Thursday, August 20, 2020

Master of Illusion by Nupur Tustin: Review, Excerpt, & Giveaway!

Master of Illusion

A Celine Skye Psychic Mystery

by Nupur Tustin

About Master of Illusion

Cozy Mystery/Psychic Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher: Foiled Plots Press (July 28, 2020)
Paperback: 292 pages
ISBN-10: 099824306X
ISBN-13: 978-0998243061
When death arrives in Paso Robles, so do clues to an infamous art heist in Boston. . .

For seven years, psychic Celine Skye has led a life free of visions in quiet Paso Robles. But now the visions are back. Along with a dubious customer from Boston.

Celine has always been able to sense death. But not even she can foresee her employer Dirck’s murder. Finding his corpse in the wine bar he owns is bad enough.

Grappling with the suspicion that Dirck’s death could be connected with the Gardner Museum heist is even worse.

As Celine struggles to make sense of the psychic clues she receives, there’s just one question in her mind: What exactly did Dirck know about the Gardner Museum heist to get himself killed?
The Nine is a boutique organic restaurant, cafe and wine bar located in Bondi Beach.

About Nupur Tustin

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin misuses a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to paint intrigue. She also orchestrates mayhem in composer Joseph Haydn’s Europe in A Joseph Haydn Mystery series. Visit her at
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Author Links

Master of Illusion by Nupur Tustin has Celine Skye embroiled in a mystery after the death of her boss, Dirck Thins.  Celine works with ex-FBI agent, Julia Hood to unravel the clues and interpret her psychic visions so they can catch the bad guys.  Master of Illusion takes us to Paso Rubles, California where Celine Skye works as the marketing manager for Delft Coffee and Wine Bar.  It has been seven years since she experienced psychic visions.  When the Lady appears one night while she is working, Celine knows that someone will soon die.  I thought Master of Illusion as well-written with an interesting main character.  I liked the inclusion of the psychic element.  It made the story more intriguing.  Sister Mary Catherine is a wise woman and a fun “character”.  The murder of Celine’s boss, Dirck is related to an art heist that took place at the Gardner Museum in 1990 in Boston.  The mystery is complex. There is action that helps move the plot forward and keep readers riveted. It is different from mysteries normally featured in cozy mysteries. I can tell the author did her research with all the details she included.  I enjoyed learning about Vermeer and his paintings.  The whodunit had a good resolution.  I would have liked more information on Celine.  We know her present circumstances, but I want more background information on Celine.  There is some foul language in the book which mostly from Agent Blake Markham.  Master of Illusion is a multifaceted mystery with pilfered paintings, wonderful wine, various visions, a secret sanctuary, and a puzzled psychic.  
All sizes | Johannes Vermeer - A Concert [1663-66] | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
A Concert by Johannes Vermeer (stolen)


A drunken customer sees a portrait of Dirck Thins’ dead partner in Celine’s wine bar and makes a strange assertion:

“Well, issa strange thing,” Greg’s voice slurred. “But that pi’ture of your friend there.” He pointed to it again. “You wouldn’ believe it, but it looks the spitting image of Earl Bramer.”
 a drunk man on a bar
“Earl Bramer?” Dirck’s voice barely rose, his curiosity so mild, it was clear the name meant nothing to him.

“Was that the man responsible for the Gardner heist?” Celine poured the last of the Syrah into Greg’s glass. The bottle was almost empty; and Greg was so drunk, an ounce or two more could hardly make a difference.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Mystery – Pragmatic Mom  Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Mystery -- Unsolved Art Heist. I have all the details here including the lost works of priceless art!    #artheist #arttheft #mystery
Gardner Museum

Greg took a large gulp of his wine.  
“Tha’s wha’ the feds think. Not tha’ the heist was solved. Never will be, if you ask me.”

“Why not?” Dirck asked, staring at the man.  Greg wiped his mouth. “Word is, Earl an’ a frien’ were charged with transpaw’ing the loot. A few days after the Gah’ner was broken into, Earl and his friend Duarte died. Biggest cah crash you ever saw. Cah went up in flames as did the aht.”

“That’s terrible!” Celine said. “But how could the police be so sure the works were in the car?” Any canvas in the car would have been reduced to ashes.
25 Years After the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Robbery, Why Are Art Heists So Fascinating? — The Atlantic - wenty-five years ago, two thieves committed the greatest art heist in American history. Dressed as police officers, the pair entered the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston at 1:24 a.m. via a side door by ringing the buzzer, persuaded the only security guard sitting at the main desk to step away from it (and from the sole button that could trigger an alarm), and then restrained h
“They mus’ve been.” Greg shrugged. “They stopped looking for them.” He took another gulp of his wine. “Unofficially. Officially, they’re still on the case.”

“Seems a pity to give up so easily on finding them.” Celine frowned as she moved over to the bar sink stacked with wine glasses and coffee cups. Although, from what she’d seen, it seemed par for the course. 
On the 27th anniversary of the $500 million Gardner Museum heist, we take a look at six theories behind the stolen paintings.
One of stolen paintings used to hang here in Gardner Museum
Close a case as quickly as possible, that was the motto of most detectives charged with solving a crime. She’d only met one who was different. 

 “Why bother looking for the art if it was all burned to a crisp?” Dirck quietly said, still watching Greg closely.
Sketch of alleged suspects in Gardner heist (WBZ-TV)
Sketch of alleged suspects in Gardner heist
“To know what really happened, of course.” Celine wondered why he’d even needed to ask.
Rembrandt  The Storm on the Sea of Galilee (1633)
Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt (stolen)
Master of Illusion is available from Amazon, Nook, Apple, and KoboVisions of Murder is a prequel to A Celine Skye Psychic Mystery series.  Would you like to win a print copy (U.S. Only) of Master of Illusion?  Click to enter or use the Rafflecopter form below.  Leave a comment on my blog for an extra entry.  Good Luck!  For more information on the Gardner Heist, click here.  Thank you for stopping by today.  Tomorrow I am featuring When I Was You by Amber Garza.  I hope that you have a magical day.  Take care, be kind, and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

Tour Participants

August 19 – I'm All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

August 19 – Christy's Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

August 19 – Author Elena Taylor's Blog – SPOTLIGHT

August 20 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW, EXCERPT
25 years later, art worth $500 million, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, remains missing
One of the stolen paintings used to reside in this frame
August 20 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 21 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 21 – Books to the Ceiling – SPOTLIGHT

August 22 – The Cozy Pages – REVIEW
Former Gardner Museum night watchman Rick Abath is pictured at an undisclosed location in February 2013.
Former Gardner Museum Night Watchman
August 22 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

August 22 – MJB Reviewers – SPOTLIGHT

August 23 – Socrates Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

August 23 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT 
Authorities are investigating the murder of notorious Boston mobster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger
James "Whitey" Bulger is mobster linked to heist
August 24 – Cozy Up With Kathy - REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

August 25 – Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT

August 25 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

August 26 – Baroness' Book Trove – REVIEW

August 26 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT, EXCERPT
Reading a Book - Cartoon thief Vector Clip-art - Free Download

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