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Head of Zeus
Death and the Conjuror
12 Jul 2022 * EBOOK * £7.99 * 9781804540879

The debut novel by Tom Mead, a locked room mystery featuring Joseph Spector, a magician-turned-sleuth solving mysteries in 1930s London.

Fiction / FFH (Crime Fiction)
Extent: 288 pages
Exclusive: GB AU NZ IN ZA SG   Not for sale: CA US
Death and the Conjuror: A locked room mystery for fans of Golden Age Crime Fictionby Tom Mead

An enthralling locked-room murder mystery inspired by crime fiction of the Golden Age, Death and the Conjuror is the debut novel by acclaimed short-story writer Tom Mead.

1936, London. A celebrity psychiatrist is discovered dead in his locked study. There seems to be no way a killer could have escaped unseen. There are no clues, no witnesses, and no evidence of the murder weapon. Stumped by the confounding scene, Inspector Flint, the Scotland Yard detective on the case, calls on retired stage magician turned part-time sleuth Joseph Spector.

Spector has a knack for explaining the inexplicable, but even he finds that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye. As he and the Inspector interview the colourful cast of suspects, they uncover no shortage of dark secrets... or motives for murder. And when a second murder occurs, this time in an impenetrable elevator, they realize the crime wave will become even more deadly unless they can catch the culprit soon.

Reviews for Death and the Conjuror:

'An intricate "impossible" crime that completely fooled me.' Peter Lovesey
'A sharply drawn period piece with memorable characters.' New York Times
'Mead's debut is a novel to intrigue and delight.' John Connolly
'A true delight for mystery lovers!' Charles Todd
'Mead maintains suspense throughout, creating a creepy atmosphere en route to satisfying reveals.' Publishers Weekly
'A real treat for mystery fans.' Ragnar Jónasson

Tom Mead's acclaimed short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and Lighthouse among others. Several of his pieces have also been anthologized, including 'Heatwave' in The Best Mystery Stories of the Year 2021 (ed. Lee Child). He lives in Derbyshire, England. Death and the Conjuror is his debut novel. Follow Tom at

Debut novel by acclaimed short story writer based in Derbyshire, England.

For fans of classic crime fiction and modern homages to the Golden Age.

MARKET: Agatha Christie; Anthony Horowitz; Richard Osman; John Dickson Carr.

'Death and the Conjuror is an engrossing tale of murder and magicians, and a revealing exploration of the ever-popular locked-room mystery. Mead's debut is a novel to intrigue and delight' John Connolly

'With a deviously intricate locked-room plot, Death and the Conjuror unfolds as both an elegant tribute and a cunning update of the classic 'impossible crime' story. Somewhere, the great John Dickson Carr is smiling' Daniel Stashower

'Tom Mead has created an intriguing set of puzzles on par with John Dickson Carr in Death and the Conjuror. A true delight for mystery lovers!' Charles Todd

'This ingenious (and fair-play) locked-room mystery should win over a new generation of readers to this delightfully devious style of classic mystery' Gigi Pandian

'A sharply drawn period piece... Locked-room mysteries shine best with memorable characters, which is one of Mead's strengths' New York Times

'Mead faithfully replicates all the loving artifice and teasing engagement of golden-age puzzlers in this superior pastiche' Kirkus Reviews

'Mead maintains suspense throughout, creating a creepy atmosphere en route to satisfying reveals. Puzzle mystery fans will eagerly await the sequel' Publishers Weekly

'The clever and complicated plots the unknown antagonist concocts will likely keep you guessing all the way through' Crime Fiction Lover

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