The Magician's Lie Summary & Study Guide

Greer Macallister
This Study Guide consists of approximately 46 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Magician's Lie.
This section contains 648 words
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The Magician's Lie Summary & Study Guide Description

The Magician's Lie Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on The Magician's Lie by Greer Macallister.

The Magician’s Lie tells the story of Arden the Amazing, a professional magician performing around the United States in the early twentieth century and one night in a town called Janesville, Iowa, when Arden is interrogated by a police officer called Virgil Holt who believes she is guilty of murder.

In the opening chapter set in Waterloo, Iowa, in 1905, Arden – before she has been introduced by name – resolves that she is going to kill someone that night. In the audience for her show is Virgil Holt, a police officer, and his best friend Mose Huber, Sheriff of Waterloo. Later, Holt and Mose are called back to the theater because a dead body has been discovered. Members of the company tell them that the dead man was Arden’s husband.

Holt makes his way home to his hometown of Janesville. He stops in a restaurant on his way and intercepts Arden. He arrests her and takes her to the police station in Janesville. Holt interrogates Arden about the murder and Arden begins to tell him the story of her life.

Arden’s mother gave up a career as a musician to run away with a man called Victor and live on a farm in Tennessee. Victor’s brother’s son Ray came to live with them on the farm and started to intimidate, threaten, and abuse Arden. Arden learned to dance and got an audition with a famous dance instructor.

Holt uses handcuffs to secure Arden’s ankles to the chair. The phone rings but he ignores it.

Before Arden could get to her audition Ray tried to rape her and then broke her leg, meaning she was unable to dance. Arden told her mother about what happened but was told her she must be mistaken because their whole family was dependent on Ray’s family and they wouldn’t be able to survive if Arden made these accusations against Ray. Arden decided to leave home.

Holt tells Arden that he was shot and that there is still a bullet stuck in his body that could kill him at any moment.

Arden went to work at the Biltmore estate in North Carolina where she met a young man called Clyde. Ray discovered her whereabouts and Arden left the Biltmore with Clyde. They travelled together to New York. On the way, Clyde proposed to Arden in order to extort money from his cousins. Ardent felt betrayed and cut off contact with Clyde when they reached New York.

Arden was hired as a performer in a female magician's, Adelaide Hermann, act. She travelled the country with the troupe until Adelaide retired and Arden inherited the company under the condition that she must have Clyde as a business manager. Clyde and Arden fell in love.

A disturbance outside makes Holt go to check the door, but there is no one there.

Arden was present at a devastating fire in the Iroquois theater in Chicago after which she was discovered by Ray, who tracked her down and attacked her. Arden believed she had killed Ray while defending herself. Clyde proposed to Arden but she turned him down, still mistrustful from his earlier deception.

Holt asks Arden if she can use her magical powers to heal him of the bullet inside his body but she tells him that she cannot.

Ray found Arden again and made her cut off all contact with Clyde. Ray controlled Arden’s life, physically and mentally abusing her up until the night of the murder at the theater in Waterloo.

As the night continues in Janesville, Arden manages to remove all of the pairs of handcuffs Holt has locked her into. She escapes the police station while Holt is distracted by a phone call from his wife. Clyde is waiting for her outside. He tells Arden that he murdered Ray and they escape together.

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