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.
Kelly’s mesmerizing reimagining shines a light on the kind of love that burns strong even after death.”
“Splendid… a richly lyrical novel.”
USA Today, New and Noteworthy Book
“A richly lyrical novel... that feels as magical as one of Harry's own illusions.”
Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Mrs. Houdini is a marvel that gallops through time and space... Readers get swept up in her gorgeous word choices and lyrical prose.”
“Dazzling and enchanting, Mrs. Houdini will captivate readers in a fashion that would make Harry and Bess proud.”
Shelf Awareness Starred Review
“A delightful read. Will resonate with anyone who's ever been struck by the illogical but nonetheless compelling notion that a lost beloved may yet reappear.”
“Resonant, haunting, and deeply felt. A stellar debut."
Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
“Mrs. Houdini is a dazzling blend of adventure, love, betrayal, and redemption.”
Historical Novel Society, Editors' Choice
“By the time the sparkling ending is reached--an ending that couldn't be more perfect--you'll be entranced.”
Naples Daily News
“Mrs. Houdini is, in a way, a ghost story, and like every good ghost story, it comes with an ending that will make you shiver.”
Kevin Brockmeier, Author of The Illumination
“I felt myself pulled into the pages, racing alongside her to uncover the clues Harry left behind, then stunned and weeping when she discovers the future he imagined for her.”
Kaylie Jones, Author of Lies My Mother Never Told Me