Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Ambitious Card

Magician Eli Marks is invited to a PBS live remote Halloween show in The Wabasha Street Caves in St. Paul. His role is to debunk a psychic who will also be on the show. In The Ambitious Card by John Gaspard, Eli finds more than he bargained for.

The psychic named Grey will perform his act in front of a live audience and then Eli will debunk it. Eli dislikes the term debunk and he prefers to be called a skeptic. Grey performs his act doling out vague suggestions and answering questions submitted by his audience. The audience is loving it.

When Eli steps on stage, it's in front of a fairly hostile audience. He believes Grey is really an illusionist or a not too subtle magician. As he explains how Grey is able to predict the questions in the bowl, Eli explains a card trick known as One Ahead. The magician is one ahead. In Grey's case he knows the first question and when he opens the envelope, he is getting the second question.

As his last trick Eli does The Ambitious Card trick and Grey picks the King of Diamonds. It keeps
reappearing not matter how many times Eli shuffles the cards. The climax to the trick is when Eli, blindfolded, uses Grey's letter opener to trap the ambitious card on the table. Unfortunately the next day, Grey is found dead - stabbed in the eye with the letter opener and the King of Diamonds card attached.

Suddenly Eli is a suspect. His ex-wife Deidre Sutton-Hutton, assistant DA, and her husband Homicide Detective Fred Hutton want to meet with Eli to discuss the crime.They release Eli, but warn him that he is a person of interest.

When another psychic dies Eli knows he needs to solve the riddle.

An entertaining mystery with an unlikely hero.

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