"Fine picture of period vice, good mystery plotting, and fun.” —San Francisco Chronicle
A sadistic practical joker is haunting the popular music halls of London, interfering with the actors and interrupting their acts by orchestrating humiliating disasters that take place in view of the audience. A trapeze artist misses her timing when the trapeze ropes are shortened. A comedian who invites the audience to sing along with him finds the words of his song “shamefully” altered. Mustard has been applied to a sword swallower’s blade. A singer’s costume has been rigged. The girl in a magician’s box is trapped. Then the mischief escalates to murder. Or was murder intended all along? That indomitable detective team, Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray of Scotland Yard, must track down the elusive criminal.
About the Author
Peter Lovesey is the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels. He has been awarded the CWA Gold and Silver Daggers, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the Strand Magazine Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Macavity, Barry, and Anthony Awards, and many other honors. He lives in West Sussex, England.
Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement Recipient Mystery Writers of America 2018 Grandmaster
Praise for Abracadaver
“Another of those delightful Victorian mysteries, featuring Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray of the Yard. This one deals with peculiar accidents in various music halls, mishaps of a kind that would ruin a performer’s career; and then there’s murder . . . Fine picture of period vice, good mystery plotting, and fun.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“It’s a tangled business, both evil and intricate. Every police move seems frustrated by almost superhuman cunning until Cribb’s trap nails the murderer and ends a hunt as spectacular as it has been fairly marked with clues. Very much Grade A.” —John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine
“Music hall’s heyday lovingly recalled as Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray cope with limelit poisoning and Victorian permissiveness . . . Thoroughly entertaining.” —The Guardian
“Sinister fun in splendidly atmospheric setting.” —Sunday Telegraph
Praise for Peter Lovesey
“I have long loved Peter Lovesey’s books . . . A creative, courageous and gifted writer.” —Louise Penny
“Lovesey is a master of the crime novel.” —Sara Paretsky
“What'll it be today? A knotty puzzle mystery? A fast-paced police procedural? Something more high-toned, with a bit of wit? With the British author Peter Lovesey, there's no need to make those agonizing decisions, because his books have it all.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Mr. Lovesey's narrative is swift, but he takes time out for local color and abundant humor, the latter springing from the book's quirky characters . . . Lovesey is a wizard at mixing character-driven comedy with realistic-to-grim suspense. And in a writing career spanning four decades, he has created a stylish and varied body of work.” —The Wall Street Journal “A treat . . . Lovesey’s restraint, wit, and charming cast ensure him a place in the winner’s circle.” —Entertainment Weekly
“Extremely stylish, lighter than air . . . utterly surprising.” —Newsweek