The Houdini Girl (Modern Erotic Classics) and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Buy Used
£2.29
Used: Very Good | Details
Sold by the book house
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: This item will be picked, packed and shipped by Amazon and is eligible for free delivery within the UK
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Houdini Girl Paperback – 24 Feb 2000


See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£28.20 £0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 Feb. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140272887
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140272888
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 2.5 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,187,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Fletcher Brandon, known onstage as Peter Prestige the Prodigious Prestidigitator (and offstage simply as Red), has never met anyone as alive as Rosa Kelly. Yet a year after their mutual seduction one night in an Oxford pub, this beautiful, foul-mouthed, flinty Irishwoman is dead--either a suicide or a murder victim. The magician, summoned from a show in the north of England, finds himself hoping that she has perpetrated an elaborate ruse: "I would've given anything for the coroner's officer to whisk away the sheet with a theatrical flourish to reveal a bare table and for Rosa, in a sequined costume, to emerge, stage left, with beaming radiance."

Though Red had seen Rosa on the morning of her death, as long-haired and flamboyant as ever, the body's head is shaved and makeup-free. What's more, further investigation reveals that she had taken her passport and withdrawn a large sum from two accounts. As Red discovers, his lover had deceived him--a master illusionist--about almost everything: her past, her family, her job. When he realises that she had done so not out of malice but self-protection, he is determined to find her killer.

The Houdini Girl defies genres. It is a murder mystery in which the victim is offed in the initial pages. It is a tragic love story. It is a tale of double lives and identities--even Rosa's cat has two names. Martyn Bedford's third novel is also a physical and metaphysical exploration of the lure of magic, and of its abuses: one of Rosa's friends wonders, "Why are magicians so obsessed with bondage and penetration?" As the immensely talented Bedford powers through his tale of guilt and innocence (things that he knows are far from mutually exclusive), his flawed hero describes the tricks he and his assistant, the Lovely Kim, work on their audience.

>From the Zigzag Girl to the Lost Princess, these exploits are breathtakingly woven into the action and themes of the novel, which careens from Oxford to Amsterdam--where his heroine's irreparable past springs into full and sordid life. In the end, The Houdini Girl offers provocative proof of Auden's much-criticised line, "We must love one another or die."--Kerry Fried, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A fast-paced story...surprisingly poignant." -"Chicago Tribune""Absorbing and well-paced." -"The New York Times" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sam Tyler on 27 Jan. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
The way you sell a book can have an effect on the reader; more than once I have picked up a novel that has fantastical elements, but it is sold as contemporary fiction and not fantasy. Why is this? There is a stigma attached to fantasy or science fiction that will put off some judgemental readers before even picking up the book, but what of Erotica? Not a genre I am used to reader and when I picked up the bog standard Penguin version of ‘The Houdini Girl’ by Martyn Bedford, it was not Erotica that I was reading, only becoming so it seems with the Kindle re-release as a modern erotic classic, but what is erotic about one woman’s harrowing life?

‘Houdini Girl’ is an excellent book, but not something that should be read for any libidinous thrills. It is the story of Red, a successful magician who falls for Rosa, a damaged Irish girl who does not talk about her past. The book follows a nonlinear pattern about what happened to Rosa, her past and Red’s investigation. Interspersed further is Red’s observations of the art of magic; it adds an air of mystery to a book that is all about misdirection.

As a crime thriller it is excellent, especially the first half as Ben learns more about the person he thought he knew. It does drag more towards the end when he goes on to investigate; it also takes some slightly unrealistic turns that don’t feel in keeping with the earlier sections. What it is not is in any way erotic. This is an adult book that contains more than its fair share of bedroom antics, but whilst a minority are consensual, the majority are not. This is an intelligent book that looks at the pain of a forgotten past, not some thrill seeking voyeuristic travelogue.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Housewife63 on 4 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I have read this book before and thought I would buy it on Kindle to read again. I was puzzled to find it in the modern erotica section. Why? It is not and never has been an erotic novel. The cover illustration has no relevance to the contents. What has a blindfold to do with the story? Has the cover designer read the book?
This is an extremely absorbing novel of loss, intrigue and deception. If you were hoping for vicarious thrills, look elsewhere. Read this book if you want an excellent novel involving detection, fear, threat and resolution.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Apart from a bit of the Amsterdam scenes being a bit woolly, it held my attention throughout. I will recommend this book to all my friends, and look forward to his new work.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By A Customer on 19 Feb. 1999
Format: Hardcover
The Houdini Girl is my definite book of the Year. It is a thriller with a murder, or at least an assisted involuntary death, it is also a love story in the Shakespearean mould with double identities confounding the course of love. From the beginning illusion is a theme, even the opening paragraph misleads. Bedford explores the difference between illusion and deceit in a witty, moving and tense novel that gathers pace like a train. As the main character (Red, the master prestidigitator) explains, there is a difference between magic and lies which is defined by the relationship between the protagonists. A magician and his audience enter into a conspiracy to sustain an illusion, the magician tricks his audience, who nevertheless know that they are being tricked, therefore there is no lie. Bedford tricked me, too, with this tale. Martyn Bedford is a magician, I looked for the trick behind the illusion but there is none. He just really is that good.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Aug. 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An amazing book, replete with all plot twists, action, romance, sex, and drugs that you could ever wish to see. Gritty, realistic and impossible to put down. The best thriller I've read for ages - the quality of the writing is superb. One of the few books where I've managed to really get into the mind of the characters.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again


Feedback