Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Amazing Harvey by Don Passman

The Amazing Harvey
by Don Passman

The distinctive cover of this one jumped out at me from the "new mysteries" section at Barnes and Noble every time I saw it, so I was happy to see the libraries pick it up as well. The Amazing Harvey is Harvey Kendell, a professional magician in Los Angeles, struggling to make ends meet. Moving from one low-paying performance job to another, and hanging out with his fellow magicians at The Magic Castle between gigs, Harvey's life suddenly spirals out of control, when he's accused in a case of rape and murder. Harvey knows that he didn't do the crime -- heck, he'd never even met the women he's accused of assaulting and killing. But, the police have DNA evidence that seems to contradict his claims. Turning down his mother's offer to hired a flashy TV attorney, Harvey instead turns to a former classmate, Heather, who's having some issues of her own, keeping her legal practice afloat without relying on handouts from her far-more successful attorney father. With Harvey working as Heather's legman, they look into the details of the life of the victim in Harvey's case, and Harvey also helps Heather with some of her other current cases. The characters here are well-rounded and, for the most part, likeable. Harvey's coping mechanism for stress is to crack wise. The backdrop of a working magician's life is fascinating. I look forward to more in this series. -- recommended by Scott C. - Bennett Martin Public Library [ See Scott's Reviewer Profile ]

[If you enjoy this, don't pass up the opportunity, if you ever get it, to see the television series The Magician, starring Bill Bixby. It had a short one-season existence on NBC in 1973-74, and starred Bixby as playboy philanthropist Tony Blake, a top-end magician (think David Copperfield) who solves mysteries on the side. It was terrific, and it's a shame that it hasn't come out on DVD yet. Bootleg copies are available to watch, either partial or full episodes, on YouTube.]

[Scott shared this one at the May 2014 Series Share meeting of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group at the libraries!]

[ Publisher's official The Amazing Harvey web site ] | [ official Don Passman web site ]

Have you read this? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

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