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Summary

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.

©2018 John Gaspard (P)2018 Spoken Realms

What listeners say about The Ambitious Card

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Profile Image for Midwestbonsai
  • Midwestbonsai
  • 03-07-18

characters that are actually likable

The Ambitious Card is an ambitious book to my mind because it promptly reminded me of two other books, which forced comparison. But it comes comes out on top I think, in both counts. First of all, the magicians and psychics made me think of Christopher Priest’s The Prestige, which I didn’t particularly like. But Gaspard breaks that tie quickly by giving us characters that are actually likable, even lovable (I love Uncle Harry). Also a plot that is quite interesting. I am fascinated by magic and illusions and this book has quite a few references to the real stuff, and ties it in well, without info dumping. I also enjoyed all the references to the comedians and magicians of the mid twentieth century. I’ve got some new ones to look up.

The second book that came to mind was Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, which I do particularly like. (I also particularly like the word “particularly” so expect to see it in my future reviews) That made me start speculating on the killer, but Gaspard managed to keep me guessing up to the end even with that hint.

Another thing this book actually reminded me of was Charles Dickens. Many of the characters have traits that are blown all out of proportion. I LOVED it. It was excellent, and it seemed realistic, partly because all these magicians and psychics are entertainers and are that way in real life, and partly because they were just hilariously, brilliantly done. I enjoyed them all thoroughly.

There is some sexual content that is graphic enough not to be appropriate children, as well as an implied lesbian relationship. It also deals with the subject of divorce and a couple of adulterous relationships.

Production-wise I have no complaints, the sound was excellent, consistent volume, no strange effects on any voices. I typically don’t like music in my audiobooks, but the intro and outro were kept short, and the the music just fit the book perfectly.

Jim Cunningham was fabulous. He captured the tone of the book in his delivery, and I loved all his voices. Particularly Harry and Frannie. Every word was clear, and all the characters were distinct. There was one point that I would have liked to have heard some effects on his voice because of what was happening in the story, but on the other hand, that could have been distracting, and potentially difficult to understand.

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

14 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Robin
  • Robin
  • 30-12-19

Fun intro to a series

My favorite thing about this book is how it used scenes from Minneapolis/St Paul, where I have lived. I also liked the humor and the setting in the world of smalltime professional magicians. The mystery itself isn't that hard to figure out after while, but that is always the least interesting thing to me about mysteries. I like a mystery with an interesting cast of characters and detailed setting, which this has. As usual, the hero proves irresistible to women, but at least he's modest about it. The narration was excellent. You could easily distinguish the characters.

Also this book gets extra credit from me for its use of an old Smothers Brothers song - Mediocre Fred!

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  • Meg
  • 12-09-19

Great Twist On Murder Mysteries

I almost only listen to murder mysteries, so I really appreciated this unique premise for one. I loved the magic sprinkled throughout, the humor, and the romance. I'm definitely going to continue with the series. For those that care, I'd rate this PG-13. There's no graffic sex. The one love scene leads up to it and then skips to the after. The swearing is minimal. I highly recommend it!

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  • Debbie
  • 29-11-20

A Magic Debunker and His Uncle :)

This series is really a lot of fun and quite different than most mysteries. Eli Marks lives with his Uncle Harry where they operate a magic shop together. Offering all kinds of gadgets and tricks (including farting gas), the two open the shop when and if they feel like it. And Eli also works as a "debunker" of magic and paranormal events, which in this story gets him in deep trouble with his ex-wife's new husband, homicide detective Fred Hutton. There are no explicit sex scenes in the book, which I appreciate. The magicians all live by a code to never divulge the secret to any of one anothers magic tricks, and Eli also lives by that code, even though he is a debunker. When Eli publicly debunks a very famous psychic, proving that he is a fake, the man soons turns up dead with a bloody King of Diamonds left at the scene. As Eli is attracted to a young female psychic, it seems she is next to be targeted. Don't miss this story that is filled with magic tricks, and a zillion twists and turns. The ending is so imaginative and good!

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  • Nicole Khairullah
  • 01-08-21

Fun story~

I really liked this book. Although silly it was a fun listen and made my daily chores more enjoyable.

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  • Bonnie Buchanan
  • 23-07-21

Loving This Series

This Series may not be for everyone, but the author is a great writer (imho), and makes it easy to suspend belief and to step into his created world from start to finish. The “Who Done It”, is sufficiently complex (although I guessed this one before the reveal), and generally, I have Enjoyed myself tremendously listening to this Great, Traditional, Kitchy, Family Oriented, You could even say, Magical Series!

I recommend dipping Your toes into this tale to see if its up Your alley, and if so, ENJOY!!...If not, Good Luck to You!

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  • Dan Whitmore
  • 21-04-21

2 Thumbs up

This fun lighthearted mystery was very entertaining. The author and the narrator did a great job!

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  • Jeff O
  • 27-01-21

Hooked from beginning to end

Good story line, lots of humour. Enjoyed thoroughly. Looking for the next book in the series right now

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  • Chelsey
  • 13-01-21

ambitious card

it was a good read. kept you going and kept me interested . looking forward to the next book