THE ZIG ZAG GIRL, by Elly Griffiths

1/series, Magic Men, set in post WW2 Brighton, England. Lovers of British cozies and non-gory police procedurals will fall head over heels in love with former Magic Man, now Detective Inspector  Edgar Stephens. A young woman's body, cut in three pieces with the top part absent, is found in two cases in Left Luggage. Stephens must figure out who and why. His old wartime comrade, the famous magician Max Mephisto, is playing at the local variety theater. Max points out there's a magic rick called the Zig Zag Girl, where the girl is supposedly cut in three parts. The woman's upper torso soon arrives at Stephens' office. This is getting personal. Click below for more...
Facing daily harangues from his irate superior, Stephens - now aided by the urbane Max - finds few clues other than a possible connection to their wartime posting to Scotland where they were supposed to create illusions to fool the Germans. Then the body count rises, in a murder resembling another magic trick. Well-paced, charming,'s a delightful 5.
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