The Magician’s Daughter by Judith Janeway

I liked the magic.

Valentine has studied to become a magician to emulate her unidentified father. The problem is that Valentine Hill doesn’t have a social security number, a date of birth, or a location of where she was born. Her only ID is a series of library cards from the different cities where she’s resided over the years. Her occupations have been limited to under the table pursuits, including her current job as an assistant street magician in Vegas, where she gets a clue that her missing mother is in California. Valentine hasn’t seen Elizabeth in nine years. The only reason to hunt her abusive, con artist mom down now is so that Valentine can finally get a clue to her heritage. The scars on Valentine’s arms reminds her of a brutal childhood where she was forced to participate in scamming men for their money. As a backlash to these traumatic experiences, Valentine vows to always tell the truth. Yet the people who surround Valentine have not made any such promises, so it’s no surprise that partner Jeff steals her secret stash of funds to get to San Francisco to join a band. And so the adventure begins.

The plot in The Magacian’s Daughter by Judith Janeway is fast paced and confusing as every character’s intention is suspect. The truth is as allusive as a magic trick. Just as the reader thinks they have a handle on what is happening, there is a twist. Sometimes the misdirection is interesting and at other times it’s annoying, plus the character development has been sacrificed to the plotline. Ironically, Valentine has sworn off violence, yet there is some malicious mischief as well as several gruesome murders surrounding her adventures. The surprise ending nicely tied up numerous loose ends.

If you are looking for a light weight, fun adventure – hocus pocus – here is your next read.

My one regret is that there wasn’t a little more slight of hand. Then this book would have been truly magical.

The first in a series featuring our heroine Valentine Hill, with future opportunities to flesh out some of the supporting characters.

Three stars.

I wish to thank Netgalley and Poison Pen Press for this ARC download in exchange for an honest review.


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