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The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ectoplasmic Man
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The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Ectoplasmic Man (Harry Houdini Mysteries #1)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  947 ratings  ·  39 reviews
When Harry Houdini is framed and jailed for espionage, Sherlock Holmes vows to clear his name, with the two joining forces to take on blackmailers who have targeted the Prince of Wales.

It’s a case that requires all of their skills — both mental and physical. Can the daring duo solve what people are calling “The Crime of the Century”?

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s timeless crea
Paperback, 224 pages
Published November 17th 2009 by Titan Books (first published 1985)
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Harry Houdini meets Sherlock Holmes. I had reasonable expectations going into this book and I was disappointed.

I found a couple of occurrences in the book a bit hard to fathom. And, I didn't generally care for Stashower's portrayal of Sherlock Holmes.

Holmes generally is not a polite guy. He is more interested in the cerebral and quite often steps on toes, not out of any intentional meanness, but more as an oversight. Yes, Mr Holmes, people have feelings. Stashower's Holmes, though, is outright s
Harry Houdini is framed for spying and stealing sensitive papers from the Prince of Wales. Sherlock Holmes decides to help. Watson is thick.

Lestrade is wildly out of character and believes Houdini to be an "ectoplasmic man" who can walk through walls AND THAT'S HOW HE STOLE THE PAPERS. That, and some conspicuously-placed muddy footprints that don't actually lead anywhere. A decoy? Of course not! It's obvious that the American can turn into a ghost and that is enough to arrest him!

Yes, seriously
Bev Hankins
The Adventure of the Ectoplasmic Man by Daniel Stashower is a Sherlock Holmes pastiche that relates an adventure that brings together the world's greatest consulting detective and Harry Houdini, the world's greatest escape artist. Houdini is accused of stealing important letters that could cause trouble for the Prince of Wales. The letters were kept in room sealed tighter than the vaults of the Bank of England. Houdini was present ta the house where the letters were kept. Lestrade decides that s ...more
Don The Idea Guy Snyder
A very good Sherlock Holmes book, but the pairing of the ficitional detective with the larger than real life Houdini should have made for a wilder ride. There should have been more opportunities for the two protagonists to work together. It would have even been more acceptable to see them pursue two independent courses of investigation before uniting in the end to defeat the villains. Houdini (ironically) spends much of his time locked in a jail cell and not in pursuit of the men who framed him ...more
With the myriad Sherlock Holmes related stories floating about out there, both on the internet and in the published world, it may seem that the author must do something pretty spectacular to have their story noticed. And what better way to have an interesting Holmes story than have the great detective meet the famous magician Houdini, one of Conan Doyle's former friends. This could have been a fascinating story, but while the characterization is quite well written, Stashower seems to have focuse ...more
Jose Luis Meza Garcia
Saw it in a bookstore: Sherlock Holmes and Houdini! That thought intrigued me so I give it a try. From start to finish I couldn't stop reading it. This is (for me) the best adventure of Sherlock Holmes that hasn't been written by the legendary Conan Doyle. To tell you the truth I haven't read anything about Houdini, just know him from movies and cultural references. But if this was how Houdini really was then I think I should read more about him. The times when he is with Holmes are great. Sherl ...more
3.5 stars

I thought it deserved the bump up. It hit the things that I look for most in something that deviates from the canon stories: Good pacing, characters rightfully done, interesting case, and written in Doyle's style.

The only one I feel I can protest on, is characterization. Lestrade was off throughout the story. I felt he was more like DI Greg Lestrade off the show "Sherlock". But, other than that, Holmes and Watson were done well. I don't really know much about Houdini or anyone else, but
Christi Howard
I read this book back in 1987-ish, and I loved it. It was sold as a young adult novel and it combined my two big interests at the time, Sherlock Holmes and Harry Houdini. It may not have been the most faithful representation of Holmes but as a kid who loved mysteries, it fit the bill.
This is an amusing trifle of a book - it's possible, I guess, to excuse the worst of the fan-fic excesses (referring to past adventures and various Holmes in-jokes) as being consistent with the voice of an elderly Dr. Watson, now a widower, shuffling into the second decade of a new century.

So far, Holmes is done just about right, though, and the plot seems to be flowing the way one wants a Holmes mystery to go. A little too arch, maybe, and a little too self-referential, but still delightfully
Riju Ganguly
After the trio of terrific novels involving Harry Houdini, his brother 'Dash' and his wife 'Bess', I was naturally inclined to read this novel. Unfortunately, it was rather a letdown. I sorely missed the voice & actions of 'Dash', and having Bess merely as a woman presence seemed to be rather a waste. The Germans were stereotypical, and even Watson was reduced to being a minor player (inevitable, if you keep in mind that this is an adventure where Sherlock Holmes is fighting to clear Houdini ...more
Not a bad read. A team up that really had to happend, Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes!
This pastiche introduces the detective to the magician, Houdini. Doyle himself shows up as a character -- one that has trouble believing that the case Holmes and Houdini are exploring does NOT involve the mystical/spiritual world. Of S.H. pastiches I have read in the last 10 years, this is one of the ones that best captures the characters, atmosphere, and flow of the original Doyle universe. Very nicely done - I can't believe I missed it when it was first published back in 1985 (I time when I so ...more
One of those “Sherlock Holmes meets [Famous Historical Figure:]!” books—in this case, “Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Houdini!” This was quite fun, although, as is the case with a lot of mysteries for me, more fun in the setup than in the conclusion. Also, Stashower’s Watson was a bit too much of a bumbler for my tastes. Not Laurie R. King bad or anything, but I think after Jude Law’s impeccable Watson from the new movie, I am feeling a tad spoiled.
Timothy Tobolski
I've decided to prep myself for the upcoming re-issue of Stashower's 'Houdini Mysteries' series this year by finally diving straight into this re-issue from Titan. I devoured his 'Beautiful Cigar Girl', Stashower's recounting of the mysterious facts behind Poe's 'Murder of Marie Roget'; the author has a marvelous flair for weaving historical truths into an almost fiction-like thriller, and I consider him right on par with Erik Larson.
Nicole Hill
The Further Adventures series can be silly, yes, but in a highly pleasant way. The books are well-done and enjoyable for a few reasons, not least of which is that Watson gets to be sassier and feistier than in some of the canon fodder. (Though the tone is pretty stout in its faithfulness to blessed fusty old ACD.)

Here, the adventure is with Houdini in tow. The game is afoot and a feat.
An interesting premise... putting a well known fictional figure together with a well known historical figure. Holmes and Houdini and of course told from Dr. Watsons perspective. I enjoyed it and the ending did not disappoint. This is the author's first mystery and it is well crafted. A Holmes fan will love it. My final "Florida" read!!
Sherlock Holmes meets Harry Houdini. Lost is a sixth-grade book report I wrote up on this mystery novel. The hardback had a pic of Houdini in a straight jacket rising triumphant ouf of the bowl of Holmes' trademark pipe, a smoky ectoplasmic man.

Sherlock rawk:

I liked this book alot. The mystery was good and kept me guessing. I think the reason I give it 3 instead of 4 stars is that Houdini came off as kind of annoying throughout the book. However, he may have been accurately portrayed. The "crime of the century" also did not create as much suspense as you would think.
I found this book rather irritating. Plot was okay, but the author kept showing off what a great Sherlockian he is by inserting unnecessary references to ACD canon stories. Too much of a distraction.

Also not happy with the portrayal of Lestrade. The character was made to look like a gullible buffoon.
Nice to read but forgettable. Houdini and Holmes meeting was an excelent idea and it should have been more exciting. As it is, the author just shows a silly clash of egos and Watson and Lestrade are portrayed as even sillier than in the canon, which doesn't help a bit.
Gar nicht mal so schlecht. Natürlich an Conan Doyle kommt keiner ran.

Den Epilog zur Freundschaft zwischen Conan Doyle und Houdini, besonders ihren Zwist was Medien betrifft, fand ich am interessantesten.

Nur für eingefleischte Sherlock Holmes Fans.
Quite an enjoyable read, whilst some of the characterisation was a little off in places, this was a decent novel. I felt it rang true of other Sherlock Holmes stories, with some humour that is missing from others.
Jim Teggelaar
Stashower can write - fun little book. Houdini and Holmes make an interesting team. Dash and Bess later replace Holmes and Watson in the Houdini series. This one would have been better if Stashower had worked them in.
This was an amusing enough pastiche of Sherlock Holmes meeting with Houdini. A bit more on Houdini's crusade against Spiritualism would have been neat, though it might have been too early in his career to fit the story.
Tony Ross
This was an excellent fast paced story which kept you guessing until the end. After reading this story I immediately ordered the Houdini mystery stories written by this same author.
Sherlock meets Houdini?? Excellent concept. well-thought out yet not lacking in the action department. My only qualm is the lack of editorship shown in the frequent typos.
Dan Andriacco
Daniel Stashower's debut novel is still a good read all these years later. His pairing of Houdini and Holmes, not exactly a marriage made in heaven at first, is inspired.
Shannon Ewing
neat tale. i love holmes, love magician stories. this was the perfect blent of majic and mystery! Stashower does a very good job creating the narrative of Watson.
Dec 14, 2013 Sem rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: mystery
Amiable, with flashes of wry humour, a dollop or two of Watson angst, and a hair-raising chase scene, but the plot is paper-thin and Lestrade is unbelievably dim-witted.
I didn't really like this book. Watson was totally dumb, Holmes even more obnoxious than normal. Houdini was uninteresting! LOL. So not a total success!
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Daniel Stashower is the author of The Boy Genius and The Mogul as well as the Edgar Award-winning Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle. He is also the author of five mystery novels, the most recent of which is The Houdini Specter. Stashower is a recipient of The Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship in Detective and Crime Fiction Writing, and spent a year as a Visiting Fellow at Wadham ...more
More about Daniel Stashower...

Other Books in the Series

Harry Houdini Mysteries (4 books)
  • The Dime Museum Murders
  • The Floating Lady Murder
  • The Houdini Specter
The Beautiful Cigar Girl: Mary Rogers, Edgar Allan Poe, and the Invention of Murder The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan Doyle The Dime Museum Murders The Floating Lady Murder

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