In Wil Morgan's life, ordinary events in a dull environment are the norm. His job as a private investigator specializing in divorce and insurance fraud gives him little joy or money to pay his bills. On his daily trudge to work, past the giant billboard of Marcus James, "national TV personality... [who] possessed the ability to persuade millions of people to part with something useful in exchange for something useless," Wil's only moments of pleasure are when he allows himself to reminisce about his childhood and his mother, who was able to show him the magic in everything. But Melinda Morgan died when Wil was 10, and with her died Wil's ability to see the world in a different light. That is, until Mr. Dinsdale, curator of the Curioddity Museum, appears in his office to hire him to search for a box of levity (the opposite of gravity) that has gone missing from its exhibit in the museum.

Known for his graphic novels and video game stories, Paul Jenkins has written a droll debut mystery full of odds and ends, moving crates, perpetual motion machines and a host of other items that look like junk only to those who don't know how to un-look at the world. His story quickly builds into a pell-mell scramble to save the Curioddity Museum from going under, courtesy of the twisted business practices of the conniving Marcus James. Quirky to the core and full of wordplay, Curioddity examines the magic inherent in life that many may have forgotten exists in a world full of technical gadgets, regulations and network shopping channels. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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