Saturday, April 22, 2006

Was Harry Houdini a Spy?

Was Houdini a spy for both the U.S. and British governments?

That’s the premise of a new book, The Secret Life of Houdini by William Kalush and Larry Sloman, due for release on October 31, 2006 from Atria.

Author Kalush gave a lecture on his theory at the Magic Collectors convention last month in Virginia. Those in attendance said while the idea sounded far-out at first, Kalush apparently has some pretty strong evidence to support his theory.

This is one I definitely look forward to!

UPDATE: Experts weigh-in on 'Secret Life' spy revelation

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

New! Houdini Periodical Bibliography

Big news today on the Houdini book front!

H&R Magicbooks and super-collector Arthur Moses have just released Houdini Periodical Bibliography. This new 96 page hardcover book lists over 500 individual magazine titles from 1898 thru 2005, all containing Houdini stories, articles, photos, etc. Many of the listings have multiple issues, thus over 2000 references are given.

This is the most complete Houdini reference ever with many black and white magazine cover images as well as a 16 page color section. The book also includes and introduction by magic magazine historian and expert Ray Ricard.

Houdini Periodical Bibliography can be purchased NOW at

Obviously, this is a MUST OWN for all serious Houdini collectors.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Mystic Circle Murder coming to DVD

No, this is not an April Fools Day joke. It appears the most obscure Houdini-related film will be the first to see an official release on DVD. According to this listing on, Mystic Circle Murder will be released on DVD May 23, 2006.

This low-budget film made in 1938 famously features a cameo by Beatrice Houdini playing herself (billed as "Madame Houdini" in the credits). Also known by the title Religious Racketeers, the film stars Betty Compson and Robert Friske and was directed by Frank O’Conner. While the film itself is pretty tedious, it's really a must-own for Houdini buffs as it's the only sound film of Bessie in existence (luckily, her cameo is very early in the movie).

My only question the heck do we see this on DVD before Paramount’s HOUDNI with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh?