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Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet

Magruder's Curiosity Cabinet - Peter H. Wood

Welcome to the Unusuals! They are a tight knit bunch of individuals with heart. I was attracted to this novel because of the circus theme and I loved the cover but inside I found much more. Individuals came to Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet, a dime museum, for it was an attraction that provided rare and odd marvels. The individuals, who ran and worked inside this show, were also a unique crowd. I was impressed with all of them and I really enjoyed this novel tremendously. There was Zeph who worked the front counter, who I visualize like Bluto only without the legs and being African American. I liked him for I thought he was talented and bright. There was Timur, the man in the attic, working away. I thought it was funny how clever and mysterious he was, hiding out up in the attic making clever inventions.   P-Ray, he was skillful and inventive. His fleas, l loved his Race-to Death competition, complete with magnifying glasses. How he did that, amazed me and made me smile. I loved it!  Chio, I wasn’t sure about him at first, I thought it was gimmick until later in the book and then, I believed. How? I don’t know, magic? But, I believed. There were a few things that he did that seemed to make me shake my head, and know that there is no other way but I wonder, is he sad? Does he feel? I can’t forget Rosalind, I love this person.   What a great addition to this novel. Everything about this person makes me jump up for joy.


Kitty brings everything together in this novel as she finds herself roaming the streets of NY alone and wanders into the bar at Magruder’s. Her mother was supposedly back at their hotel room sick but when Kitty returns to the hotel, the staff has no recognition of knowing Kitty nor her mother. Kitty was supposed to be finding medicine. Kitty’s mother is gone and Kitty must find her. The Unusuals step in to help after listening to her story. Kitty’s mother has this sickness that has hit NY and is labeled the Calcutta Cough. Who will catch this illness and how can they find Kitty’s sick mother? As they say, “the show must go on” and for the Unusuals, they try to entertain the public with their talents as this sickness surrounds the community but for long can this last? I loved how this story is continuous; there is never a dull moment, as something is always occurring. There are highs and their are moments where the story continues but towards the end, the story picks up speed and time waits for no one.


I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and SourceBooks Landmark in exchange for an honest opinion.