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Elephants in the Distance Hardcover – Mar 1989

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co (March 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688071953
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688071950
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This neat, oddly oblique puzzle will please mystery fans and delight magic devotees. Paul Galliard, Ph.D. candidate in Civil War history and a part-time magician, earns a living acting in TV commercials. Thirty years ago, his headliner father Thomas died on a live TV magic show doing the "bullet-catch" stunt. Now, Paul's old mentor Josef Schneider has a fatal heart attack while performing at a children's party. When Paul suffers a mysterious seizure after inflating some balloons from Schneider's prop case, he has them tested and finds they've been doped. An odd fire in Paul's apartment destroys the evidence, another old friend of Paul's father dies in a freak accident at a TV rehearsal and Paul realizes someone's out to get the survivors of a WW II troupe of magician-spies. There's a third murder before Paul unlocks the puzzle during a TV special in which he re-creates the bullet catch. He also uncovers a 30-year-old mystery and this time the stunt really is death defying. This is great, light-handed fun from Edgar nominee Stashower ( The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man ). Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Magic and Mystery a great combo Aug. 25 2008
By NKBH - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this book in one day - what fun! It provides a combination of Magic and Mystery that is fun and exciting. I have recently found the publishers of Felony & Mayhem and I am finding their books to be a rare jewels. Elephants in the Distance takes place over a short period of time as bodies fall and secrets are revealed. The book's cover is a little deceiving since the book takes place in a fairly modern setting (1960s - 1970s)and is not a cozy 1920 mystery as the cover may lead you to expect, but it is a wonderful journey.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Literary magic! Sept. 7 2009
By Patto - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
ELEPHANTS IN THE DISTANCE may not be the most scintillating title, but don't be put off. The book itself is a great find.

Paul Galliard is a young magician who makes spot removal commercials, as well as performing traditional magic. He used to be an academic doing graduate work on an obscure Civil War general, but the call of magic prevailed.

His father, Thomas Galliard, was a famous magician who died spectacularly on TV, during a dangerous trick called The Bullet Catch.

A producer is pressuring Paul to recreate his father's act (more successfully) for a TV special celebrating the popular 50's magic show where Thomas Galliard got his start - and met his end. Will Paul do it? This adds a nice bit of tension to the plot.

Meanwhile, his father's old magician associates are being murdered one by one, in ways that look natural or accidental. Paul, under threat himself, attempts to figure out what's going on.

This delightful book has it all - ingenious crimes, dry humor, plodding police, a charming romance with lots of witty banter, an inside look at magic (the author was a working magician) - and multiple surprises in the last few pages.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Clever, clever, clever April 5 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Refreshing to read a book without any explicit sex and violence and yet find it interesting. I enjoyed the author's ability to write about the world of magic. It was informative yet not inappropriately so. That was something entirely new. This was a light read, but well worth the time
Magic act Dec 18 2009
By P. Ho - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Publishers Weekly review pretty much sums up the plot of the book. Paul Galliard, a part time magician is asked to recreate for a TV special a bullet catching act that his late father specialized. Along the way he has to contend with several deaths that are somehow connected with magicians circle that included his father.

Several other people have also accurately described this as neat and light. I can only add that if you are a fan of the old Ellery Queen novels as I am then you will positively delight in this work. The twists on this novel hark back to an earlier age (even though it was published originally in the late 1980s) where crime novels were notable for their absence of psychological weight. Having this book with me was the most fun I had at the airport waiting for a stubborn fog to evaporate. Normally I would rate something this light about 3.5 stars, but since it was such good company, I will happily round it off to 4 while I'm still in a good mood.
Magicians and Murder Oct. 15 2014
By drkhimxz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A young magician caught up in the murder of older magicians. Interesting, well-written, off-beat mystery, with a lead who is a bit fey.
Once a graduate student, the hero could not resist the lure of the magicians life he had known as a child before his father died as the consequence of a trick gone wrong. After that, he had been exposed to some of the old magician friends of his father, one of whom dies doing a trick at the beginning of the book.
The author has the gift of communicating with a minimum of words, providing little information not needed to sketch a character or a situation, yet leaving this reader ( at least) with a sense of knowing what there is a need to know. I would recommend the book to any mystery reader who likes quirky characters and an insiders story of an arcane profession.