A Criminal Magic
Published February 2nd 2016
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THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new crossover fantasy novel.
Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.
It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.
Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.
Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.
A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.
About the Author
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. She is the author of A Criminal Magic and City of Savages.
What Role Would You Play in A CRIMINAL MAGIC?
Lee Kelly’s A CRIMINAL MAGIC takes place during the Roaring Twenties, the age of guys, dolls, molls and crime bosses. But in this story’s Jazz Age, magic instead of alcohol is prohibited. Sorcerers work hand in hand with gangsters in every aspect of their illegal dealings – from hiding robberies and murders to underground performance magic shows – as Prohibition Unit agents struggle to uphold the letter of the law.
If you were around during the Prohibition of magic, which type of player would you be? Take our quiz and find out!
1. Which one of these vacations most appeals to you?
a. A week at an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii with my family, with beautiful beaches, golf courses and lots of down time.
b. A long weekend in Las Vegas with a handful of my closest friends.
c. A ten-day backpacking trip by myself through New Zealand.
2. Most Friday nights I can be found:
a. On a date with my boyfriend or girlfriend, probably going to a movie or spending a nice night at home.
b. At the biggest party on campus.
c. It totally depends on my mood – sometimes I just want to spend the night reading, other times I want to go to a club or sneak into a VIP party with my friends.
3. Which of these quotes do you most agree with?
a. “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill
b. “The starting point of all achievement is desire.” – Napoleon Hill
c. “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.” –Franklin D. Roosevelt
4. Out of the following, what is your favorite color?
5. The way I’d describe my wardrobe is:
a. Classic, with lots of staples in neutral colors, so that I can mix and match everything.
b. Bold, lots of flair, with a lot of the latest trends represented.
c. Eclectic, I guess -- it’s hard to categorize as I like a lot of different styles.
6. My favorite social media site is:
Mostly A’s: You’re an Agent.
You’re a go-getter, a Type-A, and someone who generally plays by the rules. You pride yourself on your resolve and determination, even in the face of serious adversity. I mean yes, you’re human, and sometimes you make mistakes (like taking a bribe, or a shot of sorcerer’s shine…), but for the most part you’re committed to upholding the law of the land, and protecting people from the dangers of sorcery, one bust at a time.
Mostly B’s: You’re a Gangster.
You’re bold, clever, and have a real knack for getting what you want – maybe because you take the rules as suggestions. While you’re generally the life of the party, you’ve got a dangerous side and can get a little volatile when things don’t quite work out as you’ve envisioned. Sure, maybe you’re not magic yourself, but you’re the brains AND guns of the operation, and when you believe in something, nothing and no one can stand in your way.
Mostly C’s: You’re a Sorcerer.
There’s something unusual and provocative about you, and people naturally find themselves drawn in . . . not that you’re necessarily easy to know. But if you’re secretive, cagey and maybe a little eccentric, so what? You’re magic. You march to the beat of your own drummer, and you’re confident in who you are and what you can do.
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