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The Houdini Specter: A Harry Houdini Mystery (Harry Houdini Mysteries) Mass Market Paperback – October 30, 2001


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Product Details

  • Series: Harry Houdini Mysteries
  • Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (October 30, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380800586
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380800582
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,352,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel Stashower is an award-winning mystery novelist and a recipient of the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing.He is also the author of Teller of Tales, a new biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.He lives in Bethesda, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brad Wareham on December 5, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read all the books in Stashower's Houdini series, and this is the best!
The Houdini character is well-defined -- a showman and egotist, but lovable -- as he tries to play Sherlock Holmes, but inevitably finds himself lacking. Only his persistence and belief in himself pulls himself through. His brother also manages to keep things on track, chronicling the events, much as Watson did for Holmes.
The action is fast paced, the characters rich in detail. Thoroughly enjoyable.
The mystery is intriguing and the final revelation is doubly amazing when it is revealed that 19th century technology was advanced enough to actually make the solution plausible (I won't spoil the ending).
Get this book! You won't be disappointed!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rory Coker on November 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third of a series of novels Stashower has written in which Harry Houdini and his brother Dash tackle the solutions to "impossible" murders. If you're new to the series, I might mention that Houdini himself functions largely as comic relief, parading
a giant ego as he propounds a series of preposterous "solutions" that parody roughly contemporary detective literature, while his brother Dash acts quietly behind the scenes to solve the crime. In every novel, Houdini, despite his mental shortcomings and giant ego, steps in to save a life with his exceptional physical prowess.
It's usually good fun and a good read, but for some reason in this latest outing, things fall apart badly about 3/4 of the way through, and the ending is almost a slap in the reader's face, with a completely preposterous "solution" to the mystery of a murderous spirit apparition, and so many loose ends that the main and most interesting character, Lucius Craig, is as much a mystery finally as he was initially. Even the nature of the relation between Craig and his "daughter," although it is the subject of considerable innuendo during the unfolding of the story, is not explored--- and even worse, the "daughter," out of the blue and apparently as an afterthought, turns out to be in the novel's last couple of pages a person who will be one of Houdini's greatest real-life antagonists.
You see Harry and Dash here just before the end of the 19th Century, with Harry struggling, not so much to break into the big time, as to break into show business at any level. But if you know anything about the real Houdini, it may come as a shock to have his mother speaking fluent, colloquial english to newspaper reporters!
Read more ›
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By ED Detetcheverrie on November 25, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a newcomer to Mr. Stashower's series, I must say I found myself suitably delighted to have discovered such likeable characters in a well-researched setting, solving mysteries with humor, logic, and showmanship. The feel is just right and the skepticism high for a fraudulent medium who seems to be horning his way into a recent widow's heart and fortune. When one of the guests of a seance finds himself crossing over inexplicably, it takes the irrepressable Harry Houdini, his brother Dash, and agreeable wife Bess to determine what's real and what's illusion in this quick-paced good time of a tale! I greatly anticipate reading the other stories in this series and hope the author has more mysteries up his sleeves for Harry & his brother to stumble into. The Houdini Specter--how very delectable!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a big fan of Daniel Stashower's "Harry Houdini Mysteries", but I have to confess that I enjoyed his previous book, THE FLOATING LADY MURDER, more than this latest entry. Oh there's still some good stuff here, and I do think this book would greatly appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes (as Houdini seems more Holmesain in this adventure than ever). But here's hoping that Stashower returns Harry to the unique and colorful world of turn-of-the-century showbiz in the next adventure, and leaves the drawing room murders to Holmes.
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