The employees of the Straker Toy Company are invited to the birthday party of their boss named - as you might guess - Straker. The birthday takes place in the premiere magic palace of Manhattan. A grand illusion is interrupted by an appearance of a dead body; the person committed suicide while literally everybody in the theater was watching. Grace Holliday, a heroine of the novel is quite sure it was a murder. It turns out she is not the only one who thinks so. How was the murder committed, unless it was a pure magic?
I gave the high rating to the book, why? Because the author remembers that cozy mysteries is primarily about mystery with romance coming distant second, or even last. I read so many cozies lately where these parts were switched that this one came out very refreshing. Grace is a single woman in her thirties, but she is not obsessed with finding The Right Guy. It did not hurt any that the mystery part was quite baffling, complicated, and with a lot of red herrings.
The relationships between co-workers of the Straker Toy Company during big layoffs were very well done with all the back-stabbings between people trying not to lose their jobs. I am not sure it this was intentional, but in most cases they looked really pathetic while doing the whole drown-your-colleague-so-you-can-keep-the-job thing.
As to the problems, the book could really use a better editing. The start is really slow and somewhat boring until the dead body shows up. There were some minor grammar errors; if this bothers you, subtract one star from my rating. If you can overlook this part, there is a good mystery waiting for you as a reward. It was good enough for me to want to read the second one of the series.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/1014837/a-cozy-mystery-which-is-more-about-the-mystery-than-romance-what-a-novel-idea