SMOKE AND MIRRORS by Elly Griffiths
DI Edgar Stephens and his team are called to investigate the disappearance and subsequent deaths of two children. One of the leads that Stephens follows is to the theatre in Brighton, where a holiday panto, Aladdin, is currently playing and starring Stephens’ friend Max Mephisto, who was a great help to Edgar in the case of the Zig Zag Girl. Here, Max is simply “filler” (and at 336 pages, there’s lots of filler), and is almost superfluous to the plot.
If jumping to conclusions was an Olympic event, then DI Edgar Stephens and his team would surely win the gold medal! With a plot fraught with inconsistencies and a cast of characters without any depth, jumping to conclusions is as exciting as it gets.
After reading the first book in this series (Zig Zag Girl) and not being enamoured of it, I agreed to try the second, hoping that it would be better and more up to Griffiths’ standard as in her Ruth Galloway series. The writing here is simplistic and seems more geared to a younger audience – perhaps the 13-14 year old range. There’s nothing here for the true mystery aficionado. Give this series a miss.