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Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Dime Museum Murders Paperback – Feb 7 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books; Reprint edition (Feb. 7 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857682849
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857682840
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 20.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,837,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"A well plotted and intelligent yarn, structured like an old fashioned serial with its myriad cliffhangers and revelations." - Shadowlocked

"Enough intrigue, banter and action to keep you reading and due to some very thorough research, give you a realistic look at New York in this time period, an insight into Houdini’s home-life and early career." - Bad Haven

"Great mysteries." - 8 Days A Geek

About the Author

Daniel Stashower is a novelist and magician. His works include: the Edgar Award-winning Teller of Tales: The Life of Arthur Conan DoyleElephants in the DistanceThe Beautiful Cigar GirlThe Ghosts of Baker Street, and the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Seventh Bullet

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Harry Houdini mysteries totally lacking in Houdini. Oct. 4 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
OK mystery but it has nothing to do with Houdini. The author apparently got all his info on Houdini from the back of a cereal box. I knew it was fiction and would take some liberties with the truth but he got almost everything wrong. It's really the Hardeen mysteries. Harry Houdini is a delusional clown sidekick. I think Stashower renamed his detective and stuck Houdini in to make the book sale able.
Harry trained his younger brother Dash to be a magician, almost 10 years after the story is set. I could live with that but instead of working as a magician, Hardeen/ Dash is hanging around Harry as sort of a manager. At the same time, the author makes it very clear that Harry and his wife couldn't possibly afford to hire any one, they're barely surviving even though they're living at his mother's apartment. Hardeen somehow can afford his own place.
It starts with a tedious prologue with an 84 year Dash preparing in his boardinghouse room to talk to reporters on the anniversary of Houdini's death. The story is his reminisce. By the time Dash was 84 he had been dead for 15 years. He was a successful magician with a house and a wife. He took a break for some routine surgery that went wrong and he died. Its so unnecessary, he could extend Dash's life just one year and have it be the 20th anniversary of Houdini's death.
This one way it shows that the book was originally conceived and at least partly written with a detective of the author's own creation. He just renamed him Hardeen and did a hatchet job on Harry. Houdini is shown as a delusional egomaniac with no sense. At first he thinks he's Sherlock Holmes and keeps quoting him. He constantly makes grand announcements that he knows who did it but of course is wrong.
There are a few Houdini type stunts stuck in the story that don't fit the caricature described by Stashower and although describing the brothers as tough guys who grew up on the streets (basically true) Harry is often naive and lacks common sense.
Hardeen is too dull to carry the story.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Simple yet intriguing April 5 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The author is skilled at grabbing my interest and holding me - I didn't want to stop reading. I have mentioned in a previous review of this author that he does a balanced job of weaving in the ways of magic and the world of magicians - yet I never felt as though I was being educated. The plot is unique and well developed. Descriptions of the time period done well so the reader can see in the mind's eye what the fashions looked like, how the streets sounded, the food smelled, etc. The author also does an excellent job of including factual history (that of Harry Houdini) into the fiction. Once again, a light read, but well done.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
awesome book June 22 2013
By K. A. Haste - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Once the reader is past the confusing first chapter which should be the prologue, not part of the actual story, the book takes off as a compelling read. The plot line is sufficiently convoluted to keep the reader turning the page. Characters are well rounded and engaging with an ample dose of historical realism. I look forward to the other books in the series.
The Automaton Mystery! Dec 17 2013
By prairie woman - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the first in the series of the Harry Houdini mysteries. Harry has been called to the home of a famous toy collector to discover that the man is dead and that he has acquired a toy from a very rare collection of automatons, which were mechanical dolls of a sort---kind of a forerunner of robots. Harry seems to be the only one of the group present including the inspector who knows how this object operates.There is a suspicion that this toy caused the untimely death. Harry and Dash soon concur that this object did not commit the murder and soon both brothers are on the case whether the police want them or not. A few more murders happen and it's soon apparent that there is more than one person involved and Harry and Dash are soon exploring the criminal underworld of New York City.

Daniel Stashower does a good job bringing Harry Houdini to life and obviously has done a lot of research about him--his arrogance mainly as he is determined to advertise himself as the Great Houdini even though his early magical abilities are not quite perfected. He is now struggling in a dime museum which is just that---patrons pay a dime to see many attractions like an armless lady and other sites. Harry and Dash rely on other jobs to keep them going. There is the usual lock picking, being suspended in the air, and Harry's ability to spot tricksters. Dash of the two displays logic while Harry is quick to jump to conclusions. They make quite a pair, and the ending of this mystery is quite a surprise!
Charming and funny June 2 2014
By David Wilkin - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a charming and surprising little mystery that reads quick. The key here is the characterization and humorous portrayal of Harry Houdini. He is at the early part of his career before he has become a name and it is quite charming what Mr. Stashower has done.

The mystery has its twists and red herrings and the bodies fall quickly. That Houdini and our narrator, his brother, figure things out is fun to watch and of course in hindsight we see even better than if Mr. Holmes was leading us through the game.

All in all, a recommended read. Great historical feel for the era as well.