Cover Image: Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Since the first book in this series (The Unkindness of Ravens), librarian Greer Hogan has been working through the aftermath of her husband’s murder. While she’s upright and functional, his death feels unresolved, and she’s not so sure the right person is in prison. While she has a job, she’s taken on a temporary one in New York City, archiving the collection of a magician. The gig comes with an apartment across the street, and the archiving job gives her the flexibility she needs for sleuthing. It also comes with an assistant: the aptly named “Grim” (short for Grimaldi), a former magician himself, is helping out by archiving the straight up magic tricks part of the collection, while Greer herself sticks to books. She decides to trust him early on and he proves to be incredibly useful.

Greer begins her search by returning to her husband’s office and meeting with the remaining corporate officers of the company, ostensibly to make sure there’s nothing she missed in the office clean up that followed his death, but really to get a beady eye on them and see what secrets they might be hiding. As she leaves, she catches the eye of an employee she doesn’t know and they end up meeting off site. He has secrets to tell.

She also meets with her former neighbors who are delighted to see her and are able to add some clues to a timeline she already has set up, further convincing her that the wrong man is indeed in prison for the crime.

Hilliard does a nice job setting up Greer’s very interesting job, her personality, and the way she’s dealing with her grief (partially, of course, by investigating her husband’s murder). She brings you right into Greer’s life and you are rooting for her to figure out what happened. The clues turn out to be pretty tricky and Greer assembles a team – a former assistant of her husband’s joins a couple of neighbors and the ever useful Grim.

She and Grim keep just on the right side of the law. Greer’s righteous anger is inflamed when a man is attacked on her parent’s porch, and dealing with this incident out of town also gives her some perspective into her ongoing investigation. The police aren’t so convinced that there’s any connection between the crimes in this book and her husband’s murder, so she and Grim are often exploring on their own.

This was paced a bit slowly. I enjoyed the characters and the setting, and the resolution and the clues it rested on were pretty clever. I am frustrated by this series as I feel like Hilliard could be really, really good, instead of what this book is, a very pleasant and intelligent read. Sometimes I find myself holding authors I know are talented to a higher standard and judging them more harshly. This is a worthy series but I just know it could be better. I still recommend this book, however.

Was this review helpful?

Greer Hogan investigates the death of her husband as an amateur detective. Magic, sorcery and books play a role in the story. I loved reading about cataloging books and magical secrets. Also, the way the mystery unfolded was really interesting. I liked the author's style, the character portrayal and the story itself. The novel is part of a series, but I haven't read the prequels and it was still thoroughly enjoyable. I really like this genre, as far as amateur detectives are concerned, I found a new favorite in the person of Hogan.
Thanks to NetGalley for the novel!

Was this review helpful?

The fourth installment in the Greer Hogan series. The librarian sleuth is back! This time Greer has left Raven Hill and moved back to NYC to finally solve her husband's murder. A temporary job doing inventory for a personal collection of a dead magician set her up to investigate her husband's company shady dealings. Smart, witty, and full of intriguing characters, this is a great addition to a solid mystery series.

Was this review helpful?

I haven't read any books by this Author before ,but I was hooked within a few pages of this Murder Mystery story, throw in Libraries & Magic & I couldn't put it down & I shall be recommending it to several friends. However I would like to know what happened to Grimm? #NetGalley, #GoodReads, #FB, # Amazon.co.uk, #Instagram, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/8a5b541512e66ae64954bdaab137035a5b2a89d2" width="80" height="80" alt="200 Book Reviews" title="200 Book Reviews"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/ef856e6ce35e6d2d729539aa1808a5fb4326a415" width="80" height="80" alt="Reviews Published" title="Reviews Published"/>, #<img src="https://www.netgalley.com/badge/aa60c7e77cc330186f26ea1f647542df8af8326a" width="80" height="80" alt="Professional Reader" title="Professional Reader"/>.

Was this review helpful?

Nice writing style and plot. An enjoyable read right from the beginning. I hope to read more by this author.

Was this review helpful?

Mystery In Traditional Vein..
The fourth in the Greer Hogan Mystery series and librarian come amateur sleuth, Greer, is hot on the heels of clues as she heads to the City. Taking up a temporary post in a library of a deceased magician, Greer determines to uncover the truth behind Dan’s death but will face danger along the way. Another immersive instalment in this excellent series with a compelling narrative littered with literary references, a likeable and credible protagonist and a plot populated with a deftly drawn cast as well as a pacy and plot. A mystery in traditional vein.

Was this review helpful?

Smoke and Mirrors by M.E. Hilliard is the fourth in Hilliard's Greer Hogan series. Greer, a librarian who is driven to learn the truth about her husband Dan's murder four years before, is an incredibly interesting character. She's studying self-defense, seemingly out of necessity because she keeps discovering dead bodies, and wrestling with her rage about Dan's murder and her own complicated relationship with the law. Throw in the apt quotes and literary references throughout, as well as some fun scenes related to the magician's book collection that she is cataloguing, and this cozy mystery (set in the not-so-cozy world of New York City and corporate cannabis start-ups) is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
It is part of a series, but it can be read on its own. You may well find that you would like to pick up the rest of the series!
Thank you to NetGalley and Crooked Lane Books for the opportunity to read this advanced review copy.

Was this review helpful?

Smoke and Mirrors brings Hilliard's intriguing protagonist Greer into a deeper and more personal mystery. Greer's late husband's murder is front and center now, and Greer is in NYC to find answers after 4 years. A fascinating twist is her new job archiving the collection of a magician.
New characters are brought in, and Greer's background is more deeply explored. Hilliard is excellent in setting up an atmospheric, dangerous setting. The writing is assured, the pace is exciting, and the story is a great puzzle. Keep it going!

Was this review helpful?

I am a fan of this series and was excited to read this fourth entry that finishes the story arc about the murder of Greer's husband Dan four years ago. Unlike previous titles in the series, Smoke and Mirrors is set in New York City with Greer there to catalogue the estate of a magician. Of course, this gives her the opportunity to put her investigation into her husband's death front and center.

The plot features twists and turns that bring together many characters from previous books as well as exploring the current abuses in the legalized cannibis industry. Greer also meets a potential new love interest, the mysterious "Grim."

While the NYC setting was a nice change of pace, one of the draw of this series for me has been the village and Library at Raven Hill--the world of librarianship attracted me to this series initially. So, I hope that future titles will return to Raven Hill.

Full Disclosure--NetGalley and the publisher provided me with a digital ARC of this book. This is my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

M..E. Hilliard wraps up a four-book story arc with Smoke and Mirrors, but leaves a hint for the next book. Librarian Greer Hogan has been hunting for answers as to her husband’s murder four years earlier, a storyline that began with The Unkindness of Ravens. Now, with a temporary job in Manhattan, she has the chance to find her husband’s killer.

Greer had been living in upstate New York, but, now that she has a temporary job cataloging a collection at the Archive of Illusionists and Conjurers in Manhattan, she can ask questions of her late husband’s colleagues at New Leaf, where he worked when he was killed. Yes, a man was arrested for the murder, but Greer believes him when he says Danny was alive when he left their apartment, unconscious but alive. For four years, she’s felt guilty that she ignored Danny when he wanted to talk to her that day. Now, she only has rage left.

Greer gathers a small group of people to help her dig for answers, including one woman who worked with Danny, their two neighbors in the apartment building, and Grim. Grim is a mysterious figure, a magician who speaks Italian, so was hired to assist her with cataloging magic books written in Italian, and some of the magic props. He also has a few tricks to teach her for her own protection.

After Greer makes contact again with the management at New Leaf, someone tries to break into two places, the archive, and her parents’ home. They’re thwarted both times, but a man dies at her parents’. Greer knows she has stirred the pot at New Leaf, and a killer has something to hide.

Four books seems quite a few for an ongoing story arc, but the resolution will allow Greer and readers to move on. As I said, there’s a hint of a new mystery involving Grim and the archive. Readers who haven’t read the earlier books, or at least the first in the series, might find themselves a little lost with the ongoing story.

Was this review helpful?

This title is a bit of a mixed bag for me. Maybe that's because I haven't read any previous books in the series. I do love the magician's library that Greer is in charge of organizing, and I like Greer herself as a main character. What I don't love is that the mystery really goes all the way back to her husband's death four (I think) years before, before the series even started. So have all the books had to do with her husband's death, or does it finally just get solved in this one. I think there's so much good stuff here, but it feels a little distant or detached to me. Hmm...I'll either need to read the next one or go back to the start of the series to find out. I don't know if the fact that I now know who murdered her husband will ruin the earlier mysteries. I'd give this one 3-1/2 stars.

Review copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Greer Hogan is a librarian. She is also an amateur sleuth. She is also troubled that her husband was murdered and there is no progress in the investigation and saddened by the fact that he wanted to tell her what his suspicions were, which got him killed, but never had the chance.

Another death in the same company put Greer on guard, and when another person from the same company approached her, after following her for days, with information which he felt was dangerous (and who got murdered within hours), Greer knew she was on track to find out who the killers were.
All she had was a few sheets of random figures, a lot of conjecture, and the support of Grim a colleague whose specialty is magic and who is very willing and capable of helping her in her quest for justice.

The story included libraries being catalogued .(always interesting) and especially since the subject was magic. It added a completely different lift to the story.

Tense, and a page turner. Emotional as well.

Was this review helpful?

In Smoke and mirror Greer Hogan is inventorying the personal collection of a deceased magician and at the same time is doing an investigation into New Leaf, the company where her deceased (murdered) husband used to work. Pretty soon she experiences break-ins both at work and in her temporary apartment.

When she decides to delve deeper into these mysteries she gets help from Grim, a magician with a mysterious past and some strange but useful tricks up his sleeve. The investigation of her husband's death and the contemporary events are surrounded by a lot of smoke and mirrors but in the end Greer gets to the bottom of things.

I really liked the interaction between Greer and Grim and found the story really entertaining as well as suspenseful. Looking forward to the next instalment and I'm sure to read the previous one as well.
Four stars for this enjoyable book and many thanks to Netgalley who provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I feel like this series is a little under the radar -- it definitely needs to get more attention, because all four books are terrific. Greer Hogan is a librarian in the tiny upstate town of Raven Hill. She's come there from a very different life in New York City after her husband is murdered. In this, the fourth title of the series, she actually goes back to New York because she's been temporarily hired to organize and catalog the collection of an eccentric magician. While there, she decides to once and for all, use her sleuthing skills to find out who really murdered her husband. Yes, there's already a man in prison accused of that, but she knows there is more to the story. Great characters, a great puzzle-it-out plot, and a very likable main character, Greer, make this book, and the previous ones in the series, a treat for mystery lovers.

Was this review helpful?

Haunted by her husband's murder 4 years ago Greer Hogan investigates New Leaf, the company her husband had worked for. Helping her are Grim, an illusionist assisting her in cataloging a fellow magician's house, April, the wife of a now deceased coworker of her husband, Isabelle, her husband's past assistant and Aunt Caro, Isabelle's aunt and quite a character. Break ins, murder and mayhem ensue as Greer follow the clues to find her husband's murderer. This is the 4th Greer Hogan mystery but it is definitely not necessary to read the previous 3 to enjoy and understand this one. Excellent character and plot made it a delight to read. I got a little bogged down with all the business and financial info but that's not an area I'm interested in so could have easily been just me. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Thanks to #NetGalley and #CrookedLaneBooks for the EARC
#SmokeAndMirrors

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for an advanced copy.

This was my first Greer mystery and I really enjoyed it. It was a slow Burn cozy mystery with wonderful characters. I specially like grim. The details were very good and I could clearly picture everything in everywhere. The story is great to our would recommend this author. 3.5⭐️

Was this review helpful?

This was a Greer Hogan mystery, and I remember enjoying one of the previous books in this series. I like Greer as a protagonist; I like the way she communicates, and I find her a little bit humorous at times. This was a pleasant cosy mystery, and light enough to read in one sitting.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

Was this review helpful?

The Greer Hogan series always deliver an intricately plotted storywith rich charactersand the latest is no exception. In this fourth book, Greer finds a resolution to her husband's murder and discovers which lives she's willing to to cross. While this could be read as a stand-alone, it's a more satisfying read as the conclusion the arc started in book 1.

While one mystery gets wrapped up, the introduction of the mysterious Grimaldi promises more intrigue to come.

Was this review helpful?

Initially, I was on the verge of not finishing M.E. Hilliard's book, or at least considering skimming through certain sections. However, I'm grateful that I didn't give up. What caused me to come so close to quitting? It took nearly three-quarters of the book before everything started falling into place. Yet, what motivated me to persevere? It was the occasional quip or literary allusion from the main character that convinced me she was a character worth getting to know.

While it may have taken some time for the story to fully engage me, there were moments of brilliance that kept me intrigued. The main character's clever remarks and references to literature added depth and complexity to her personality. These glimpses into her wit and intelligence made me believe that there was more to discover about her.

In conclusion, despite my initial doubts and the slow start, I'm glad I stuck with it. The main character's occasional quips and literary allusions ultimately convinced me that she was a character worth investing in. If you're willing to be patient and give it a chance, this book has the potential to surprise and captivate you.

Was this review helpful?

Greer Hogan moves back to New York City to take a temporary job. But the librarian has a bigger purpose in mind. She is finally ready to properly investigate the death of her husband.

In this series, we meet a murder solving librarian. But in this book, her involvement is more personal. As she investigates her husband's former company, things begin to look a little suspicious. And she struggles to decode the final message she left him.

Hogan uses a team of unique personalities to assist her in her investigation. While the solution to the murder of her husband, and several subsequent murders isn't overly shocking, the method she employs to get there is a lot of fun. Her characters are well-developed and interesting.

Was this review helpful?