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Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter
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Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter (Harry Houdini #3)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  104 Ratings  ·  13 Reviews
The Great Harry Houdini is still struggling to make a name for himself in turn-of-the-century New York. 

He sees an opportunity for glory in exposing the tricks of the medium Lucius Craig - if only he can work out how the medium managed to conjure a "spirit" while tied to a chair by Houdini himself or how the apparition was able to stab an audience member to death and then
ebook, 256 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Titan Books (first published 2001)
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Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Received from Book Geeks

The year is 1898 and Harry Houdini is twenty-four years old. Because theatre agents in New York are still convinced that there is no market for or interest in escape-artists, Houdini is still confined to dime museums where he performs tricks that frustrate him and leave him feeling humiliated.
Something comes along though to take his mind of his slow progress towards the fame he feels he is destined to achieve.
Biggs, a journalist and friend of Harry’s brother Dash, has be
Apr 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE HOUDINI SPECTER. (2012). Daniel Stashower. ***1/2.
In this adventure of the Great Houdini, he pits his skills as a magician against a man who claims to have supernatural powers. In real life, Houdini spent much of his time debunking such spiritualists – learning all of their secrets used to lure their ‘clients’ into believing in their arcane powers. With this medium, however, he is faced with what seems to be an incredible effect: one of the members of a séance is murdered while the medium hi
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think this one was as good as The Dime Museum Murders, which was the first I read in the Houdini series. I couldn't decide if the ending was just a little far fetched or just not what I was expecting. Apparently, the author had received some previous feedback about the ending as well as he addressed some of it in his afterword.

Matt Mitrovich
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not the first Harry Houdini fiction I read. That honor goes to "Imprisoned With the Pharaohs" by weird fiction author H. P. Lovecraft, which I read last month. The story is allegedly based on a true experience Houdini had in Egypt. It is unlikely Houdini actually experienced the horrors presented in the story since Lovecraft believed the original story was fabricated and he took significant artistic license. Nevertheless, Houdini was impressed by the story and continued to offer Lovecraf ...more
Dannion Hards
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by Daniel Stashower, the Houdini Specter takes place in the late 1890s on the streets of New York. The novel, narrated by Houdini’s brother; Dash, tells the story of Houdini’s struggle as a master escape artist, before the opportunity of making himself herd arouses, by exposing the tricks of the fraud medium Lucius Craig to the gullible New York public. Mimicking Craig’s tricks to expose him, Houdini is later shocked when Craig manages to produce a “spirit” which murders one of the séanc ...more
Wendy Mao
Gives us a glimpse into the life of Houdini back before he was Houdini.
Pretty enjoyable book, a decent read. Told from the viewpoint of Houdini's brother, who seems to be very much more intelligent and likable than the famous magician.
The book has a decent storyline and plot development, enough to keep you engrossed if you aren't too picky about details.
For me, what detracted most from the book was:

[spoiler alert]

1) Houdini's insufferable lack of humility. The dude's 24! Historically, he was kn
John Frazier
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then you have to indulge in a little light reading, a little reprieve from the history books and biographies. This was such an escape, no pun intended.

Had read a good biography of Houdini a few years ago, during which I learned about his disdain for psychics and soothsayers. "The Houdini Specter" centers around him and his brother Dash Hardeen (also a magician and illusionist), who attempt to expose the conniving clairvoyant Lucius Craig, who has weaseled his way into the heart and
Riju Ganguly
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good book, with fast-paced storyline (with enought details about the world of magic as well as its misuse by charlatans), credible characters, enigmatic hints about the technology of the future (in 1898, as far as we are concerned it is already past), and our beloved duo of protagonists (Harry Houdini & Dash Hardeen), ably supported by Bess Houdini (who truly steals the scenes wherever she is allowed to do something), and Lieutenant Murray. Why Mr Stashower stopped the series after on ...more
Jun 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Interesting premise for a mystery series - Harry Houdini and his brother Hardeen before Harry became famous. Written by a magician, there are tantalizing reveals about magic which for the real fan are fascinating. Harry and his brother are characters with Hardeen being the more likable, and make a good team together. This story takes place in the early 1900's in NYC which is always a fun time. Very good locked room mystery and an easy read. Author writes smooth and tight. Will go back and read t ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read and intersting historical mystery series. A pre-famous, 20-something Harry Houdini, his wife and brother are at the center of the story. His brother acts as Houdini's "Dr. Watson". Intersting that it is set at a Medium reaading (Since several book clubers are going to one tonight!) Also set in turn of the century New York city. I will definately look out for the other titles in this series.
David Marshall
This is actually great fun and although I'm somewhat sceptical of one of the historical features, it;s an engaging addition to the historical mystery genre.
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining whodunit reminiscent of Agatha Christie - high praise indeed! Although this is the third in a series, it is a stand alone book, and I can't wait to read the other two.
Oct 29, 2009 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
From Pen Fatales: Master magician Harry Houdini attends a seance. (I have no bias in favor of magicians. Sure, they're cool. But this is just a damn good book.)
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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 (3 books)
  • The Dime Museum Murders
  • The Floating Lady Murder

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