The Pinkerton and the Wizard
by Harvey Hetrick

"Would he ever be able to resume his career as a Pinkerton detective? His self-confidence had been shattered. How would he ever be able to survive the torment that now consumed him?"

With a touch of magic and a sprinkling of mystery, Hetrick takes his readers to nineteenth-century Philadelphia, where Merlin Pendragon—the legendary twelfth-century magician—travels through time with his wife. It is there that he becomes a consultor of sorts for an investigation after befriending a Pinkerton detective and a Lloyd's detective. Although out of his scope, Merlin is portrayed with more strengths than just his magic, namely his shrewd deductive reasoning that does a great deal in helping the detectives.

Though Merlin plays a major role in the plot, the story centers around Adam Blake, a Pinkerton detective who's recently lost someone important to him. As he struggles with accepting the loss of his partner and dear friend, a series of robberies begin to happen at the Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. It is up to Adam, Merlin, and Lloyd's detective Edward Frost to solve the mystery of the string of crimes that might just be linked with a bigger crime than they might think.

Although the use of multiple points of view does a great deal in terms of character development for not only the protagonist but many of the side characters, it somewhat hinders the following of the antagonist and his crew. Also, rather than leaving it a mystery to solve along with the detectives, the reader is shown who the criminals are fairly early through their points of view, which takes out some of the intrigue in the novel. Even so, Hetrick strengthens the plot by nicely blending fact and fiction, both with Merlin being involved and the inclusion of characters related to Abraham Lincoln's murder. Fantasy fans who also enjoy mysteries might just find the right blend of the two in this book.

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