Friday, June 2, 2017


Daniel Stashower

                Daniel Stashower, born 1960, is an American author of mystery novels, biographies and historical non-fiction. He is also the man responsible for my fascination with the magician, escape artiste, Harry Houdini. I had, of course, been aware of Houdini since the 1950's when I saw the Tony Curtis film HOUDINI but I'd never really thought that much about him. Then, a couple of years ago I discovered Stashower's mystery novels that featured Houdini and his brother Dash as the central characters.

Houdini and his brother, Dash Hardeen

About five years ago I was thrilled by Glen Gold's novel CARTER BEATS THE DEVIL which shared a similar background to Stashower's Houdini books and this led me to appreciate both  novel THE PRESTIGE and the subsequent film version and to a lesser extent the film THE ILLUSIONIST, so it was probably inevitable that I would eventually turn my attention to Houdini, albeit in fiction. I liked the Houdini mysteries so much I did a rare thing (for me) and wrote to Stashower via his Facebook page. I even had the cheek to correct the author's knowledge of London geography as it appears in one of the books. Much to my surprise, Stashower answered personally and with good humour and also recommended to me his non-fiction book, THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL : MARY ROGERS, EDGAR ALLAN POE AND THE INVENTION OF MURDER, which again was right up my street as I am a big Edgar Allan Poe fan.

I recommend without reservation all Stashower's books both fiction and non-fiction. The titles of the Houdini mysteries alone must encourage murder mystery fans to seek them out. Sadly, I expect Daniel Stashower's career has moved on and he won't be doing more books about the egotist young Houdini.

The Houdini Mysteries:


There is also a stand alone mystery, THE ECTOPLASMIC MAN which features both Harry Houdin and Sherlock Holmes.

Other works include non-fiction about C0NAN DOYLE and ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Stashower has also written Sherlock Holmes pastiches short stories.

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