The rivalry between Houdini and Margery A.K.A. "The Witch of Lime Street" is presented in astonishing detail. Margery embodied the national debate over spiritualism. Many were trying to prove with science that people really could communicate with the dead. One of Margery's biggest advocates was none other than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. He was the one who urged her to enter the Scientific American contest to prove to five judges that she was the real deal. She managed to convince four of the judges. The one hold out, Harry Houdini.
I thought this was a great story. And it was made even better by the fact that I had never heard of it before. I had no idea that Scientific American offered a cash prize to the person who convince their five judges they were an authentic medium. I was very pleased with Houdini being one of the judges and found it interesting that he had dabbled in these sort of shows for a time. I found myself enjoying the journey with Houdini. I too wanted to figure out exactly how Margery and others were doing their shows.
I did think the book dragged in a couple places where it got bogged down in some details, but overall the book was very interesting, and I could not wait to get to the end and discover who would triumph, Houdini or the Witch of Lime Street? I enjoyed the build up and found it surprising how well documented their rivalry was.
If you want to learn about a fun part of American history, this is a great book to read.
**I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.**
*Receiving a free copy of this book does not change my review. It simply provides me with a copy of a book I would not have gotten to as soon or heard about otherwise.