The story reminded me a little of Water for Elephants in a world of travelling entertainment. Greer MacAllister is a gifted writer and keeps the reader intrigued throughout the book. While most of the story is fiction, Ms. MacAllister did research the life of Adelaide Herrmann and inserted her as a character. The Iroquois Theater Fire was unfortunately a disaster where over 600 people died. In a world of magic, males dominated the field and a female magician was unusual for that time. I enjoyed the story and will be adding The Magician's Lie to my list of favorite reads for 2015. This would make a good book club read and a reading book guide can be found at the end of the novel.
From the cover:
The Amazing Arden is the most famous female illusionist of her day, renowned for her incredible trick of sawing a man in half onstage. One night in Waterloo, Iowa, with young policeman Virgil Holt watching from the audience, she swaps her trademark saw for a fire ax. Is it a new version of the illusion, or an all-too-real murder? When Arden's husband is found lifeless beneath the stage later that night, the answer seems clear. But when Virgil happens upon the fleeing magician and takes her into custody, she has a different story to tell.