Arthur Conan Doyle & Houdini Solve Paranormal Mystery in Novel   3 comments



My latest novel has just been published! In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle & Harry Houdini in The Adventure of the Spook House, the two extraordinary men team up to solve a paranormal mystery.

A brief synopsis:

The year is 1922. A respected judge inexplicably vanishes in a decrepit mansion and two of the world’s most remarkable men are summoned to investigate: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, and Harry Houdini, the world’s greatest escape artist.

Aided by a beautiful young psychic, the unlikely partners probe a mystery that becomes murkier and more perilous at every turn and brings them face to face with evil incarnate. To solve the riddle of The Spook House—and to survive its dangers—they must call upon all of their extraordinary mental and physical powers. The story draws upon the real-life friendship of Conan Doyle and Houdini, two vastly different men brought together by their fascination with the paranormal.

The book’s getting a great response. And folks from the many Sherlock Holmes societies and other fans of Conan Doyle are chafing at the bit to read it. Here’s what the first reviewer said:

“The Adventure of the Spook House is an exciting mystery full of twists, hair-breadth escapes and feats of derring-do. The author brings Conan Doyle and Houdini back to life as fully fleshed out characters who make splendid heroes. Thanks to Forsyth’s exhaustive research, the reader truly feels immersed in the 1920s. The novel captures the obsession with the supernatural that Conan Doyle shared with his friends like H.P. Lovecraft and my own great grand uncle Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.”
—Dacre C. Stoker, co author Dracula the Un-Dead, Bram Stoker’s Lost Journal

I came up with the idea after stumbling across the intriguing fact that the two legendary figures were friends—and later bitter enemies—in real life. Writing the book took over a year of research, as I tried to capture the personalities of each historical figure as well as, of course, get the details about them and the time period right. I pored over their autobiographies, books on how Houdini managed his escapes and a huge volume of the more than 1,500 letters written by Conan Doyle’s letters. It really helped me to get a handle on how the author of the Sherlock Holmes stories thought and spoke.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, left, and Harry Houdini, were friends--and later enemies.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, left, and Harry Houdini, were friends–and later enemies.

I learned that each man was, in his own right, brilliant and remarkably athletic—perfectly suited for an adventure of this type. I would be hard pressed to think of a real-life writer and an entertainer who would make better heroes.

The official release date of the book is March 24, 2014 but advance copies of the paperback and Kindle editions are already available at You can find all other eBook formats, including Nook, at

3 responses to “Arthur Conan Doyle & Houdini Solve Paranormal Mystery in Novel

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  1. Good luck, Mike. I posted it on my Facebook site and shared it with a recommendation. Hope that helps. Cheers, Ed S.

  2. What a fascinating combination!

  3. Thanks so much, Ed. As my mentor on the re-write desk at The National Enquirer, you taught me some great tricks for writing snappy prose that keeps readers engaged.

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