Book Review: The Elsinore Vanish by Joanna Baker

The Elsinore Vanish (Beechworth Trilogy #2)
by Joanna Baker

Publication date: November 2019
Publisher: Soren Press
Pages: 348


“Looking back, it’s obvious we should never have kept going. But stories feel different when you’re inside them.
And I didn’t realise. That’s my other excuse. I had no idea how bad it was going to be.”

Ten months ago, in the Beechworth Town Hall, Tim Williams died horribly, poisoned with potassium cyanide in front of a room full of people.

The murder was impossible. When it happened the poison was locked in a cupboard two kilometres away with someone sitting in front of it.

The police have got nowhere with the case, and now Matt Tingle and Chess Febey have been invited to Beechworth to see if they can get to the truth.

It gets messy. Everybody is lying to them. There are two seriously big guys following them around in a van.

And there’s a kid and who keeps showing them a card trick. The Elsinore Vanish. What’s that all about?

Then they see the van again, and this time it stops …

Now they’re in serious danger. And Chess’s logic isn’t helping. If she wants to catch this murderer she needs a new pathway to the truth. She needs to learn to understand people.

And she has to look deep into the mysteries of The Elsinore Vanish.

Source: Goodreads


Teenagers Matt Tingle and Chess Febey are back in the second book of the Beechworth Trilogy. I enjoyed the first, “Devastation Road“, and looked forwarded to following these two on another mystery adventure in Beechworth, a town in north eastern Victoria, Australia.

In “The Elsinore Vanish”, a magician has died, poisoned while performing a conjuring show to a group of local people. But who poisoned him? And how? Something doesn’t seem right as this murder appears to have been impossible to carry out. This is a puzzle style who dunnit where the reader is encouraged to try and work out how this possibly could have happened.

The police are investigating, but ten months on they’ve still not really got anywhere, so after their success in solving a couple of murders before, Matt and Chess are asked to help and begin to dig deeper into this mysterious death.

“‘No one had ever been charged for Tim William’s murder. The Border Mail did an article a few weeks ago, calling it a failure of the justice system. And the whole town is still upset about it.’ Her voice faded to almost nothing. ‘That’s why we’re here.'”

I enjoyed this book almost as much as the first. The story is engaging, the characters are likable and I even began to like Chess a little more than I did before. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Paz Goldstone, a new face and a bright spark.

The writing style kept me interested and short chapters meant that this was a pretty quick read too which is a great thing in my eyes! I enjoyed trying to piece together this mystery through the subtle hints left by the author and the unique perspective of investigating a crime through young eyes still really appealed to me too.

I think that out of the two, I preferred the first, but I’d still definitely recommend giving “The Elsinore Vanish” a read, it’s well worth your time!

Overall rating: “The Elsinore Vanish” is another good read by Joanna Baker. I enjoyed acting the detective and putting together the puzzle pieces to try and solve this seemingly impossible murder. I’d recommend you give it a try! 4 stars!

Thank you to Joanna Baker for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

See my other reviews of books by Joanna Baker here:

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