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The Seance by Iain Lawrence

The Seance

by Iain Lawrence

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Scooter King becomes part of a murder mystery when he tries to sneak a peak at Harry Houdini's Chinese Water Torture Chamber. Will Scooter be the next victim? A fun read with interesting details about Houdini and psychic mediums. ( )
  ECHSLibrary | Jan 22, 2012 |
I didn't really like this book. It was way too mystery cliche. Honestly. So, Scooter lives w/ his mom, who is a fake medium, during the '20's. And Harry Houdini comes to town, and he is going to expose all the fake mediums. Well, this guy dies in Houdini's underwater tank & there is a big fuss to find out the killer. The police investingation is so fake. Wow. But I have to say, the author wrote the book where the characters were all over the place! One minute Scooter's at the house, the next he's being followed by some "mystery man." I feel the author didn't make good transitions from point A to point B. The ending was kinda strange. You find out the killer, but you're left hanging. It was hard to finish this book. ( )
  mcollier | Dec 11, 2008 |
In 1926, magician Harry Houdini arrives in the city to perform magic and to expose fraudulent mediums but thirteen-year-old Scooter King, who works for his mother making her séances seem real, needs Houdini's help to solve a murder.
  prkcs | Sep 25, 2008 |
Lawrence does a great job of taking the reader back into the historical time period. Speakeasies, flappers, con artists, prohibition... I felt like I was there. I don't know how much kids would enjoy it, but I found it interesting. ( )
  JRlibrary | Aug 19, 2008 |
It is 1926 and Scooter King is his mother's helper. Madam King is a spiritualist who holds fake seances and Scooter is the one who pulls all the strings behind the scenes. One night he follows a mysterious stranger and ends up at the theatre where Harry Houdini will soon be performing. As Scooter enters the theatre, unnoticed, he enters the room where Houdini's Torture Tank will be on public display the next day, and he discovers a dead body hanging in the chamber. Houdini is out to prove that all spiritualists are fakes but Scooter and he must join forces to find out not only who killed this man but who is trying to kill them both.

Iain Lawrence writes wonderful books and each book is significantly different than the others. The historical setting of 1926 American city-life is vibrant and even more so as we enter the world of fake spiritualists of the time and backstage theatre life. His characters even speak the slang of the day adding to the authenticity. The murder mystery is an added bonus that will probably keep kids guessing, though I, an adult, did see where the plot was going fairly on. Houdini certainly was an entertaining character and those who are familiar with his life will appreciate the research the author must have done to be true to character.

I noticed several Holmesian 'nods' in the book, names and such, so I wondered if Arthur Conan Doyle was going to appear in the story somewhere. He did not; but the author's afterward explains how this story came to be and the real history behind it along with the connection between Doyle and Houdini. A really fun historical romp that I enjoyed. ( )
  ElizaJane | Jul 13, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385733755, Hardcover)

SCOOTER KING UNDERSTANDS illusions. In the midst of the Roaring Twenties, he performs them behind the scenes at his mother’s séances, giving the impression that Madam King communicates with the dead. Scooter also admires Harry Houdini and can hardly wait to see the famed magician escape from his razzle-dazzle Burmese Torture Tank. But when Scooter stumbles upon a dead body in the visiting Houdini’s tank, it’s no illusion. Who could the murderer be? And did he—or she—kill the right person?

As Scooter sets out to unmask the killer, the mysterious worlds of mediums, séances, and magic are revealed. No one is above suspicion, and appearances are deceiving. If Scooter doesn’t sort out the clues—and fast—he may end up as the next dead body.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

In 1926, magician Harry Houdini arrives in the city to perform magic and to expose fraudulent mediums but thirteen-year-old Scooter King, who works for his mother making her sances seem real, needs Houdini's help to solve a murder.

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