This is an amusing mystery novel that fills the supernatural-show-biz-working girl-comedy-romance niche. (And you just can't have too many of those, can you?)
"Disappearing Nightly" is one of those ostensibly funny books for which the comments, "smart, cool and wicked funny," and "screwball comedy adventure," appearing on the cover blurbs actually contain grains of truth, a middling rare thing. There are actually a few good laughs. More than that, the author knows what a punchline is, has a reliable sense of comic pacing and manages to toss out some effective wisecracks.
All these things have led at least one earlier Amazon US reviewer to label the book as a Janet Evanovich imitation. Far worse things might be said about any book. Nevertheless, I would suggest a different and, I think, better model. The blurb on the back cover has it right with the words, "screwball comedy." Admittedly, the book doesn't achieve the rarified heights of "Bringing Up Baby" or "The Lady Eve," but it certainly catches the tone and flavor of film outings by Joan Blondell and Lucille Ball during the late 1930s and through the 40s.
In fact, as I was reading the book, I found myself casting it as a B+ feature from RKO in 1940. Esther, the self-reliant, wisecracking, off-Broadway understudy would be Joan Blondell (or Lucy if Joan were tied up with another film.) Doc Zadok would be Roland Young (or Leon Errol with Lucy), Lysander, Alan Mowbray; Magnus, Edgar Kennedy and Cowboy Duke, Ralph Bellamy (of course!) The smaller parts for young women could be spread among the era's usual coterie of screen chorines and a small but potentially memorable part for a somewhat older lady could tossed up for grabs among the many superb character actresses then on the payrolls of the studios. Casting the gay transvestites might have been a trifle more difficult in those days, but keep in mind that Cary Grant was wearing a frilly negligee in "Bringing Up Baby" when he announced "I've gone gay!" For Hieronymus, I find myself torn between Mickey Rooney and Shemp Howard.
To those of you for whom Blondell and RKO are at one with Burbage and the Globe and they, in turn, with Roscius and the amphitheater, let me suggest a more recent exemplar: call Doc Zadok "the Doctor," then imagine a TARDIS lurking somewhere in the background, modify the supernatural mumbo-jumbo into pseudo-scientific mumbo-jumbo, and--presto!--you have a fine Doctor Who episode. (I hasten to clarify that I do not refer to the present (2007) series or to either of the two comparatively youthful twits currently disgracing the part, but to the vintage, middle-aged or even downright elderly Doctors of the past.)
I have every intention of snatching up the next of Esther's adventures when I stumble upon it and I might even give a try to Ms. Resnik's earlier heroic fantasies. As far as I'm concerned, that sufficiently justifies a five star rating.