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 broke.

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.