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Escapade (1995)

by Walter Satterthwait

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1144200,909 (4.05)2
Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle team up to solve the ultimate locked-room whodunit, in this brilliant comic novel that's also a traditional mystery, by the author of The Hanged Man. Mr. Satterthwait writes in a bright, satirical style.--New York Times Book Review.
  1. 00
    The Hum Bug by Harold Schechter (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Mysteries featuring historical personages.
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In the summer of 1921, Lord Purleigh of Devon hosts a house party at his country estate, with guests including Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini and a slew of titled (and entitled) lords and ladies. Houdini has Phil Beaumont, a “secretary,” with him, who is actually a Pinkerton detective assigned to protect the Great Man from a rival; and one of the titled guests has Miss Jane Turner as her companion, although Jane is more interested in the wilder aspects of life than of being entirely devoted and demure. When the father of the Lord is killed in a locked room, Beaumont and Jane employ their complementary skills to solve the murder….This is the first in a trilogy featuring “the Pinkerton Pair,” as the series is called; I had picked up the second book many years ago at a fabulous mystery bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but I only recently learned of the first and third in the series. There’s nothing too complex here, just an enjoyable historical mystery, set in a very frivolous time. Which is to say, perfect summer reading; recommended. ( )
  thefirstalicat | Aug 12, 2020 |
As charming and pleasant as a weekend in the mountains. Houdini and Arthur Conan Doyle are guests at a haunted castle. There are ghosts, a murder, a séance and a cast of English archtypes. Escapade is written to amuse and is wildly successful. It reads like one of those Christie ensemble cast movies from the late 70s and early 80s. I very much look forward to reading other books by Walter Satterthwait.
  SomeGuyInVirginia | Nov 12, 2009 |
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Epigraph
The magician is an actor playing the part of a magician.

--Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin
Sex is worth dying for.

--Michel Foucault
Dedication
This book is for Dr. Olga Taxidou

me pollá filákia
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Dear Evangeline, No catty complaints from me today.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Harry Houdini and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle team up to solve the ultimate locked-room whodunit, in this brilliant comic novel that's also a traditional mystery, by the author of The Hanged Man. Mr. Satterthwait writes in a bright, satirical style.--New York Times Book Review.

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In 1921, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle joins a weekend house party in Devon. Among the party is Doyle's friend, Harry Houdini, who shrugs off the sinister atmosphere until their host, the Earl of Axminster, is found murdered in a locked room.
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