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From the Publisher
Sherlock Holmes and Irene Doyle are as riveted as the rest of the
audience. They are celebrating Irene''s sixteenth birthday at the
Egyptian Hall as Alistair Hemsworth produces a real and very deadly
dragon before their eyes. This single, fantastic illusion elevates
the previously unheralded magician to star status, making him the
talk of London. He even outshines the Wizard of Nottingham, his
rival on and off the stage.
Sherlock and Irene rush backstage after the show to meet the great
man, only to witness Inspector Lestrade and his son arrest the
performer. It seems one-upmanship has not been as satisfying to
Hemsworth as the notion of murder. The Wizard is missing; his
spectacles and chunks of flesh have been discovered in pools of
blood in Hemsworth''s secret workshop. That, plus the fact that
Nottingham has stolen Hemsworth''s wife away, speak of foul play
and motive. There is no body, but there has certainly been a grisly
The Lestrades are certain they have their man, but ever-observant
Sherlock is not so sure. Night visits to the workshop turn up clues
that don''t add up to a closed case. The deeper Holmes digs, the
more this mystery becomes an illusion; a deadly game of smoke and
mirrors. Before it plays out, the boy will have to consider far
more than Hemsworth''s guilt or innocence. He may even come to
believe in magic and the existence of dragons.