Passman (Mirage, 2000, etc.) launches a new series starring a sleuthing magician whose greatest trick ever might just be releasing himself from a murder rap.
When he was young and foolish, Harvey Kendall didn’t think twice about driving his college friends home when he was only slightly less drunk. But Harvey, needle-phobic from his treatment for childhood leukemia, wasn’t happy when the police told him that he must give a DNA sample for his DUI arrest. Now that he’s settled in Los Angeles, serving as a substitute teacher while waiting for the big break that will write his ticket to the Vegas magic-show circuit, that little episode has come back to haunt him with the news that his DNA matches the semen found in the body of Sherry Allen, a single mother who was raped and murdered. It’s all just a misunderstanding, Harvey tells his mother, his buddy David Hu, his lawyer (and high school classmate) Hannah Fisher, and Sgt. Morton of the LA Sheriff’s Department; he’s never even met Sherry Allen. But the cops, building what looks like an ironclad case, arrest him and clap him in jail. Broke, unemployable, facing eviction from his apartment and unable to afford even Hannah’s cut-rate services, Harvey is desperate to clear himself. “Who’s better at figuring out mysteries than a magician?” he reasons.
Well, yes and no. Harvey is no great shakes as a detective, but he makes an irresistible deer in the headlights: part wiseacre, part sad-sack, all nebbish.