Monday, November 28, 2011

Review | Mysterious frenemies: Houdini and Conan Doyle | Seattle Times Newspaper

Christopher Sandford's "Masters of Mystery" explores the oddball friendship that formed between two very different kinds of geniuses: the magician Harry Houdini and Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle. Sandford will discuss his book Tuesday at Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Co.
Special to The Seattle Times
Christopher Sandford has written a number of biographies of rock musicians, and he splits his time between Seattle and London. One result of this confluence is the remarkable acknowledgments page that kicks off his latest book. I will bet cash money that no other "thanks to ... " section in history has included Keith Richards, Kidd Valley Burgers, Charlie Watts and the Old Renton Book Exchange.
Not to mention Roman Polanski and the University of Puget Sound.
The theme set here — strange bedfellows — segues nicely into the subject of the book in question: Sandford's absorbing and prodigiously researched "Masters of Mystery: The Strange Friendship of Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini" (Palgrave Macmillan, 304 pp., $27).
In fact, the term "strange bedfellows" might have been invented for these two. Houdini, the illusionist and escape artist, and Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, were frenemies long before that useful word was ever coined.

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