Murder at Midnight is a middle-grade adventure/mystery novel by Avi.
Fabrizio has only recently found a home among the city of 1490 Pergamontio, Italy. He’s been taken in by a magician and his wife, but only the wife seems to be finding him pleasing so far. Fabrizio is entranced by his Master’s magical talents, and yearns to do the same tricks – but his Master seems intent on kicking him out one of these days.
When Fabrizio’s Mistress goes to visit her ill sister, she implores Fabrizio to make himself indispensable to Master.
But then the trouble begins.
When potentially rebellious papers begin showing up all over the city, each one exactly the same without the inevitable mark of uniqueness from the human hand, suspicion falls on Fabrizio’s master, Mangus. His magical talents are placing the blame on him, though Mangus insists there is no such thing as magic – that what he does is mere illusion.
A plot of unknown proportion seems to be amongst them – a plot of politics, revolution, and murder! Fabrizio finally has the opportunity to make himself invaluable to Mangus – by saving his life!
I have head of Avi, though as far as I can remember this is the first novel I’ve read by him.
Murder at Midnight was most certainly a fun, extremely quick read, though I was never quite sure if it was supposed to be humorous or serious. I lean toward the former, and find that quirkiness to be one of its strongest points. That is, if I’m right!
I did enjoy the story, but overall I couldn’t really sink my teeth into it. There wasn’t enough detail of the time period and setting for me to feel like I was there, and I’ll admit that I was usually a step ahead of Fabrizio in the plotline. Perhaps the intended audience is a bit younger, as sometimes I found Murder at Midnight to be on the staler, juvenile side.
However, Murder at Midnight is a sweet, good-natured, excellent way to be lightly entertained!
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