Disappearing Nightly: Some fluffy urban-fantasy fun

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book review Manhattan Magic Laura Resnick Disappearing NightlyDisappearing Nightly by Laura Resnick

Funny fact: This book got lost in the mail on its way to me and took almost a month to arrive. I started wondering if it was a bad idea to order a book with “Disappearing” in the title! It turned up in the end, though, and I’m glad. Disappearing Nightly is a lot of fun. It was just what I needed after reading a couple of really dark novels.

Both the heroine and the plot are highly original in the urban fantasy subgenre. Esther is a struggling actress, not a hard-boiled vigilante. No vampires or werewolves appear in her story, either as antagonists or love interests. Esther is the understudy to pop star Golly Gee in “Sorcerer!”, a musical that revolves around stage magic. One night Golly vanishes as planned — but doesn’t reappear. Esther pokes around to find out what might have happened to Golly, and learns that magician’s assistants are disappearing all over New York City. Esther may be next if she can’t solve the mystery.

Meanwhile, she’s joined by a hilarious cast of supporting characters, and there’s a love interest too, in the form of hunky cop Connor Lopez. The romance isn’t very fleshed-out, but I think the author intends to develop that subplot further in future novels. The mystery plot, however, is brought to a full resolution, so Disappearing Nightly can stand on its own.

This is essentially a mystery novel, with plenty of twists and red herrings both magical and mundane. The style is light and funny, and it’s a quick read. Recommended if you’re looking for some fluffy urban-fantasy fun; this could be a great book for a lazy summer day.

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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