The Dime Museum Murders
A Harry Houdini mystery
Titan Books 2012
Paperback 236 pages
The Dime Museum Murders is first in The Harry Houdini Mysteries series. It is a superb, original, fun read. This from someone who always and strongly dislikes every single subgenre this novel fits into: closed room mystery, period novel, Holmesian character and narrator, fictional adventures of a real figure, and the cozy. This very same someone very much looks forward to the next whodunits in this excellent series. Kindle version
This Harry Houdini mystery by Daniel Stashower is set in 1897 New York City. Houdini is a minor magician and a not particularly successful attraction in a storefront carny. His only fans are Dash, his brother – manager – chronicler, and his wife Bess. When a rich toy tycoon is murdered by an automaton behind the locked doors of his office Houdini is called in for his opinion. The future escape artist is intrigued and decides to solve the murder with the Dash’s assistance.
One of the things that make this series original is the main character is far from perfect. Houdini is quick to judge and come to conclusions. By the end of The Dime Museum Mystery Houdini has accused every secondary character in the book. It is Dash who provides the voice of reason.
The Dime Store Murders by Daniel Stashower is followed by The Floating Lady Murders and The Houdini Specter (June 2012). All are reprints. This reader really hopes Stashower has more coming.