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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Blonde For Murder

ARDINI, the famous Magician, was more pleased than surprised when his hand-picked "volunteer" from the audience was replaced by 110 pounds of lovely glamour running across his stage, chased by a bulky figure waving a pistol. Before long his admiration changed to chagrin, and wonder . . . why did fate have to hand him dynamite wrapped up in a package so alluring that he was helpless to stay away? Before he knew it, Ardini was a suspect, spectator, and detective in a case that startled New York; a case involving jewelry thefts, mystery, magic . . . and murder. Magic, and a better-than-average power of deduction, were on Ardini's side, though, and soon he was giving some crime-busting lessons to the police. He even had time to take some lessons himself, and he learned a thing or two about romance from a beautiful, 110-pound instructor with plenty to teach.

A Blonde For Murder (Mystery)
By Walter B. Gibson
ISBN #978-1505428568
Price $11.67
230 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

A Master Magician Unravels A Murder Mystery.”

John Arden, better known as the Great Ardini is performing to a theater crowd when a young girl being chased by the police rushes on stage, then disappears in one of his famous magic acts. Now the police think Ardini is a suspect in league with the girl in the murder of a private detective working for an insurance company.

It’s up to the Great Ardini to find the girl, uncover the plot, and reveal the true murderer. He’s up again a spiritualist, another amateur magician, and gangsters, one of which may be the real killer. Ardini brings the case to an explosive end with a séance.

This novel was originally published by Vital Publications in 1948, but holds up well almost 70 years later. The author was a magician, and created several magician detectives, including Norgil the Magician, though this was the first Ardini story I had read. He is better known as the creator and author of The Shadow, Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories


  1. How many of these did he write? I really enjoy the magician detective sub-genre, and have the two volumes of Norgil The Magician.

  2. This was the only Ardini story I've come across. You would have to ask Anthony Tollin or Will Murray, they would know it there are more. I have all but a couple Norgil stories. Sanctum Books has been reprinting some of the missing Norgils that weren't in those two books, but there are still a couple that hasn't been reprinted.

  3. I read this and enjoyed it, but it definitely seemed to belong to the pre-war era.

  4. I don't know the publishing history, except this edition was taken from the 1948 printing. It could have appeared much earlier somewhere else.