COMING IN 2024 an historical fiction novel published by Vine Leaves Press
Written by Charlie Young and Cheryl Young
Houdini’s Last Handcuffs takes place in 1950s Manhattan within families where magic is a part of everyday life. It is a tale about Houdini, the Youngs, the Gibsons and others who were a part of their lives.
In real life, Houdini’s handcuffs were displayed as part of Morris Young's home magic library. Their find is the inspiration for a part of this tale. Morris Young related that story in his April, 1992 article for The Linking Ring titled The Last Handcuffs. They were the last cuffs to be acquired from the Houdini-Hardeen estate and retrieved from Hardeen’s home by Morris. Hardeen was Houdini’s brother. In the novel, those cuffs play a prominent role in Houdini’s return to life: "Silence gripped the room. The wind at the window stilled. The clock on the desk became hushed. Standing before the bookcase, looking down on the cuffs stood Houdini. He had returned."
Houdini’s mysterious and magical return to this world is with a purpose, nothing less than to participate in the battle of good versus evil.
The fictional tale is Charlie's (Morris' son) recollection of his childhood. Members of the good Inner Circle of the Magic Circle vie with members of the evil Outer Circle as the two Circle’s attempt to respectively aid or thwart three childhood friends assisting Houdini in his ultimate escape--his return to life having escaped from death. The focus is on the retrieval and deciphering of Houdini’s personal journal of “magic” and formulas he developed, one of which allowed him to achieve such a feat. A second strong theme is that real magic is actually science and math making the seemingly impossible possible.
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