Mastodon The Writing Desk: Historical Fiction Spotlight: The Tivoli Murders, by John Pilkington

24 December 2021

Historical Fiction Spotlight: The Tivoli Murders, by John Pilkington

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US

London, 1891:It is three years since the notorious Ripper murders, and the last thing London needs is another killer on the streets. But this one targets the strangest of victims: popular Music Hall performers - two in quick succession, outside the famous Tivoli Theatre.

The Music Hall world is one of hard-nosed businessmen, impresarios, and big profits. Inspector Maskell of The Metropolitan Police is desperate for a lead in the case – and soon Sam Vasey, son and manager of Albert Vasey, better known as celebrated illusionist The Great Albertini, is drawn into the mystery.

A vicious campaign of sabotage is waged against the Albertini Company. Things reach a devastating climax at the Star Music Hall in Bermondsey, when Albert’s most spectacular illusion goes badly wrong before a sell-out crowd - resulting in the disappearance and murder of his onstage assistant Mirabel.

With the Albertini show grounded, Sam throws his energy into helping the police investigation. As the mystery deepens, Sam finds his own life in danger.

The hunt takes us from the bright lights of the West End to the gaslit, fogbound streets of London’s darker side – resulting in more than one illusion being shattered.

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About the Author

John Pilkington has written plays for radio and theatre, television scripts for the BBC and now concentrates on historical fiction, reflecting his passion for the Tudor and Stuart periods. A writer for over thirty years, he has published around twenty books including the Thomas the Falconer Mysteries (republished by Sharpe Books), the Marbeck spy series (Severn House) and two Restoration-era mysteries featuring actress-turned-sleuth Betsy Brand (to be republished by Joffe Books). He is also the author of a children’s series, the Elizabethan Mysteries (Usborne). Born in the north-west of England, he now lives in a quiet Devon village with his partner, and has a son who is a musician and composer. Find out more at his website,, and find John on Twitter @_JohnPilkington.

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