Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Seance by Ian Lawrence

I have been a fan of Ian Lawrence for a long time. One of my favorite books ever is his Lord of the Nutcracker Men. Ian Lawrence is good at writing suspense and this book is full of it. A boy, Scooter, is the son of a Madam King, Physic Medium. It is Scooter's job to be behind the scenes, making the special effects that make his mother's seances realistic. One day Harry Houdini comes to town. Scooter thinks Houdini is the "bees knees" but Houdini has a vendetta against fake mediums. Houdini and Scooter strike up a strange friendship and end up working together to solve a murder. Lawrence does a great job capturing the atmosphere of the 1920's and the mania of the Houdini craze. The story is full of great 1920's characters and the descriptions of how both Scooter and Houdini put on their performances is fascinating. The plot is really well constructed, with clues and red herrings in every chapter. This is a great choice for someone who needs to read a historical fiction, but isn't a huge historical fiction fan. Too bad it has such an unfortunate cover. (262 p)

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