The Mesmerizer

Have you ever been sawed in half?        … I have.

When I was in grad school, I dated a guy who would dress me up in skimpy outfits, lock me in handcuffs, and put me in a box.

fishnets & handcuffs

No, not like that!
He was a magician and I was his assistant.

My kitten, Merlin, was his magic rabbit. He would pull Merlin from a hat to the oooohs and awwws of old ladies in nursing homes and children at birthday parties.

cat & bunny

For bigger occasions, we’d do a Houdini trick where I’d chain him up, put a bag over his head, and guide him into a giant wooden box. Then, eerie music and smoke would conceal his exit through a trap door in the box.  To the delight of the audience, he would run out from behind the curtain and open the box, where I’d taken his place, panting from exertion, mascara stinging my eyes.

Once, during half time at a college football game, he made a live tiger disappear.

photo of a tiger roaring

Luckily for me, we’d broken up by then.

Now, I can’t even remember his name. I often wonder if he’s a famous magician on a big stage in Vegas.

His disappearing act inspired my latest novel JACKAL.  Jessica James is sent on a mission by her dying mother to find the Mesmerizer, a washed up magician living in Vegas. Along the way, Jessica gets way more than she bargained for when she stumbles into a black market organ ring and learns secrets about her mother that will change her own life forever.

JACKAL, A Jessica James Mystery launches TODAY!!  To celebrate, it's on sale for .99 for the next week.  


Join Jessica in Vegas, where stakes are high and everyone’s an illusionist. 

Help me conjure up a successful launch by getting yours now. 

Three Millennials, Two Family Mysteries …

and One Parti Yorkie.parti yorkieSin City won’t know what hit it.


Author: Kelly Oliver

Kelly Oliver is the award-winning (and best-selling in Oklahoma!) author of The Jessica James Mystery Series, including WOLF, COYOTE, FOX, and JACKAL. Her debut novel, WOLF: A Jessica James Mystery, won the Independent Publisher’s Gold Medal for best Thriller/Mystery, and was a finalist for the Foreward Magazine award for best mystery. Her second novel, COYOTE won a Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery. And, the third, FOX was a finalist for both the Claymore Award and Silver Falchion Award. Look for JACKAL, A Jessica James Mystery September 25th. When she’s not writing novels, Kelly is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbilt University, and the author of fifteen nonfiction books, and over 100 articles, on issues such as the refugee crisis, campus rape, women and the media, animals and the environment. Her latest nonfiction book, Hunting Girls: Sexual Violence from the Hunger Games to Campus Rape won a Choice Magazine Award for Outstanding title. She has published in The New York Times and The Los Angeles Review of Books, and has been featured on ABC news, CSPAN books, the Canadian Broadcasting Network, and various radio programs. Learn more about Kelly and her books.

12 thoughts on “The Mesmerizer”

  1. I have my copy of “Jackal”, and can’t wait to start it. (I’ll post my review on “Looks At Books” when I finish) The Las Vegas setting is compelling to say the least. Tell me about the cover. Did you have any input into the choice? What dies the cover say about the book and/or about the characters?


  2. Wow, girl! You’ve got it going on! I’m intrigued with your non-fiction work (my latest novel is about sex trafficking) but also wonder about the title for your next Jessica James novel. I suppose you could get into the serpent area…


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