Thursday, April 4, 2024

Cabaret Macabre by Tom Mead -- BOOK BEGINNINGS



Well, what happened last week? Beats me! I totally spaced Book Beginnings! I must have had my mind on Easter. Sorry!

Thank you for coming back this week for Book Beginnings on Fridays. Please share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week. You can also share from a book that caught your fancy, even if you are not reading it right now.

Hopefully I'll pay a little more attention going forward and not skip a week. 

The steamer trunk had leather handles, brass fittings, and a dark, hardboard shell.
-- from Cabaret Macabre by Tom Mead. I like that opening sentence. It doesn't plunk you right into the middle of the action, but it hints at the mood of the book. Steamer trunks are long gone, so it points to an earlier age. And there is something romantic and adventurous about a steamer trunk. 

What do you think? Would you keep reading? It jumps right in to explain that the steamer trunk was found washed up on a beach, which is enough to drag me into the story. What could be inside?

Cabaret Macabre is the third book in Tom Mead's historical mystery series featuring Joseph Spector, an "illusionist" turned sleuth. The first two books are Death and the Conjuror and The Murder Wheel. Cabaret Macabre comes out on July 16th from Mysterious Press and is available for preorder now. I was fortunate to get my hands on an early review copy. I also want to read the first two and there is time before this one comes out. 

Tom Mead is an English author and fan of Golden Age mysteries. His Joseph Spector books are "locked room" mysteries that pay homage to the classic mystery books of the 1920s and '30s. 


Please add a link to your Book Beginnings post in the linky box below. If you share on social media, please use the #bookbeginnings hashtag so we can find each other. 

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The Friday 56 is a natural tie-in with Book Beginnings. The idea is to share a two-sentence teaser from page 56 of your featured book. If you are reading an ebook or audiobook, find your teaser from the 56% mark.

Freda at Freda's Voice started and hosted The Friday 56 for a long, long time. She is taking a break and Anne at My Head is Full of Books has taken on hosting duties in her absence. Please visit Anne's blog and link to your Friday 56 post.


-- from Cabaret Macabre:
The gunman was gone, but he could not have got far. The returning footprints terminated abruptly by a side window.
Victor Silvius has spent nine years as an inmate at The Grange, a private sanatorium, for the crime of attacking judge Sir Giles Drury. Now, the judge's wife, Lady Elspeth Drury, believes that Silvius is the one responsible for a series of threatening letters her husband has recently received. Eager to avoid the scandal that involving the local police would entail, Lady Elspeth seeks out retired stage magician Joseph Spector, whose discreet involvement in a case Sir Giles recently presided over greatly impressed her.

Meanwhile, Miss Caroline Silvius is disturbed after a recent visit to her brother Victor, convinced that he isn't safe at The Grange. Someone is trying to kill him and she suspects the judge, who has already made Silvius' life a living hell, may be behind it. Caroline hires Inspector George Flint of Scotland Yard to investigate.

The two cases collide at Marchbanks, the Drury family seat of over four hundred years, where a series of unnerving events interrupt the peace and quiet of the snowy countryside.


  1. I like the descriptiveness of the excerpt. Here's mine: BOOKISH FRIDAY

  2. Things happen. I am glad to see you back this week, Gillion! I love the cover of Cabaret Macabre. As you said, the opening doesn't give away much, but it does offer just enough of a sense of place. And the second excerpt makes this one even more tempting. I haven't tried this series, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. I really like historical mysteries and haven't read this one. I hope you have a great weekend!

  3. Those are very descriptive excerpts. Have a great weekend. :)

  4. Ooh, I can't wait to hear your thoughts on this book. I enjoy golden age mysteries, but find modern written novels in the golden age style as hit or miss. Sometimes the author puts in language that doesn't seem to mesh well or something else that sticks out that shouldn't belong.


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