Before escape artist Harry Houdini died, he vowed he would find a way to speak to his beloved wife, Bess, from beyond the grave using a coded message known only to the two of them. But when a widowed Bess begins seeing this code in seemingly impossible places, it becomes clear that Harry has an urgent message to convey. Unlocking the puzzle will set Bess on a course back through the pair’s extraordinary romance, which swept the illusionist and his bride from the beaches of Coney Island, to the palaces of Budapest, to the back lots of Hollywood. When the mystery finally leads Bess to the doorstep of a mysterious young photographer, she realizes that her husband’s magic may have been more than just illusion.
In surprising turns that weave through the uncertain days of the dawn of the twentieth century and continue into the dazzling 1920s, Mrs. Houdini is a “dazzling and enchanting” (Shelf Awareness, starred review) tale, “a marvel that gallops through time and space” (Associated Press), and a “mesmerizing reimagining” (People) of one of history’s greatest love stories.
Reading Group Guide
Love transcends time and space in Victoria Kelly’s thrilling debut.
Before Harry Houdini dies, he promises his beloved wife that he will speak to her from beyond the grave through messages in a code only known to the two of them. Once widowed, Bess Houdini begins to discover the hidden codes in the most impossible places, leading her on a journey to reconnect with her late husband.
From the dawn of the twentieth century through the Roaring 1920s, Victoria Kelly’s novel presents a dazzling tale of history’s most thrilling romance. In Mrs. Houdini, Harry performs his most marvelous act of all: convincing readers to trust in the unknown and ultimately to believe in magic.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. Harry proposes to Bess the night that he meets her. What about Bess instantly captures his heart? Why do you think she accepts his proposal? How would you react if you were Bess?
2. Harry was a great believer in transformation: “It was a fact of human nature . . see more