Mrs. Houdini

Mrs. Houdini

by Victoria Kelly

Overview: Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife Bess from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. When a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey. Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pair’s extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood. When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, she realizes that her husband’s magic may have been more than just illusion.

In surprising turns that weave through the uncertain days of the dawn of the twentieth century and continue into the dazzling 1920s, Mrs. Houdini is a thrilling tale that will take you deep into the heart of one of history’s greatest love stories—asking what drives people to believe in something bigger than themselves—even as it reveals the famous magician’s most remarkable feat of all.

Gail Reid (07/04/16): For fans of historical fiction, this is an interesting and well-written read. Judy and Debbie, in their reviews, have highlighted the strong writing, the creative plot line and the well developed characters.

I enjoyed the book perhaps less than others will because I don't really like historical fiction. I like fiction a lot and I like narrative non-fiction but with historical fiction I am always bothered by the author's interpretation of what might have happened. I find myself to be all over the internet checking out the possibilities and the facts!
Rating: ****

Debbie Weiss (06/13/16): Of course I knew about the great Harry Houdini, but I never realized how important his wife, Bess, was to his act and to his life. This book is the story of this amazing woman, Mrs. Houdini. She married Harry when she was very young and really understood his magic and his art. She was his professional partner for many years. There were good times and there were trying times, but their love story seemed to be solid and they were each other's best friend.

Before Harry died, he promised he would come back to her and reveal himself to her. For 10 years, Bess waited for this revelation, holding seances and looking for clues. It was very interesting to hear the discussions about the reality of magic. I enjoyed the book.
Rating: ****

Judy Stanton (05/15/16): A quick, fun read of historical fiction that uses a measure of reality mixed with creativity to bring the reader back in time to the life of Harry Houdini. The book alternates chapters of the Houdinis lives, from the wife's perspective, with those of her life after his death and her pursuit of his afterlife return. The author does a good job of character development and creates a magical way of bringing Houdini back to Bess. I learned a lot about their backgrounds and the hard life they experienced before his becoming so famous, as well as the endearing partnership Houdini had with the great love of his life.
Rating: ****

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