I read Magic For Liars in one sitting---I couldn't put it down! Halfway through my power went out. No problem. I pulled out my mom's old vanilla spice candles and I finished this book by candlelight!
Ivy Gamble is a Private Investigator who lives a normal, boring, (maybe a little lonely) life until she is hired to investigate a murder at the school where her sister works. 'The Osthorne Academy of Young Mages'. Not only does her distinctly un-magical self now have to deal with a very-magical case, but she also needs to navigate a reunion with her sister whom she hasn't spoken to in years.
This book could have easily fallen into the same rut that so many books about magic schools do nowadays. Often they can become 'counterfeit Harry Potters' but this book didn't. However, neither did it ignore the influence the Boy-Who-Lived would have had on the students either. In the first chapter, it talks about how during the welcome back dinner students would joke about house-elves and pumpkin juice. But this linoleum-floored, blue-lockered magic school is very clearly not Hogwarts. A quote from Marrion Torres, the headmaster at Osthorne, sums the school up best. "At the end of the day, we're just a high school. (...) That means gum, graffiti, cell phones, sex-ed, stupid pranks, students smoking weed behind the bleachers." A refreshing and realistic change.
I do wish we'd been able to meet more of the staff and students, but the characters we did have were fleshed out and amazing. Sarah Gailey also does a great job in making the reader doubt the accuracy of their guesses about who the murderer is. I must have gone back and forth half a dozen times!
Although this is not a Young Adult book, I think readers of YA would enjoy this book as well as older audiences.
I loved this book. I loved the characters, I loved the school, I loved the plot. The only problem I have is that I wish there was more.
Thanks to BookishFirst for this copy of Magic for Liars in exchange for an honest review!!!