Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on September 22, 2021
MY RATING SYSTEM
5 stars--WOW
4 stars--would read again
3 stars--was good, won't read again
2 stars--read it, but didn't enjoy it
1 star--didn't finish, it was so awful

Do I need to read books before this one: yes
Cliffhanger: no

SUMMARY
On the day of Sheriff Payne's execution, Willie and India go to a Wild West show as a distraction. Afterward, Willie plays poker, wins against Emmett and Danny, 2 sharpshooters in the show.

That night they plus Cyclops and Duke go to a pub to play poker with Emmett and Danny again. Only Willie plays. India talks to sharpshooters Annie Oakley and May, Danny's wife. May doesn't like that Danny loses to Emmett so much. Duke and India tell Willie it's time to go home. Emmett snarls, is rude to India. Willie says she'd only stay to figure out how he cheats. When Emmett slurs Willie, Duke punches him. A blonde woman seems happy about it. As they're leaving, India sees Sir Charles.

Matt and Miss Glass come home from Patience's wedding. Matt learns about Sir Charles, says he may be spying for Lord Coyle, but Coyle already knows everything about India. India still hasn't told Matt about the deal she made with Coyle to get Cox to marry Patience.

The morning paper announces Emmett was robbed and killed. Inspector Brockwell invites Duke to come to Scotland Yard for questioning because they'd had an altercation. Matt and India convince Brockwell to talk at the house. Brockwell doesn't take notes until Willie says Emmett cheated. Willie gives Brockwell Danny's and May's names.

The next day they read Emmett's gun wasn't on him, but his expensive hat and shoes weren't taken. Oscar Barratt and Professor Nash visit. They're writing a book about magic, and want to write about India's magic. Matt is against it. India is conflicted. Pre-marital contention.

In the morning, the friends leave breakfast, locking Matt and India inside until they've made up. They all go to Emmett's memorial service. As India passes the casket, she touches the playing cards on Emmett's chest. Magic. He must have been a paper magician and that's how he cheated. Now they've got a reason to be involved with the case and this get Duke off the suspect list.

EVALUATION
Again, the author writes a well-paced plot. I had no idea who'd done it or why debate everyone was so suspicious. Character growth is great. Matt and India have to resolve some issues in their relationship while also solving a murder, playing politics with Coyle and with Fabian, and getting ready for their wedding. Cyclops gets ribbed about dieting when Duke eats his toast, Willie eats his bacon…. These three characters started as extras in the first book or two; they are now integral parts of the story. I want to know more about Duke. I'm glad to see Catherine and her brother Ronnie get attention. And of course Chronos and Abercrombie throw wrenches.

RECOMMENDATION
Everyone who's following the series!

FAVORITE QUOTES
"I wish I'd worked out how he cheated before he died." "Let's not talk ill of the dead." "Why not? He was a cheater, I'm sure of it. Being dead don't change that fact."

I don't believe in destiny. Our futures are the sum of our choices. It is not mapped for us at birth.

"This is why I want you to come to me. Not because I want to tell you what to do, but because I want to share some of the burden. I'm marrying you because I want to share your life, and that means the difficult parts of it too."

"I can't let her know I liked that kiss." Going by Catherine's smile as she left, I'd say he failed.

"The next time I break into a house, remind me not to wear a corset." "Next time I break into a house, remind me not to bring you."

India, "I'm not in the least nervous about getting married." Matt, "I am." "Sad to see your bachelor days end? Worried we'll grow bored with one another? Or that we'll grow apart? Afraid your unique edges will be smoothed?" He frowned at me. "I'm not, but now I'm worried about how you feel." "I don't think we'll grow bored. We'll be fine, particularly if the children stay with us." I nodded at the door through which Cyclops and Duke entered. "You are," Duke baited his friend. "Am not," Cyclops growled back. "You are." "Say it again and I'll thump you."

POSSIBLE TRIGGERS (SPOILERS)
Sex: kisses, brief petting
Language: 1.5 F words, 12 Lord's name in vain, 0 S words
Violence: punches, gunshot, slit throat, murder, theft, attempted murders
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