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Disappearing Nightly    by Laura Resnick order for
Disappearing Nightly
by Laura Resnick
Order:  USA  Can
Luna, 2005 (2005)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

New York actor Esther Diamond has loads of practice playing all sorts of characters from psychotics, to hookers, orphans and homemakers. Heck, she's even played a singing turnip. She's philosophical about the whole thing: one day she'll get that starring role; maybe sooner than she thinks. During the pivotal moment in her current off-Broadway show, Sorcerer!!, its star, Golly Gee, vanishes into thin air, moments after climbing into a specially designed cage.

The cast is in an uproar, magician Joe Herlihy is having palpitations and his director wife turns into a shrieking banshee, swearing that her reputation is ruined. Handsome detective Connor Lopez comes to investigate and just won't believe that something supernatural is going on - even after Esther, (who's Golly's understudy), finds a note tacked to her dressing room door that reads 'As you value your life, do not go into the crystal cage. There is evil afoot'. Shortly thereafter, an odd little man named Maximillian Zadok materializes out of thin air, with the news that other performers around New York have also vanished. He's intent on stopping Esther from going onstage, at least until he and his associate figure out why performers are disappearing nightly. But Esther isn't about to sit back and let Max do all the investigating.

Disappearing Nightly is a light-hearted, engaging and imaginative fantasy filled with great characters, loads of tongue-in-cheek humour, and zippy dialogue. While it's not hard figuring out who 'the dark evil' is, Resnick makes sure the reader has a lot of fun riding along as Esther, her assorted colleagues, and a growing list of tag-along friends try to track down the missing performers. And if you enjoy this first installment, stay tuned for more magic in Manhattan, as Esther is hot on the trail of a Doppelgangster.

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