Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World by David Jaher

David Jaher's extraordinary debut culminates in the showdown between Houdini, a relentless unmasker of charlatans, and Margery, the nation's most credible spirit medium. The Witch of Lime Street, the first book to capture their electric public rivalry and the competition that brought them into each other’s orbit, returns us to an oft-mythologized era to deepen our understanding of its history, all while igniting our imagination and engaging with the timeless question: Is there life after death?

This is a very well researched book that includes minutia detail of the main participants lives and the over-all gestalt of the times. The Witch of Lime Street tells the real life story of the battle that was fought through personal letters and newspapers by Houdini and Mina Crandon.

 The Scientific American magazine offered a large reward for “conclusive psychic manifestations” and Houdini, believing Mina was a fraudulent medium, set out to prove it. He went as far as traveling the states and printing out pamphlets detailing her trickery. From Houdini’s friendship with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (of Sherlock Holmes fame) who wanted to communicate with his dead brother and son to the actual séances held at the house in Lime Street, the author does a great job of telling a very thorough account of what transpired between all the principal characters.

 Although the author used many resources for such detailed descriptions, he lists the resources at the end instead of interspersed throughout the book making for a better flowing story that is easily read. Lastly, I discovered by accident that the book’s green colored cover art glows in the dark. A nice cool touch to an overall well thought out book.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Roberta


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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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