Monday, May 20, 2013

Book Review - The Harry Houdini Mysteries

Harry Houdini, well-known as an escape artist, becomes for Author Daniel Stashower the subject of mystery in his The Harry Houdini Mysteries published in paperback by Titan Books. The novel concerned with here is subtitled The Floating Lady Murder.

The reader never gets into the mind of Harry, as the narrator is his brother, Dash Hardeen, who also serves as Harry's manager and the scene opens with the-not-yet-famous Houdini trying to stake out a career as a performer.

The Floating Lady is a levitation illusion or trick that had already killed one woman, but had become an obsession for magician Harry Kellar. Houdini is hired by Kellar and works on finding the solution to performing "The Floating Lady."

There is an economy in telling the story while at the same time giving a full glimpse into Houdini's life and the era Houdini lived in.

The suspects are identified early, but the thought process to the reveal of the killer and the driving motive(s) leaves the reader out of the mix. Even when the reader is in the mind of Dash Hardeen and he has a revelation, the reader is not told of the truth flash. Not giving the reader clues to solve the murder is a major downer to the whodunit.

Dropping more earlier clues would definitely enhance the book's strength of description and varied pace of storytelling.

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