Magic for liars

Sarah Gailey

Book - 2019

"When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister--without losing herself" --

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Mystery fiction
Detective and mystery fiction
Published
New York : Tor 2019.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Item Description
"A Tom Doherty Associates Book".
Physical Description
336 pages ; 22 cm
ISBN
9781250174611
1250174619
Main Author
Sarah Gailey (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Private investigator Ivy Gamble does her work in the seedy underbelly of Oakland, California, alone and growing bored with adulterers and disability claims until the headmaster of the Osthorne Academy for Young Mages approaches her. A teacher at this magical school has died gruesomely, and the headmaster wants to know if it was murder. Ivy's twin sister works at the school, though they're estranged; Tabitha discovered her magic in high school, but Ivy doesn't have that power. Despite her reservations, Ivy plunges forward into the world that never wanted her. Gailey (River of Teeth, 2017) takes command of this story, from the arresting prologue to the final reveal. Ivy's relentless drive to solve the crime coupled with the unique setting will propel the reader through the narrative, but the many layers of theme and character set this novel apart. There's something for almost all readers here: family drama, romance, high-school gossip, fantasy-world building. Above all, Gailey shows us that humans are humans, even when they are magic, and they are still flawed, damaged, and oh so interesting. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

DEBUT Oakland-based PI Ivy Gamble chases adulterous partners and money-hungry families, until a new client asks her to investigate the death of a health teacher at the Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, where Ivy's estranged twin sister, Tabitha, works. Tabitha possesses magic in spades, but Ivy does not. The headmaster at the school insists that the teacher's death is not accidental, and if that's true, someone on the grounds is a killer. Ivy grudgingly takes the investigation, uncovering both typical and unusual scenes at a boarding school for magical elites: secret relationships and mean girls, not to mention the prophecy of the Chosen One. As Ivy hunts for answers to Sylvia Capley's gruesome death, details about her childhood and bias against magic emerge, and she finds out just how much the past can affect the present. VERDICT Gailey's debut is an energetic modern fantasy that plays rough with relationships and personal beliefs, from youth to adulthood. Ivy's emotional investigation will strike a chord in anyone who has ever felt like they don't belong. Highly recommended for all collections.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In this clever and fast-paced magical mystery, Gailey (River of Teeth) introduces Bay Area PI Ivy Gamble, who usually tracks down adulterers and insurance scammers. Then, Marion Torres, headmaster at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, walks into Ivy's office and asks her to solve a murder. Sylvia Capley, the school's health teacher, was found bisected head-to-toe in the library, and Marion does not agree with the findings of accidental death; she's certain it was murder and wants Ivy to prove it. Reluctantly, Ivy visits the school—where her magically gifted twin, Tabitha, whom Ivy greatly envies and resents, happens to teach. To Ivy's surprise, it's just like a regular high school, except that the kids are armed with magical arsenals. One student stands out: Alexandria DeCambray, whose brother believes he is the chosen one foretold in a prophecy. As Ivy continues her investigation, she ruminates on her past choices, especially as she tries to rebuild her relationship with Tabitha. A budding romance with one of the school's teachers also complicates matters. Petty, petulant Ivy is hard to like, but her story is a wonderfully quirky mystery filled with inviting characters and gripping surprise twists. Agent: DongWon Song, Howard Morhaim Literary. (June) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Detective Ivy Gamble embarks on a search for a killer at a California private academy for mages where her estranged, magically gifted twin, Tabitha, hides in plain sight.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister--without losing herself."--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In a first novel by an Hugo Award-winning writer, a private investigator and talented liar embarks on a search for a killer at a California private academy for mages where her estranged, magically gifted twin hides in plain sight.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life: her almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. She doesn't wish she was like her estranged twin sister, magically gifted professor Tabitha. But whenshe's hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Osthorne Academy for Young Mages, Ivy begins to call into question everything she has ever believed. -- adapted from jacket

Review by Publisher Summary 5

A 2020 LOCUS AWARD FINALIST FOR BEST FIRST NOVELSharp, mainstream fantasy meets compelling thrills of investigative noir in Magic for Liars, a fantasy debut by rising star Sarah Gailey. Ivy Gamble was born without magic and never wanted it.Ivy Gamble is perfectly happy with her life – or at least, she’s perfectly fine.She doesn't in any way wish she was like Tabitha, her estranged, gifted twin sister.Ivy Gamble is a liar.When a gruesome murder is discovered at The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages, where her estranged twin sister teaches Theoretical Magic, reluctant detective Ivy Gamble is pulled into the world of untold power and dangerous secrets. She will have to find a murderer and reclaim her sister—without losing herself. “An unmissable debut.”—Adrienne Celt, author of Invitation to a Bonfire