Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Dame Jean Conan Doyle's memory of Houdini

Houdini comes up in an interview with author Martin Powell in The Baker Street Babes Podcast Ep. 80. Martin recalls a conversation with Dame Jean Conan Doyle (Sir Arthur's daughter), who shared with him her childhood memories of Houdini. It's a brief but interesting sideline, and it's always exciting to hear a first hand recollection of Houdini, even when it comes second hand.

Click here to have a listen at The Baker Street Babes website. The Dame Jean conversation starts at 15:00. Houdini comes up at 17:00.


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

VIZ names Houdini the "Hunkiest Harry"

Being dead 90 years has certainly not hurt Houdini's standing in pop culture. And now VIZ magazine in the UK has determined that Houdini is the "World's Hunkiest Harry." The Handcuff King beat out Prince Harry and pop star Harry Styles for the title.

As you can see, while Houdini lost points in the "Hair" and "Rumors of a Relationship with Taylor Swift" categories (although the magazine did not entirely rule the latter out), he dominated the "Mysteriousness of Death" and "Manacled Water Tank Escapability" categories. That's science.

Houdini's great victory can be found in the July 2017 (266) issue of VIZ.

Thanks to Allan James Taylor.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Magic comes to the McCord Museum in Montreal

This weekend magic came to the city of Montreal with the opening of the McCord Museum's "ILLUSIONS: The Art of Magic" exhibition and "The 44th Magic Collectors Weekend." There was plenty of Houdini to be found during the 3 days of events. Houdini biographer and weekend honoree William Kalush gave a talk in support of the idea that Houdini was as great a magician as he was a showman and escape artist (now that's a Bill Kalush theory I can get behind). There were also several original Houdini posters on display at the McCord exhibition.

The McCord museum is housed in a building that was once the McGill University student union. This is where Houdini spoke in 1926, the day before the fateful dressing room encounter with McGill student J. Gordon Whitehead (and where he is also said to have successfully demonstrated his ability to take a punch). 

Magic Collector's Weekend attendees were treated to a private display of original Houdini artifacts in the very room where Houdini spoke (which has since been subdivide). In 2015, the McCord received a large bequest of magic memorabilia, including over 1000 individual items related to Houdini. 

Other weekend speakers included: Andrew Pinard ("Jonathan Harrington"), Dr. Joe Culpepper ("Doctoring Magic"), David Ben ("Downs' Masterpiece"), Max Maven ("Torn Roots"), Michael Grandinetti ("A Young Person's Guide to Doug Henning"), Lesley Fitzpatrick-Walker  ("Metamorphosis: The Last Unicorn"), Brian Lumley ("According to Plan") and Mike Caveney ("Egyptian Hall").

The 44th Magic Collectors Weekend was hosted by David Ben and Julie Eng of Magicana. I'm story I wasn't able to attend this year. Looks like it was a great event in a location steeped in Houdini history.

"ILLUSIONS: The Art of Magic" runs through January 7, 2018. For more information visit the McCord Museum. A book devoted to the exhibition is available at (U.S.) and (UK).

Thanks to magician and Houdini lecturer William Pack for the photos. Lecture information thanks to Phil Schwartz of the great Thayer Magic.


LINK: Houdini At The Wintergarten

Dean Carnegie once again has a terrific post about Houdini on his blog The Magic Detective. This time Dean investatges Houdini's early performances at the famous Wintergarten theater in Germany. A highlight is Dean shares a seldom seen Wintergarten/Houdini poster from the collection of Norm and Lupe Nielsen.

"This latest adventure began when I accidentally stumbled upon the poster image above. I realized I didn't know a lot about Houdini's time at the Wintergarten and decided to put on the Detective hat and dig up whatever I could find..."

Click the headline to see the full poster and have a read at The Magic Detective.

UPDATEHoudini Wintergarten poster for sale at Magic Live.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

New Houdini biography in September

There's a new Houdini biography headed our way in Fall. Houdini: The Life and Times of the World's Greatest Magician by Charlotte Montague runs 208 pages and will be relased by Chartwell Books on September 26.

Based on contemporary reports and diaries and supported with historic photographs and period posters, Houdini is an intriguing biography of the world’s greatest magician and escape artist. Ninety years after his death, this brings both the man and his magic back to life again for one last performance.

In the early 1900s, Houdini’s handcuff show was a huge sensation which toured the best venues in the USA and Europe, and when audiences demanded more, so he introduced straight-jackets, water-filled tanks, and nailed shut packing crates.

His outdoor spectaculars became increasingly elaborate. In the early winter of 1906, he leaped manacled from the MacArthur Bridge in Detroit, MI, freeing himself from two pairs of handcuffs beneath the icy waters. Houdini's mega-star status allowed him to fly airplanes, star in his own movies, write and publish his own books, and even become president of the Society of American Magicians.

This biography is an authoritative view from accomplished biographer Charlotte Montague, and belongs on the shelf of any lover of magic, escape artistry, and enigmatic figures.

Montague has also penned biographies of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and H.P. Lovecraft released by Chatwell.

You can pre-order Houdini: The Life and Times of the World's Greatest Magician from (U.S.) and (UK).

Below are links to a few other books coming up in 2017.


Friday, May 26, 2017

Original Houdini-Doyle artwork by Luis Dominguez

This beautiful original artwork by Luis Dominguez sold at Heritage Auctions last year for $1,553.50 (including buyer's premium). This was created for the cover of a Ripley's Believe It Or Not comic book in 1979, but what a great piece of standalone Houdini-Doyle artwork this makes.

Luis Dominguez Ripley's Believe It Or Not #89 Arthur Conan Doyle and Houdini Cover Original Art (Gold Key, 1979). The creator of Sherlock Holmes was actually friends with the world's greatest escape artist, Harry Houdini... Believe it... or not! This fantastic cover by Luis Dominguez is painted in gouache on illustration board with an image area of 12.5" x 17". The colors are bright and vibrant and it is in Excellent condition.

You can see this artwork on the finished comic book cover in this post: Houdini & Doyle - Believe It or Not!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Houdini appears in Vanish

An article by magician Alexander May titled "A Visit To Houdini" appears in the May 2017 issue of Vanish the International Magic Magazine. The issue can be purchased as a hardcopy or viewed digitally for free at the Vanish website.

The article chronicles Alexander's visit to Houdini-Weiss family plot at Machpelah Cemetery in Queens, which last year celebrated its 100th anniversary.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Spring Heel'd revealed

The fans over at HouDoyle and the Houdini & Doyle Fan Group on Facebook are having a Houdini & Doyle one year rewatch party. This week they are watching episode 4, "Spring Heel'd Jack", and group organizer Traci Porczynski has linked to the special effects house that created the Spring Heel'd Jack costume. You never really get a good look at this in the show itself, so it's cool to see it here.

Applied Arts designed and built this steampunk mask and gloves for the character of Spring Heeled Jack in ITV’s Houdini and Doyle. We made three separate masks that were suited to a variety of filming requirements, a hero one, a light weight stunt version and one that could breathe fire.

Check out more photos at the Applied Arts website.

You can join the rewatch party on Facebook and HouDoyle. All the season one episodes can be streamed via Amazon Video.


The Doug Henning Project goes WILD

Neil McNally's new blog The Doug Henning Project is going strong with terrific interviews with Milt Larsen, John Gaughan, and Jim Steinmeyer. This week Neil is sharing a multipart interview with, gasp, me!

So only after you finish reading Neil's interview with those far more interesting and deserving members of the magic community, check out my blather. Neil and I did have a great time conducting this interview over Friday Lunch at the Magic Castle.

Thank you Neil.


Monday, May 22, 2017

How Houdini didn't vanish an elephant

As a follow up to my post about the German Houdini booklet and Modern Mechanic' bogus explanation of Walking Through A Brick Wall, I thought I'd share that magazine's equally incorrect explanation of Houdini's vanishing elephant. This appeared in the December 1929 issue as the conclusion of a three part series by the mysterious "R.D. Adams."

Unlike Walking Through A Brick Wall, we actually don't know for certain how Houdini vanished his elephant. But we know it wasn't as shown above. In fact, even the presentation is incorrect here. Houdini vanished his elephant from a large cabinet, not from behind a screen. The best theories of how Houdini may have accomplished this feat appear in Jim Steinmeyer's brilliant Hiding The Elephant and Patrick Culliton's essential Houdini The Key.

Curiously, even though "R.D. Adams" offered explanations that today appear to be false, both Leonard Hicks and Houdini's close friend Joseph Rinn claimed Adams' did indeed reveal the correct methods.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Master Mystery Episode One lantern slide

An original glass slide for Houdini's The Master Mystery Episode One sold at Heritage Auctions last weekend for $1,015.75 (including buyer's premium). A terrific image that I've not seen before.

During the days of silent cinema, glass "lantern slides" were used to announce coming attractions and advertise products while film reels were being changed on the projector. For more on the history of lantern slides, check out the excellent Silent Cinema Society.


LINK: When Harry Met Teddy: How Houdini Fooled a President

While there's nothing new here for the seasoned Houdiniologist (hey, word invented!), this is still a well-done article by Sean Braswell about how Houdini fooled President Theodore Roosevelt aboard the SS Imperator in June 1914.

Click the headline to have a read at


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Hardeen appeared on television in 1945

Reader Bill Carter recently sent in a discovery that I'm excited to share today. On Thursday, January 25, 1945, Hardeen made a television appearance on station WCBW. I don't believe this has ever been mentioned anywhere before. Below is a review from the January 27 issue of The Billboard.

Bill points out that WCBW was a local New York area broadcaster. In early 1945 there was not yet a CBS Television network. WCBW later became WCBS-TV.

This was only five months before Hardeen's death on June 12, 1945. One wonders where this stands as far as a first appearance by a magician on television?

As with Houdini's radio broadcasts, this was probably too early in the history of the medium for us to have any hope that a recording was made. The criticism of Hardeen's speaking voice is interesting. I'm not sure what the reviewer, Marty Schrader, didn't like about it, but you can hear Hardeen's voice for yourself in this 1939 radio broadcast.

Vaudeville, Broadway, radio, film, and now television. Dash did it all!

Thanks Bill.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Houdini in Heavy Metal #286

Houdini is featured in the new issue of Heavy Metal magazine (#286). Below is one of three variant covers of this "Magick Special" along wth a preview of "The 1,000 Deaths of Harry Houdini" by Neil Kleid, Michael Avon Oeming, and Taki Soma.

Since mankind's earliest days and stories told around campfires with the darkness of night encroaching on the light, the stories we tell one another have been tinged with magic. From mighty warlocks commanding the forces of nature to gentle fables of urban fantasy, magic is all around us, and in this issue, Grant Morrison and the writers and artists he select explore the magic that touches our souls and fills our nightmares.

You can buy Heavy Metal at the official website or in stores.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

LINK: An expose on the King of Card act of Harry Houdini

The great Dean Carnegie has a must read post about Houdini's card work on his blog The Magic Detective. Anything the sheds light on Houdini's magic is always welcome, and Dean has uncovered some terrific info from a wealth of sources.

"It's very clear by viewing existing video of Houdini presenting card flourishes that the man had skills! There are some moves he was known to do that seem impossible today, this to me is thrilling!"

Click the headline to have a read at Dean's site. While there, you also might take a look at his report on the recent Obscura Day Houdini event in Washington DC: HOUDINI Takes DC 2017.


'The Book of Houdini' combines the books of Houdini

Three works by Houdini have been collected and published as The Book of Houdini by Nevetz Azraz. I normally don't buy (or cover) public domain reprints, but I do like how Nevetz has put effort into creating a book with a unique title and cover, so this one might make it to my shelf. Here's the description.

The Book of Houdini contains three publications, all focusing on magic, and the great work of Harry Houdini. The first volume was authored in 1922 and is titled Houdini, The Adventurous Life of a Versatile Artist, and is a glance at just that. The second installment was written in 1908 by Houdini, who penned a work on The Unmasking of Robert Houdin, a study of Robert Houdin's alleged magical abilities. Book III, written in 1920, and the final volume in The Book of Houdini, is called Miracle Mongers and Their Methods, where Harry again analyzes and exposes the tricks behind magic, while sharing the secrets behind some of his own.

You can purchase The Book of Houdini at (U.S.) and (UK).


Monday, May 15, 2017

Look what's inside David Blaine's magic lair

The New York Post has an article about David Blaine's "magic lair" in New York City where he creates his illusions and is currently preparing his upcoming tour (begins May 30 in San Diego). The article also contains the following photo and a paragraph that will be of interest to Houdini buffs.

Fifteen years ago, he bought his Chinatown den, the walls of which are covered with vintage posters featuring his favorite magicians, including one that pictures Harry Houdini and that Blaine purchased for an undisclosed, record-setting price. Hidden out of sight are treasures such as Houdini’s handwritten and unpublished show notes.

I expect the poster they are referring to is the Water Torture Cell poster directly behind David and his team. That poster sold in a Potter & Potter auction in February for a record breaking $114,000. So now we know who got it! As for those "unpublished Houdini show notes"...interesting.

David Blaine is a self-acknowledged Houdini fan. He credits seeing the straitjacketed Houdini on a book cover as the thing that sparked his interest in magic -- "the beautiful struggle."

You can read the full article online at The New York Post.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Bess Houdini: "If I Had A Son"

Here's one for Mother's Day from the collection of David Charvet. Enjoy.

Click to enlarge.

Thanks David. Happy Mother's Day to all the "Mamas" out there.


Saturday, May 13, 2017

Houdini pinball machine brochure

Here's a brochure for American Pinball's new "Houdini Master of Mystery" pinball machine. Nice artwork. The company unveiled the game at the Texas Pinball Festival on March 24. Click images to enlarge.

You can learn more about "Houdini Master of Mystery" at the American Pinball website and Facebook page.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

ARTE Houdini documentary now on YouTube

The Houdini documentary produced in 2014 by ifage filmproduktion is now available to view on YouTube. This is the version that aired on the Franco-German TV network ARTE and is dubbed into French.

Directed by Jens Monath, the documentary contains several well-made reenactments with various actors playing Houdini and Bess at different ages. The documentary also features escapes by Jan Rouven (with a textbook straitjacket fail), and interviews with Bill Kalush and magician Murray SawChuck.

Below is the YouTube embed. I'm not sure if this is licensed, so you might want to watch now before it disappears.

Update: It has disappeared.

Thanks to Tom Interval for the find.


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Houdini's other elephants

Chuck Romano at My Magic Uncle has uncovered an interesting account of Houdini's 1922 performance at the Times Square Theater in New York. Houdini appeared in conjunction with his movie The Man From Beyond, and for the occasion he revived his vanishing elephant illusion. It's been said Houdini used a smaller elephant for this venue, but according to this clipping, Houdini actually used two!

Of his two elephants, only Lucy came on for her act. Fanny was captivated by the bright lights of Broadway and refused to enter the Times Square Theatre. Meanwhile, Lucy suffered from an attack of temperament and liberal rations of gum drops were necessary before she could be induced to do her act."

I love that we get the names here, Fanny and Lucy. Also, Fanny refusing to enter the theater recalls this post from last year: "A story that never has been told."

Check out the full article at My Magic Uncle where Chuck also has several other interesting Houdini related posts.

UPDATE: In The Sphinx [Vol 21 No. 3 May 15 1922] Clinton Burgess reported:

"…This is the same illusion Houdini presented with such success at the New York Hippodrome and is startler of the first water. While the cabinet of enclosure used to house or temporarily imprison the elephant prior to its mysterious disappearance is roomy enough inside to accommodate a large elephant, is was only rarely that the large one in readiness for the effect would enter the theatre owing to its extreme timidity over the glare of the footlights. On this occasion it was necessary to use another but somewhat smaller elephant, loaned to Houdini through the courtesy of John Ringling. This elephant is named ‘Baby’, while the larger one is called ‘Fannie Ringling.’ "

Thanks to Joe Notaro.


Monday, May 8, 2017

Mysteries at the Museum reveals "the real ghostbusters"

Houdini is once again the subject of a new segment on Mysteries at the Museum. This time the show pays a visit to the Houdini Museum of New York where owner Roger Dreyer tells the tale behind the museum's recently acquired set of Houdini's spiritualism lecture slides.

The episode again features Jonathan Shade as Houdini in reenactments that dramatize his crusade against fraudulent mediums, his partnership with his "spook spy" Rose Mackenberg, and his 1926 testimony before Congress. Seeming to play to the current mood, the show lays blame for Houdini's failure to pass the anti-fortune telling legislation on Washington's secret involvement with mediums, even suggesting that spiritualistic influence had reached the White House.

The episode is Season 14, Episode 13 ("The Girl Who Fell to Earth, the Real Ghostbusters and Eclipsed by Columbus"). It's currently in repeats on the Travel Channel with the next airing on May 11 at 7pm/6c. It's also available to stream at Amazon Video.

This marks Houdini's 7th appearance on the show. Other episodes have looked at the Mirror HandcuffsMargery, Arthur Conan DoyleHoudini's bust, Eleanor Fletcher Bishop and Dai Vernon.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

Escapology exhibition in East Kilbride, Scotland

A special exhibition devoted to escapology is now on show at the East Kilbride Arts Centre in East Kilbride, Scotland. The exhibition is presented by escape artist Andy Robertson and includes artifacts related to Houdini and escapists such as David De-Val. It also includes the famous "Glasgow photo" of Houdini and his Water Torture Cell.

The exhibition runs through May 28 and admission is free. Below are images from Friday's opening.

The East Kilbride Arts Centre is located at  51 - 53 Old Coach Road, East Kilbride G74 4DU. For more visit the official website.

Thanks to Andy Robertson for the photos.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

William H. "Bill" McIlhany (1951-2017)

A sad loss to report. William H. McIlhany has passed away at age 66. Bill was a major magic collector who specialized in historic magic film. In 1994, he became the Film and Video Archivist for the Magic Castle.

Bill's great contribution to the Houdini world was the release of The Master Mystery on two VHS cassettes in 1998. This was the first time the Houdini serial had ever been made available to the public. Likewise, Bill arranged for the release of Terror Island on VHS in 1996, paired with the only surviving fragment of Howard Thurston's own 1920 film, Twisted Souls. He also released the 1970 BBC documentary The Truth About Houdini.

In recent years Bill worked with Todd Karr to release various DVD collections of rare magic footage, including Vintage Magic Films, which includes Houdini's card manipulation footage and rare film of Bess.

I've long heard that Bill owned a near complete version of Houdini's 1909 film, Les merveilleux de Houdini à Paris. However, the last time I spoke with him (at the time of my Hollywood Heritage lecture), he was in declining health and wasn't sure where it was among his vast collection.

Bill lived in Los Angeles with his wife, Bobbie O'Toole McIlhany, who survives him.

Bill's The Master Mystery and Terror Island on VHS.

Thanks to Kevin Connolly and Phil Schwartz of Thayer Magic.


Houdini Takes D.C. TODAY

Just a reminder that a special Houdini event is taking place from 4-6pm today in Washington D.C. as part of Obscura Day 2017. "Houdini Takes D.C." features a lecture by Houdini collector Ken Trombly and a performance by Dean Carnegie.

Join us at Tivoli's Astounding Magic Supply Co., nestled inside the historic Tivoli Theater, where we will delve into the collection of Ken Trombly, attorney, magic enthusiast, and Houdini collector. In an interactive presentation, Trombly will illuminate Houdini's rise, legendary performances, crusade against spiritualism, death, and the rumors of his return from the great beyond.

In the second act, enjoy cherry pie (a Houdini favorite) as escapologist and historian Dean Carnegie recreates Houdini's stunts: liberating himself from ropes and handcuffs (an authentic pair of Houdini-owned cuffs will be on display), among other devices. For his greatest trick, he'll ask a volunteer or two from the crowd to participate... if you dare...

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at the Obscura Day 2017 event website (sale ends in 5 hours).

UPDATE: Dean Carnegie now has a report on the day at his blog: HOUDINI Takes DC 2017.

Related posts:

Meet ROUGH RIDERS creator Adam Glass

Adam Glass, creator of the ROUGH RIDERS graphic novel series, will be appearing from 11am-12pm at Hi De Ho Comics in Santa Monica, CA, as part of Free Comic Book Day today. Adam will then be at Things From Another World at Universal Studios Citywalk from 1-3pm.

ROUGH RIDERS teams Houdini with Teddy Roosevelt, Annie Oakley, Jack Johnson and Thomas Edison. The first series was a hit for publisher Aftershock Comics. A second series, Rough Riders: Riders on the Storm is currently running with Houdini set to grace the cover of issue #4 in June.


Friday, May 5, 2017

"Houdini's old haunt" going up for auction May 19

The New York Post reports that the former Ridgefield, Connecticut home of Houdini's brother Dr. Leopold Weiss is going up for auction on May 19. The 10-bedroom home is known as Sunset Hall and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was recently on the market with an asking price of $4.75 million.

It's debatable how often "Houdini used to chill" (as The Post puts it) at this property. He and his brother Leopold had a famous falling out in 1917. Leo eventually left this house as his fortune and health declined. He ended his days in an apartmet in Inwood.

You can check out more photos of this house at Happy bidding!

UPDATE: Historic Ridgefield estate sold one day before auction.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

German Houdini booklet and the brick wall exposure

Arthur Moses recently uncovered this 20 page German "Harry Houdini" biographical booklet from 2014. It runs 20 pages and is #8 in "Personlichkeiten" series. According Arthur, the booklet is nicely done with many photos and illustrations.

One curious thing the booklet contains is an illustrated "exposure" of Houdini's Walking Through A Brick Wall on page 18. The explanation is pretty far out. It includes mechanical hands and Houdini disguised as a brick layer to sneak around the structure.

This actually first appeared in the November 1929 issue of Modern Mechanics and Inventions in an article that professed to be an exposé of Houdini secrets by his "mechanic" R.D. Adams. I've never heard of R.D. Adams, and many of the explanations were wildly inaccurate, including the brick wall. This is all the more amusing because the real secret of Houdini's Walking Through A Brick Wall is one of his most widely known and published.

This booklet can be purchased as part of a bundle with The Houdini Code DVD at the website

Thanks Arthur.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Houdini 'Timeless' episode repeats Monday, May 8

The episode the NBC series Timeless that features Houdini ("The World's Columbian Exposition") will repeat this Monday, May 8 at 10/9c. The episode is set during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair. Michael Drayer (below) plays the young Houdini.

Timeless is about a team of time travelers who protect the present in the past. It's currently pending renewal by NBC (#RenewTimeless).


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Terror Island screening TONIGHT in St. Charles, IL

I'm sorry this is such late notice, but Houdini's 1920 feature Terror Island will screen at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles, Illinois tonight at 7:30pm as part of their Silent Film Series. The film will include live musical accompaniment by Jay Warren on the Arcada's historic 1927 pipe organ.

The Arcada Theatre is located at 105 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174. For more information visit their website.

Thanks to William Pack for the alert.


Houdini & Doyle one year anniversary rewatch party

It was a year ago today that the U.S. premiere of Houdini & Doyle aired on FOX. I had the great pleasure of Live Tweeting the premiere alongside star Michael Weston at Fox Studios (where I also stopped in at the 278 of the West). The series ran for 10 episodes, each of which I reviewed and fact checked HERE.

Even though the series was not renewed for a second season, it still has an active fanbase via the HouDoyle fansite and the Houdini & Doyle Fan Group on Facebook. Now those fans are celebrating the one year anniversary with a "Houdini & Doyle rewatch party", starting this week with episode one, The Maggie's Redress.

You can join the fun on Facebook and HouDoyle. All episodes of season one can be streamed via Amazon Video.


Monday, May 1, 2017

Neil McNally launches The Doug Henning Project

Our good friend Neil McNally, who in the past has provided us with several excellent Guest Blog posts, has now launched his own blog devoted to the great Doug Henning. Neil has been working at this for some time and has amassed a fantastic amount of information and exclusive interviews. I'm very excited about this, not just because I know Neil will do great work, but I think a blog celebrating Doug Henning is long overdue. In many ways, Henning was as significant a force in magic as Houdini was in his own day.

So click the link below to begin your wonder-filled adventure at...


Piper Houdini book 2 now available in print editions

Glenn Herdling's second Piper Houdini adventure, Piper Houdini: Nightmare on Esopus Island, is now available in hardcover and paperback. (It was released last year as an eBook.) The books tell the adventures of a fictional Houdini niece.

After running away from Houdini and his wife, saving wild animals from a raging inferno, and a breathtaking showdown with a vampire named Flapper, Piper settles in with the performers of the Coney Island freak show only to discover that she may be the greatest freak of all.

As the summer of 1926 heats up, Piper continues the quest for her dark legacy. Along the way, she will encounter a variety of real-life luminaries from the 1920s, including the erudite author H. P. Lovecraft, the occultist Aleister Crowley, and a Rudolph Valentino zombie. Piper will need to use all the valuable skills she learns from her new friends to confront the lunatic who has been murdering sideshow performers.

In this pulse-pounding conclusion to the tale begun in Piper Houdini: Apprentice of Coney Island, author Glenn Herdling takes readers from the rousing backdrop of the legendary Brooklyn amusement pier to a mysterious island on the Hudson River, where a sinister rite takes place that could enslave the human race--unless Piper and her unusual friends can stop it.

Purchase Piper Houdini: Nightmare on Esopus Island at Amazon.