Shell Game -- Carol O'Connell
Up until this book, the Mallory series had just been getting better and better. Each book one-upped the one before. I knew that there was no way that O'Connell could keep that going forever. After the utter awesomeness of Stone Angel, I knew that for me, Book Number Five was going to be make-or-break.
It should have been way better. It sounds great: a magician dies during the re-creation of a long-lost (very dangerous) magic trick. In Central Park. In front of millions of viewers. It's chalked up to an accident.
Of course, Mallory knows better.
The main problem, I think, is that there wasn't nearly enough Charles Butler. There was one good moment, but after the scenes in the last couple of books, it just wasn't enough. It isn't that I think they'll ever get together or anything. That would just be weird. But, still. She's too mean to him.