A Criminal Magic
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new crossover fantasy novel.
Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.
It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.
Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.
Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.
A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.
My Top Ten Fictional Twenties
I had a blast creating the world of A CRIMINAL MAGIC: the grit of organized crime, the glamour of the 1920s, the illegal but irresistible performance magic and elixirs. I love The Jazz Age, and can’t help but *grabby hands* any book, film or TV show that takes place in the era. So with that in mind, I thought I’d share my ten favorite fictional Twenties (DISCLAIMER: this was REALLY hard to narrow down, as there are so many):
- Midnight in Paris – I love this charming, clever Woody Allen movie, and the scenes of Paris in the 1920s in particular are so much fun.
- The Great Gatsby (Baz Luhrmann’s film) – It’s a spectacle to be sure, decadent and anachronistic and unconventional, and I was all in.
- Chicago – Who can resist this musical’s over-the-top, sensational Prohibition-era Chicago? I wish people in real life walked around snapping and singing All That Jazz.
- Boardwalk Empire – The lush period detail of this HBO drama had me swooning.
- Eight Men Out – The book (and the 1988 movie) chronicle the Black Sox’ 1919 scandal: it’s a glorious character study, and an A+ period piece.
- The Diviners – This series seamlessly weaves dark magic and the occult into the landscape of bustling New York in the Roaring Twenties. It was so much fun (and the series is now complete, for those who hate to wait for sequels)!
- Becoming Bonnie – Jenni Walsh’s debut doesn’t release until May 2017, but you’re going to want to pre-order it NOW. It’s the story of Bonnie before she met Clyde, and it’s addictive and absolutely delightful.
- The Peaky Blinders –My husband and I binge-watched the first two seasons of this dark, sexy BBC period drama in the course of a week.
- The Great Gatsby – I’ve read Fitzgerald’s classic at least three times now; there’s something so timeless and haunting about it.
- The Untouchables – For me, this is THE Prohibition movie, and while Kevin Costner is perfect as Elliott Ness, his sidekick, Sean Connery, steals the show.
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. She is the author of A Criminal Magic and City of Savages. Visit her at www.NewWriteCity.com.
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