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Magician Detective

 Magician Detective
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Magician Detective
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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_content_3'); })Who better to solve an "impossible crime" than someone who does the impossible for a living? The Magician Detective is a Stage Magician who uses his skills with illusion to solve crimes.
It is important to note that the Magician Detective does not have any actual supernatural powers and usually doesn't even believe in the supernatural. It is his disbelief that allows him to look at an "impossible crime" and realize that there must be a logical explanation and he possesses the skills to work out how it was done.
Not to be confused with the Occult Detective who has actual magical powers and deals with crimes that truly are supernatural. Although it's not impossible for them to overlap...
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2018-11-19T12:26:23Z
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Charlie Chan
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DBTropes
 Magician Detective / int_1018fe2f
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Rollie Tyler, the special effects expert from F/X: The Series, ought to qualify for this trope, as he uses similar techniques of deception and misdirection to fool suspects. Hey, movie magic is still magic.
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Shawn Spencer from Psych is probably close enough to count here. He claims to be a psychic but actually solves crimes through his keen powers of observation.
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Naoko Yamada, played by Yukie Nakama, the main character of the Japanese drama Trick.
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Now You See Me is about stage magicians who work grand thefts into their act... forcing investigators to find out how the hell they manage their tricks so they can actually prove it. Thaddeus Bradley, skeptic magician debunker, is not himself a detective, but he is called in as a consultant by the investigators.
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For a time, Weird Tales was closely associated with Harry Houdini, publishing several short stories (one of which, Under the Pyramids, was written by H.P. Lovecraft!) that portrayed Houdini as an investigator and adventurer.
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The Dresden Files: Harry Dresden is most definitely not an example himself, but he's apparently had enough trouble with people getting this trope and Occult Detective mixed up in-universe to feel compelled to put a line about "no children's parties" in his ad in the Yellow Pages.
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Norgil the Magician, a pulp hero created by Walter B. Gibson, creator of The Shadow.
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Kaitou Kid from Magic Kaito and Detective Conan. At times, he has been known to use his intellect as a thief to solve things. Main example — the Golden Eye heist. Plus various other incidences.
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The main character from the Fox animated series The Magician is one of these, though he may have legitimate magic powers in addition to his Stage Magician ones, the show isn't really clear on this point.
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The Great Merlini is a fictional detective created by Clayton Rawson. He is a professional magician who appears in four locked room or impossible crime novels written in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as well as in a few short stories. He also appeared in a two movies and TV pilot.
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In Phineas and Ferb, Dr. Doofenshmirtz imagines Agent P as one of these in the Show Within a Show "Doof 'n' Puss".
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A unique variation comes from Yusho Sakaki, an Entertainment Duelist in Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V. His deck contains spellcaster monster and a few spell/trap cards related with street magic Performance and psychic ability, giving him the magician motif. He's also good at deducing his opponent's strategy based on his/her reaction and words. A good example is how he manages to deduce Yuri's strategy on the first turn and take a short advantage of it. There's a reason why he's a Champion duelist.
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Murdoch Mysteries: In "Houdini Whodunnit", Harry Houdini fills this role, helping Murdoch to work out how a bank vault was robbed without any tampering with the lock.
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Somewhat in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, where Apollo's assistant Trucy is a practicing stage magician. However, it doesn't come in particularly useful. She does work out a magic trick that's vital to solving the case very quickly, but refuses to tell you.
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Mysto, Magician Detective from The DCU who ran as a back-up feature in Detective Comics in the 1950s.
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Hayato Shiramine from Tantei Gakuen Q is a famous magician who enrolled in Dan Detective School. While he's a minor character since he's in A-class, he shows his his crime-solving ability when he won an analysis duel against Kazumanote Although Kazuma here relied too much on his laptop which conveniently ran out of battery during the duel. He could solve the case, but Hayato was faster.
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Jonathan Creek: Jonathan is not a stage magician, but he does design illusions for one and has, on occasion, demonstrated a few close-up magic tricks. He also showcases a few secondary skills in the field (usually when they will be important to the plot later); he knows how to pick locks, for example.
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The title character of the Mediochre Q Seth Series is — or was, it's unclear — a Member of the Inner Magic Circle. He loosely counts as an example of this trope, in that he does use his gifts with misdirection and escapology to help in his investigations, but never in an attempt to disprove the existence of magic, because he knows damn well that magic exists.
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The Mentalist: Patrick Jane was a professional psychic before his family was murdered. He admits that it was all fake.
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James Randi, a.k.a "The Amazing Randi", was a professional magician before turning his attention to debunking claims of supernatural ability. He had a $1,000,000 reward set aside for anyone whose abilities withstood his investigation. It ran from 1996 to 2015, and no one collected. He is perhaps most famous for exposing Uri Geller as a fraud live on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who also had magician training and an interest in debunking Geller. Randi also maintains that magicians are really necessary when debunking these charlatans, since they are a lot better at catching deliberate fraud than other researchers and scientists.
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Penn and Teller, good friends of James Randi, also frequently explain how various supernatural cons such as faith healing and mentalism are performed with sleight of hand and cold reading techniques. Their television show Penn & Teller: Bullshit! also frequently provided insight into various industries, covering everything from karate schools to New Age medicine, and how a lot of trickery and "stage magic" went into making claims seem more impressive than they actually were.
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