a public illusion that goes terribly wrong, one man is dead and another stands charged with his murder. Though he’s known as one of her teacher’s greatest critics, Wren must decide to become the one thing she never wanted to be: Stapleton’s defender.
Forced to team up with the newly formed FBI, Wren races against time and an unknown enemy, all to prove the innocence of a hated man. In a world of illusion, of the vaudeville halls that showcase the flamboyant and the strange, Wren’s carefully constructed world threatens to collapse around her.
Layered with mystery, illusion, and the artistry of the Jazz Age’s bygone vaudeville era, The Illusionist’s Apprentice is a journey through love and loss and the underpinnings of faith on each life’s stage.
Paperback, 356 pages
Published March 2017
by HarperCollins Christian Publishing
I think it was the cover for this book that drew me towards it, isn't it gorgeous!? As well as being introduced to a new to me author - who doesn't love discovering a new author?
Wren Lockhart is a fictional apprentice of Harry Houdini. Although this book takes place after his death there are flashbacks to her time with him. The synopsis does a great job outlining the plot here so I won't go into what takes place. This book doesn't just jump back and forth in time between Houdini and the present (1927) but also to Wren's childhood.
The author was able to describe Boston and the vaudeville era nicely as well as some of the illusionist details. This was an interesting read but I will confess that I wasn't totally enamored with the mystery part here. It didn't really grab my attention and at times my mind wandered. With many 4/5 star ratings here it seems like I am in minority here.
I am giving this book 3 stars because I did like it and will read more by this author (they are patiently waiting on my kindle). Thank you to TLC Book Tours for the invite to be part of this tour.
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Her debut novel, The Butterfly and the Violin, was named to Library Journal’s Best Books of 2014 and nominated for RT Book Reviews’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and for the 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin, was named Library Journal’s Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick for RT Book Reviews.
Kristy holds a degree in Art History from Indiana University. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three young sons.
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