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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Magic for Liars

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐

"Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magical. She is perfectly happy with her life. She has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It's a great life and she doesn't wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach."


Magic for Liars is a standalone fantasy/mystery novel by Sarah Gailey.

For the most part, I did enjoy the book. The plot and the setting were interesting, but what hindered the reading experience for me was our MC, Ivy.

Ivy is sent to a private magic school in order to solve the death of a teacher. She is a PI but has had no previous experience in investigating murders. That fact is glaringly obvious throughout the book. She was always one step behind and was looking for clues in all the wrong directions. Top that off with the fact that she constantly drank during her investigation, and you get a completely unreliable main character.

Her method of trying to extract the truth from both the students and staff was to subtly manipulate them which was kind of egregious. I also didn't like adding in a budding relationship that was built on lies.

It was also a bit ridiculous that Ivy was sent there in the first place. I know that the school tried to go through the cops, but isn't there some form of system in the magical world that has jurisdiction over murder cases? Or at least someone who was more competent than a PI?

While I did like the murder mystery, I found that it was overshadowed by Ivy and the fact that she hated that she had no magic. This could have been dialed back a bit since it got a bit annoying to constantly hear about it. I also wished that the magical aspect was more prevalent in this.

Overall though, a solid book.

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