Sometimes you hear about a new book from a respected source (in this case, NPR) and the content deals with both historic individuals that interest you and a topic that fascinates. This was the case with The Witch of Lime Street: Seance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World. I mean Conan Doyle, Houdini, The Scientific American, and spiritualism...I was sure this one would be engrossing.
Sometimes, however, you are disappointed. After reading 39% of this one, I said to myself...well, you don't need to know what I said.
What I did, though, was look the incident up and skip the rest of this tedious work of nonfiction that believes withholding information and padding pages with interesting historical tidbits that have little, or in some cases, no connection to the book's premise-- somehow strengthens the effect.
Not so. For me, at least, and that is really all I can have any judgment on. Looking into Mina Crandon (the witch) I found these links which give an account in a shorter, more efficient, and more interesting manner:
Mina Crandon and Harry Houdini: The Medium and the Magician
Mina Crandon was certainly fascinating--nude performances and affairs with investigators aside. Ectoplasm--eew!--often comes from orifices better left unnamed. Conan Doyle was a sad and gullible man. Houdini was an egotist, but sincere in hoping for communication with the "disincarnate," even as he debunked fake mediums.
The e-book is offered through NetGalley, if you want to read it, but in case you get as tired of wading through the disjointed and overly detailed account in the book. Try the above links.