A Criminal Magic
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
THE NIGHT CIRCUS meets THE PEAKY BLINDERS in Lee Kelly’s new crossover fantasy novel.
Magic is powerful, dangerous and addictive – and after passage of the 18th Amendment, it is finally illegal.
It’s 1926 in Washington, DC, and while Anti-Sorcery activists have achieved the Prohibition of sorcery, the city’s magic underworld is booming. Sorcerers cast illusions to aid mobsters’ crime sprees. Smugglers funnel magic contraband in from overseas. Gangs have established secret performance venues where patrons can lose themselves in magic, and take a mind-bending, intoxicating elixir known as the sorcerer’s shine.
Joan Kendrick, a young sorcerer from Norfolk County, Virginia accepts an offer to work for DC’s most notorious crime syndicate, the Shaw Gang, when her family’s home is repossessed. Alex Danfrey, a first-year Federal Prohibition Unit trainee with a complicated past and talents of his own, becomes tapped to go undercover and infiltrate the Shaws.
Through different paths, Joan and Alex tread deep into the violent, dangerous world of criminal magic – and when their paths cross at the Shaws’ performance venue, despite their orders, and despite themselves, Joan and Alex become enchanted with one another. But when gang alliances begin to shift, the two sorcerers are forced to question their ultimate allegiances and motivations. And soon, Joan and Alex find themselves pitted against each other in a treacherous, heady game of cat-and-mouse.
A CRIMINAL MAGIC casts a spell of magic, high stakes and intrigue against the backdrop of a very different Roaring Twenties.
A CRIMINAL MAGIC
TOP TEN PLAYLIST
There’s nothing like music to set a mood, or transport you to a specific place and time. But I have to admit, I was never a big fan of playing music while writing: I used to get distracted, and focused on the words of the song instead of my own.
But something about drafting A CRIMINAL MAGIC changed this. It was almost like the scenes in the Shaw Gang’s “magic haven” demanded music, like I couldn’t write without jumpy jazz or haunting instrumental playing in the background. And now, I’m a playlist convert .
My playlist for A CRIMINAL MAGIC has some classic Twenties numbers, but also some anachronistic selections that I think capture the spirit of the story and set its tone. Without further ado, here’s my soundtrack:
BESSIE SMITH, Me and My Gin
FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE, Seven Devils
(shout-out to the talented Claribel Ortega for this selection! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA3PVK6bliM&feature=youtu.be)
GENE AUSTIN, Bye Bye Blackbird
ENNIO MORRICONE, The Strength of the Righteous Man
CARO EMERALD, The Lipstick on his Collar
BJORK, Venus as a Boy
INXS, Need You Tonight
JACK WHITE, Love is Blindness
(this was featured in Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby movie and BBC’s period drama, The Peaky Blinders – I thought it was essential to include 🙂
THE WHITE STRIPES, The Hardest Button to Button
LANA DEL REY, Blue Jeans
Lee Kelly is the author of A CRIMINAL MAGIC and CITY OF SAVAGES. She has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced in Los Angeles and New York. She
lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter at @leeykelly and on her website at NewWriteCity.com.
Lee Kelly has wanted to write since she was old enough to hold a pencil, but it wasn’t until she began studying for the California Bar Exam that she conveniently started putting pen to paper. An entertainment lawyer by trade, Lee has practiced law in Los Angeles and New York. She lives with her husband and children in Millburn, New Jersey, though after a decade in Manhattan, she can’t help but still call herself a New Yorker. She is the author of A Criminal Magic and City of Savages. Visit her at www.NewWriteCity.com.
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