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Nicholson, Simon: The Magician's Fire (Young Houdini).

Nicholson, Simon

The Magician's Fire (Young Houdini)

Oxford, 2015, pp240, 6.99[pounds sterling]

978 0 19 273474 7

This novel plunges us straight into the drama of the young Harry Houdini, in 1880s Manhattan, escaping from chains as a steam engine thunders down on him. His performance is helped by two friends, the ukulele playing Billie, who has fled an orphanage and is scraping her living in a glue factory, and Artie, the neglected son of a wealthy banker. Artie's birthday is celebrated by a trip to watch Herbie Lempster, Harry's magician mentor. But things rapidly take a dark turn. A suspicious intruder, a snake coiled around a sword a wisp of purple smoke, and Herbie disappears. A mystery has to be solved. There is tight-rope walking, sliding down bannisters, lock picking, not to mention hidden doorways and a flooding torture chamber. Nicholson gives us a whizzing, dizzying, dazzling adventure--with bits of Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Creek thrown into the pot! This is a racy, pacey read: youngsters will find it hard to put this book down at the cliff edge of any chapter. And at the end of the gripping story, we are catapulted straight into the next mystery. This is the first in a series which readers of many ages are going to love.

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Author:Smiley, Sophie
Publication:School Librarian
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 22, 2015
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