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In real life, John’s not a magician, but he has directed six low-budget features that cost very little and made even less – that’s no small trick. He’s also written multiple books on the subject of low-budget filmmaking. Ironically, they’ve made more than the films. His blog, “Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts” has been named “One of the 50 Best Blogs for Moviemakers” and “One of The 100 Best Blogs For Film and Theater Students.” He’s also written for TV and the stage. John lives in Minnesota and shares his home with his lovely wife, several dogs, a few cats and a handful of pet allergies.

john

GASPARD

THE AMBITIOUS CARD (#1)

amateur sleuths, cozy, humorous mysteries, magic

Eli Marks Mysteries

The life of a magician isn’t all kiddie shows and card tricks. Sometimes it’s murder. Especially when magician Eli Marks very publicly debunks a famed psychic, and said psychic ends up dead. The evidence, including a bloody King of Diamonds playing card (one from Eli’s own Ambitious Card routine), directs the police right to Eli. As more psychics are slain, and more King cards rise to the top, Eli can’t escape suspicion. Things get really complicated when romance blooms with a beautiful psychic, and Eli discovers she’s the next target for murder, and he’s scheduled to die with her. Now Eli must use every trick he knows to keep them both alive and reveal the true killer.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

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The Ambitious Card is intelligently written and...entirely engrossing.”
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine

THE BULLET CATCH (#2)

Newly single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush’s husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim’s business associates. At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting The Bullet Catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations—while saving his own neck—may be the greatest trick he’s ever performed.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“This is an instant classic, in a league with Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Arthur Conan Doyle.” – Rosebud Book Reviews

THE MISER'S DREAM (#3)

A casual glance out his window turns Eli Marks’ life upside down. After spotting a dead body in the projection booth of the movie theater next door, Eli is pulled into the hunt for the killer. As he attempts to puzzle out a solution, he must deal with a personal crisis: the appearance of a rival magician who threatens not only Eli’s faith in himself as a performer, but his relationship with his girlfriend. Then the killer starts taking homicidal steps to bring Eli’s investigation to a quick end. Things get even worse when his rival offers his own solution to the mystery. With all the oddball suspects gathered together, Eli must unveil the secrets to this whodunit or find himself at the wrong end of the trick.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“An intriguing cross between noir and cozy, with fascinating details about magic tricks and plenty of quirky characters. An easy, enjoyable read for mystery buffs.” – Library Journal

THE INVISIBLE ASSISTANT (short story)

There’s no question it was murder. But who killed who? What begins as a typical corporate event for magician Eli Marks turns into a twisted mystery when he is called to the site of a recent murder/suicide. Confronted by the details of the grisly crime scene, Eli must sort through the post-mortem clues—and the bickering of the officials as well as a poorly-timed allergy attack—to determine just who murdered who. Drawing on his knowledge of magic and misdirection, Eli realizes that only one entity could have pulled off a crime of this cunning magnitude: An Invisible Assistant.

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“If  ‍‍‍you  are  a  fan  of  magic,  mystery,  and  detective  stories,  then  you  will  just  love  these books...smart, well written and very engaging.” – Vanish Magazine

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INSTANT BOOK CLUB

THE LINKING RINGS (#4‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍‍)‍‍‍

Eli’s trip to London with his uncle Harry quickly turns homicidal when the older magician finds himself accused of murder. Not Uncle Harry! A second slaying does little to take the spotlight off. Instead it’s clear someone is knocking off Harry’s elderly peers in bizarrely effective ways. The odd gets odder when the prime suspect appears to be a bitter performer with a grudge...who committed suicide over thirty years before. While Eli struggles to prove his uncle’s innocence—and keep them both alive—he finds himself embroiled in his own battle: his favorite magic routine has been ripped off by a hugely popular magician. What began as a whirlwind vacation turns into a fatal and larcenous trip into the dark heart of magic.‍‍‍

USA TODAY BESTSELLER

“‍‍‍It’s not necessary to be a magician to love it…And it has a happily romantic ending. Highly recommended.” – Orson Bean, Actor, Magician, Author of Safe at Home‍‍‍

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