The Fifth Spotlight

As the new year kicks in for real, I realised that there were several magical things I did not get to review in my last blog about 2023.

Those were, tricks, books, people, shops and platforms.

I would like to take this blog post to highlight one of my favourites from each of these categories that might be worthwhile you exploring this year.

1. Noteworthy Books of 2023

As I am avid reader of both Magic and non-magic books I thought it only right that I talk about not only my favourite magic book I read in 2023 but also my favourite non-magic book.

Parlour Tricks Morgan & West

Click to view book at Vanishing Inc Magic Here

Can I describe this book in one word?

Nope, the authors would never forgive me!

Parlour Tricks was whimsical, easy to read and at times sheer genius.

Favourite Trick? All of them! But if I had to pick one… Knowing the Unknowable.

Trick i enjoyed the least? The 40 digit Hyper Brain act. Not that I do not appreciate the effect and what they achieve which is BRILLIANT. I just find reading mathematical tricks difficult. And hey, I had to pick one.

Most enjoyable thing about the book? The format. The way the book is written makes it very easy to digest and work through quickly. And, The fact that after you read it there is a link to watch the entire show online. This little nugget is inspired and really made me want to work through the book as I had the video to look forward to when I finished reading.

Why should you add it to your collection? This is not just a ‘trick book.’ Parlour tricks has essay’s on performance, answer’s quite a lot of why’s that the audience and you might have on magic and you get to know (I imagine as I haven’t met them) two of the most loveliest, creative people in our industry.

The Thursday Murder Club Richard Osman

Click to view the book on Amazon Here.

As promised, here is my most enjoyed book of 2023. If, like me, you enjoy having Poirot, Miss Marple and a spot of Sherlock in your life from time to time, The Thursday Murder Club is the book for you.

The story has some twists and turns and the characters are literally adorable which is hilarious to say of a book about murder.

I’m already onto the second book and I am fully hooked!

2. Trick of 2023

I performed a lot of magic in 2023. And, thanks to Tom I also was exposed to a huge amount of packet tricks which evidently are great pieces of walk-around magic to carry in my handbag.

There are several tricks I could choose from but I think in terms of recommending one that you can get your hands on immediately would have to be…

Mo Monte Max Maven

Click this link to view on Penguin Magic Here.

To give credit where it is due, I was made aware of this little piece through watching Craig Petty’s Magic T.V. channel where he and Ryland were reviewing latest magic releases. If you haven’t checked out their channel you really should. It’s a fantastic source for professionals. Click here to subscribe.

Essentially a three card monte routine but way better. This little trick only uses three cards but packs a huge punch!

Filled with many surprise reveals for any audience to enjoy it’s worthwhile having this little gem in your pocket. I’ve only had the opportunity to perform this a handful of times and already I know it will be in my repertoire for many years to come.

3. Platform and video of 2023

I had to cram these into the same group otherwise I would be accused of being a super fan of this mans work. The platform I feel in the last year that has contributed to more magic being shared properly, taught well and also more laughs being give must go to…

Magic T.V. Craig Petty

Honestly this channel I find myself tuning into at least one a day, even if it’s only for a few minutes to listen too and watch a bit of magic.

It’s joyful and I think Craig’s aim is to genuinely share magic with this community and also help people become better performers by making an awareness of everything good (and bad) in this industry.

And on that note…

I must share this video with you all. The first time I ever saw Craig ranting was to Prime Minister Boris Johnston at the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic and this rant/review really is… BRILLIANT! Enjoy


4. Best Magic Shop 2023

This one is tough because in 2023 I ordered many things from different magic shops all over the world – as one does. But this one one hundred percent goes to…

Vanishing Inc. Andi Gladwin & Joshua Jay

To be honest you CANNOT get better customer service anywhere else. These guys really got on top of placing and receiving orders as a customer seamless in 2023.

The stock they keep is vast in terms of creators, props and books and they continuously support not only artists in our industry but kids to attend and be a part of our magic community through selling.

I cannot recommend Vanishing Inc enough.

And if you want to meet the guys in person you can attend one of two of their amazing conventions organised yearly in London, The Session and in Columbus Ohio, Magifest.

Artist that inspired me most in 2023

Every year we find ourselves travelling down different wormholes in magic. Exploring various avenues which I have explored my best off’s above. And with that, sometimes there emerges an artist who perhaps influenced your magic, inspired you most to continue your studies, or indeed you gleaned a new appreciation off as the year went on. For me the artist that inspired me most in 2023 was…

Max Maven (1950 – 2022)

2023 has been a year of me exploring Max through his packet tricks, many of which I now carry around all the time in my handbag (if you ever wish to see me perform one just ask me and I will be delighted too).

I wish that he was still alive to see the delight I am having discovering these and using them in my repertoire. I truly believe that working with these packet tricks I am enjoying working as a walk around magician more because the material I am now performing is just brilliant.

A brilliant mind, person and mind that I will continue to explore and learn from – Thank you Max!

So that’s it for 2023 reviews. Perhaps if this goes down well I shall do this again same time next year!

Here’s to a new year of magical discoveries. Happy Hunting!


  1. Just had a quick read, Nikola, what a read loved it please do more. I will return to read your blog in more detail when I have time to take it all in. Keep up the good work.

  2. I’ve wanted to read Parlour Tricks, but was told most effects needed two people to perform, and I’ve put it off again and again, is there anything in there for just a single performer?

    1. I would definately put it on your list. I have learnt so much from it and it was such an easy read. Even though the tricks have been designed for two there are some that with sleight 😀 tweaks can 100 percent be performed by one performer. And I am actually planning on trying one of two of them out myself this year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *