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Praise for David Jaher’s The Witch of Lime Street

“Occasionally, you run across a book so good it feels like a secret — and spend months recommending it to anyone who will listen. That's The Witch of Lime Street.”
—Genevieve Valentine, NPR's Best Books of 2015

“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...One of Jaher’s great achievements is to build real suspense in a tale whose conclusion is foreordained…captivating and unforgettable.” 
—Cass Sunstein, The New York Review of Books

“David Jaher's utterly spellbinding The Witch of Lime Street…painstakingly sets its scene, which spans more than a decade and involves so many interrelated figures that you almost expect a list of dramatis personae…Jaher writes with a novelist's panache about the intricacies of the egos in play (Houdini's and Doyle's more than most, though several contest judges give them a run for their money). With the result something of a foregone conclusion — you'll notice "psychical research" is not currently a household industry — it's all the more impressive that Jaher builds the sense of mystery effortlessly, without seeming as though he's actually withholding any of the key information about the society medium who would rock Scientific American. He chronicles Mrs. Crandon's social circle with a mixture of poetic sympathy and journalistic distance. (And he backstories her husband Dr. Crandon with a beat of the what-the-hell candor that makes this book such a page-turner.)…But like any good magician, Jaher has other tricks up his sleeve. As the plot thickens, we begin to see macabre glimpses of things falling apart: examples of Houdini's short temper, power struggles between journalism and academia, hints of Mina's personal and family demons. It was a raucous age, and The Witch of Lime Street makes sure its spooky showdown happens smack in the middle of the action. 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.”

“Riveting reading...flamboyant, enigmatic, and complex characters. [Jaher] is also a diligent researcher, and his storytelling skills are impressive.”
Wall Street Journal

David Jaher
Photo: © Laura Rose

About the Author

DAVID JAHER received a BA from Brandeis University and an MFA in film production from New York University.  At NYU, he was the recipient of the WTC Johnson Fellowship for directing.  The Witch of Lime Street is his first book.  Currently he is a screenwriter (WGA) and is completing Cry Havoc!—his second work of American history for Crown/Random House.


For Film/TV inquiries, please contact Will Watkins:

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