David Jaher’s stunning and brilliantly written account of the battle between the Great Houdini and the blond Witch of Lime Street illuminates a lost period in American history. Improbably, it also offers significant lessons about the formation of people’s beliefs and the sources of social divisions—scientific, political, or otherwise.
It's a delightful history, a captivating mystery, and thanks to Jaher's stylish flourishes, even the big reveals maintain an air of high-wire theatricality — like any good magician, The Witch of Lime Street knew what we wanted all along.
Mr. Jaher, a former screenwriter and astrologer, doesn’t proffer an apologia for spiritualism, but the book is fair to its entire cast of flamboyant, enigmatic and complex characters. He is also a diligent researcher, and his storytelling skills are impressive.