Ivy never wanted to be magic, really. But she still wonders if it wouldn’t have made some things easier. Tabitha is able to get rid or freckles that plague both of them, her eyes always sparkle a bit more, and everything seems to come much more easily for her. People never stick to Ivy and she wonders sometimes if she had been magic if that might have been different.
Ivy knows exactly who she is: the half-feral detective with the perpetual hangover, covered in ink and smudges, devoid of magic. She knows that isn’t an Ivy anyone would want.
When she is hired to investigate a grisly murder at the Osthorne Academy for Young Mages where Tabitha teaches Theoretical Magic, Ivy thinks it could be her chance to make good as an investigator. It might be her chance to be a different Ivy and, if she does things right, it could change everything.
But being around so much magic and so many what-ifs is intoxicating. As questions arise and the suspect list grows, Ivy will have to keep her head clear if she wants to get to the truth in Magic for Liars (2019) by Sarah Gailey.
Magic for Liars is a standalone fantasy noir mashup complete with a flawed detective as the protagonist.
Ivy has spent most of her life lonely and starved for attention. Being in her head is hard, but it’s supposed to be as her inner turmoil plays out against the larger backdrop of the murder investigation.
Magic for Liars is a mystery wrapped around a sometimes painful examination of the stories we tell ourselves in an effort to make the world see us the way we wish it would. A tightly paced, largely flawless mystery that delivers on every front. Highly recommended.
Possible Pairings: Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews, Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, Book of Night by Holly Black, Storm Front by Jim Butcher, The Secret Place by Tana French, The Magicians by Lev Grossman, Once Broken Faith by Seanan McGuire, The Rook by Daniel O’Malley, Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld