Review Blog

Jul 14 2014

Phyllis Wong and the return of the conjuror by Geoffrey McSkimming

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Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743318379
The second of the Phyllis Wong mysteries sees Phyllis, Clement and Chief Inspector Inglis caught up in a baffling case of rare Shakespearean manuscripts, which are suddenly appearing in auctions. How can it be that such rare items as the First Folios of Shakespeare almost flood the market, when so few of them have survived the centuries since they were first published?
Of course, if one could travel back in time and buy them firsthand and bring them back to the present day that would make perfect sense. But that is impossible - or is it?
Phyllis is astounded to meet her famous great-grandfather Wallace Wong when he travels through time and reappears in his old basement of magical wonders, now Phyllis' own workshop. Wallace shares with Phyllis the secret of 'transitting' through strange Pockets in time and space, a skill he developed through his dedicated study of science, inspired by Einstein's theories, as well as his own application of the mysteries of magic. This certainly explains Wallace's strange disappearance in the middle of his act in Venezuela, back in 1936. And - importantly, explains how the nasty Mistress Colley is obtaining Shakespearean First Folios to sell for enormous profits. Not exactly illegal, if somewhat unethical but when it becomes apparent that Mistress Colley intends to steal original manuscripts written by the Bard, it's time for the resourceful Miss Wong to step in.
Phyllis, Clement and Chief Inspector Inglis know the only way to foil the plans of the loathsome Mistress Colley is to transit back to The Globe and thwart her illicit designs. As one might imagine, there is bemusement - and amusement - all round for obvious reasons when strangers appear and try to warn William Shakespeare. However, as with all satisfying adventure-mysteries, the action rolls on and the villain is stymied.
Another real page-turner (I read it in one sitting!), this second volume of Phyllis Wong certainly has me anticipating the next instalment.
Be sure not to miss out, put these on your shopping list - they are guaranteed to 'vanish' off the shelves rapidly!
Watch the book trailer and trailer with the author.
Check out Phyllis' FaceBook page as well.
Sue Warren.

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